Waist training is a term that was not on my mind till about a year ago, when I was introduced to it by the product team at my workplace. It was a new product idea, and I was asked for inputs on my thoughts. A year later, after doing a lot of reading up and speaking to a sizeable number of users and a handful of experts, I have realized that it’s a whole sea of information out there and there are so many kinds of waist trainers. It can be a bit daunting and confusing to figure what works for each one of us.
What I have done below, is outlined in the simplest way possible the broad types of waist training and what it is helpful for. This is just simply scratching the surface of the sea of information, but it does aim at help getting one started and choose what you want your waist trainer to do.
1. Postpartum waist training – This is probably one of the forms of waist training that most women who have delivered a child are bound have done for some period of their lives.Age old tradition in India and few other countries have always prescribed waist compression to all mothers immediately post delivery for a few months till the body regains its shape. In India, a saree was typically folded to form a wrap/band like structure and was tightly wound around the midsection till it pulled all the loose muscles and flab in. It was meant to be worn for most of the waking hours. What this did was to give multiple benefits like:
- Core support – pregnancy causes the muscles in your abdomen to stretch and post delivery it takes a while for these muscles to come back to position and walls of your stomach lack support. Compressing the loose muscles helps the muscles come back to shape faster
- Back support – Long hours of endless feeding are not easy on the back and with the abdomen muscles also lacking strength , most women develop back pain during these times and again the compression and wrap around the waist helps support the
back , thereby reducing pressure on the back.
- Discourages accumulation of fat – Compression they say, is the best way to avoid fat accumulation on any desired part of the body. Postpartum belts again help achieve this by compressing the stomach, avoid fat accumulation and aid
redistribution of the fat accumulated during pregnancy in these areas.
- Feel good factor – Last but not the least. For most first-time mothers, it can be rather a shock to know that the belly still looks quite pregnant despite the baby being out and the feeling of flab and loose muscles is not quite something you are used to.Waist compression helps pull back that flab and reduce the overall feeling of jelly-like muscles.
2. Body Shaping – Waist training is an age-old tradition, dating right back to the 1500’s where women used CORSETS to create tiny waists. Made using materials that progressed from whalebone to steel, the corset was basically a rigid structure that encircled the ribs and compressed the waist to achieve an hourglass figure. The corset has undergone a lot of changes over the years and has continually evolved to become what it is today.
- Today it is made of much more breathable, flexible, elastic fabric and gives an hourglass shape while allowing the wearer to still be comfortable. The benefits that waist trainers carry today are as below
- Hourglass figure – the waist trainer cinches the waist to create a smaller waist while accentuating the bust and bottom.
- Weight loss – waist compression basically discourages the accumulation of fat in the waist area and encourages the redistribution of the fat
- Better posture – Self-explanatory. Wearing a good quality waist trainer will straighten your back and ensure better posture while you wear the belt as it essentially does not allow you to slouch by the nature of its design
3. Shape wear – This is possibly one of the widely used type of waist shaping. These types of shapers are essentially used more like lingerie or inner wear. Typically made of a cottony/lacy stretch fabric, it usually very thin and quite elastic. This is more of a
short-term wear and gives a temporary shaping effect. A must have fashion accessory in the wardrobes of women who wear western clothing from time to time. Benefits, you ask?
- Temporary smoothening of flab that would other wise look unbecoming in form hugging gowns or that lovely LBD that you have.
- Hides all bulges and creates the illusion of a perfect figure
- Feel good factor – Nothing like a little help in getting rid of the flab in a jiffy
4. Waist belts for workout – These are waist belts that are used by both men and women while working out and have great benefits. Typically made with neoprene, latex and some boning material (most likely steel), these are recommended by fitness trainers and experts to be worn while you do not only your weight training but also cardio workouts. Becoming increasing popular amongst the serious work out enthusiasts, these kind of waist trainers have a community of users that swear by its benefits. So let’s talk about benefits
- Core support – A lot of us while working out have been constantly to tighten the core and keep it engaged . A waist trainer helps in doing just that- keep the core engaged.
- Back support – weight training or some cardio activities do tend to cause stress on the back , particularly when not done right. Wearing a belt protects the back and lessens the chances of injury and reduces strain on the back.
- Keeps your belly flat- a big plus in the looking good department, specially at the gym.
- The high quality latex used in the belts also stimulate heat in the area of the body they cover (in this case – abdominal area) and this in turn creates increased sweating and fat burn in those areas eventually leading to fat loss.
So in summary these are the broad use cases of Waist trainers and like I said at the beginning there is a huge range of products available to suit your need in the market today. Pay attention to the size guides, material used, shape and design of the trainer to understand what it does and choose the best one that will work for what you have in mind.