Waist training is the new craze, celebrity fans such as Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba swear by its effectiveness and post regular snaps on Instagram of them sporting their waists being clinched tightly by these new trainers.

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Gym goers, celebrities, new mums and body builders alike all use waist trainers regularly to achieve that slim shapely waist.  Waist trainers are being worn during exercise to tighten the waist and shed fat, under the presumption that the heat created will help burn cellulite and the tightness of the trainer will pull in your waist. Women have also been using them to sculpt their post baby bodies.

Beware, the Kardashian women may well be taking endless selfies of their slender waists encased within a waist trainer but don’t be fooled, in reality waist trainers can be bad for your body.

Waist trainers come in a vast array of sizes, some are foam with Velcro some are latex and some are more of a corset design which can be tightened to extreme levels. It isn’t uncommon to see women walking through the gym and performing their workouts wearing their waist trainers – but are they aware of the damage they are causing themselves? Probably not.  Most companies market the waist trainer as the perfect way to lose weight, for post baby body sculpting and for training in.

Why is it bad for your pelvic floor?

Waist training can restrict your air flow so you cannot inflate your lungs to their optimum capacity; fainting is not uncommon when these are being worn. Secondly, picture a tube of toothpaste, if you squeeze it in the middle then the contents get forces upwards and downwards – this can be bad for your pelvic floor health as the contents of the abdomen will be forced downwards placing excessive pressure onto the pelvic floor.

A waist trainer can make your core muscles weaker which can be detrimental to the health of your pelvic floor. Moreover your stomach may get pushed up beyond the diaphragm which can cause reflux – not a good idea at all. New mums often like to wear waist trainers to stop their ‘wobbly bits’ from feeling uncomfortable but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to over exert yourself. The uterus will shrink in its own time and you simply cannot force it.

The bottom line…

Waist trainers simply won’t have any long term effect on the size of your waist. They can sadly cause you more harm than good. They can be bad for your pelvic floor and induce a number of other health problems. There isn’t a quick fix to get the waist of your dreams its all down to regular exercise and clean eating.