Waist trainers: helpful or dangerous?

Jocelyn Perez, Reporter

People who aspire to begin a fat loss journey look forward to seeing the results that all of those hours at the gym will give off, but working out might not be enough to get rid of those stubborn fat areas. Once people realize this, they often turn to products and alternatives that they believe will eliminate stubborn fat, such as the waist trainer.
Waist trainers seem to be the modern renovation of the corsets women of the Victorian era wore. They have become popularized because heavy influencers such as the Kardashian clan, Jennifer Lopez, Amber Rose and Nicki Minaj have been showcasing them across social media in recent years.
Aside from all the criticism waist-trainers get, they’ve been around this long, so there seems to be progressive benefits that overpower the downfalls for many that use them.
 For the most part, waist trainers have been known for cinching the waist and creating an hourglass looking silhouette, improving posture, motivation for a slimmer physique, and with continuous use, over time it will make your rib cage smaller (which doesn’t sound very pleasing).
A lot of people who go to the gym like to speed up the evolution of their body transformation and believe waist trainers do just that, but the question is how.
According to Baystate Health, physicians already believe that waist trainers could pose a threat to health, but using a waist trainer during exercise is even more of a concern. A waist trainer constricts a lot of movement, and when you work out, getting oxygen through to the tissues and muscles is vital. The waist trainer prohibits you from taking proper breaths, which can lead to the buildup of lactic acid. This will eventually tire out the individual early on in their workout.
Many people think that waist trainers can make your waist look temporarily slimmer even after you take them off. Due to the pressure, the waist trainers could eventually cause severe damage to the arrangement of the ribs, making them smaller and possibly affecting the internal organs, according to Baystate Health.
“The waist trainer is not effective as far as calorie-burning, body fat loss, or weight loss,” In-shape Fitness manager, Anthony Zamora said.
Zamora did, however, recommend an alternative, a sweatband, which looks similar to the waist trainer and wraps around the waist as well. It also applies pressure as the waist trainer does, but is not damaging to the rib cage. Zamora stated that the sweatband will help release water weight and help sweat if used while working out.
Certified personal trainer, Brittany Espinoza, states that waist trainers aren’t a good option at all because it constricts your waist into ways that it shouldn’t. There are different ways to give your waist that desired hourglass illusion.
“There’s other ways to get that illusion, you could work out your back which gives off that effect,” Espinoza said.
Like Zamora, Espinoza also recommended that people look into sweatbands. She stated that sweatbands could help you if it takes a little bit more for you to sweat and burn those calories.
Overall, the waist trainer is beneficial depending on personal preference. It can be a useful tool in the gym for those who like to squat heavy weights but struggle to maintain a straight back, a waist trainer can be supportive with posture. It can also be useful to self-motivate by envisioning a slimmer looking physique if that’s what you’re going for.