Anyone remember those pics of Kim Kardashian wearing a waist trainer? Anyone remember the the trend watchers saying it was going to be the next big training fad? Well never one to jump on the band wagon late or anything, I thought it was finally time I gave it a go to see why Kim keeps taking selfies with one on.
I should point out, I'm not really one for exercise fads. I believe that to get in shape requires hard work, a balanced diet and regular exercise. I do however enjoy experimenting with different workouts and fitness techniques that can add to or enhance my workout regimes. I was also just damn curious! Does it even work??! Well, I teamed up with FemShaper to try theirs and to find out what the corset/waist training fuss is all about.
What is a waist trainer?
In case you don't know, a waist trainer or clincher is a band which you wear around your waist that makes you sweat bucket loads round your belly, the idea being that you shred and tone your waistline in the process. Think spanks but without the bottom half.
How did it look and feel?
Putting it on, as expected my waist appeared an inch or two narrower. You can adjust it, to cinch in your waist to your desired tightness. I kept it on the loosest notch, mainly because I wanted to be able to breath comfortably. If you've ever worn a pair of spanks before, it has a similar effect to that, only this time you get more of a curvaceous, hour glass look.
The lining is cotton so the material is soft on the skin and style-wise it looks really nice even on the outside of your clothes. It also sits discreetly underneath a t-shirt or vest so no one would know it was there. Top secret!
Can you exercise in one?
Well, I wanted to road test the waist trainer with a mixture of workouts so I wore mine in a spin class where I'm mainly sedentary on a bike and a body pump class where I'm bouncing about the place and using weights for added resistance. In the spin class I found I had to lean forward further than I normally would and found my breathing was inhibited slightly. I wouldn't describe it as uncomfortable, but I did feel quite restricted. It takes some getting used to.
As for the body pump, I had a few niggles. I found that when I wanted to engage my core during exercises such as lunges, squats and sit ups, those muscles around my core had switched off or disengaged because they were being squeezed meaning I wasn't able to properly work them out. As someone who is qualified in personal training, I would only advise really light exercise whilst wearing a waist clincher, specifically, brisk walking.
What were the effects?
Well obviously I'd need to wear it for more than just two workouts to discover the long terms benefits. Apparently you should wear it for 3 hours a day for 4 weeks to get a figure like Kim Kardashian with testimonials claiming weight loss within just 7 days. One thing I would say is that you should certainly listen to your body. If you don't want to wear it longer than ten minutes. Don't. If you don't want to exercise in it. Don't! I've known people to sleep in these things. Just DON'T.
Whilst a waist trainer is not something I'd choose to get sweaty in, I would wear mine occasionally because I like the discreet look, the flexible material and the fact that it instantly makes your waist appear smaller. It's pretty comfortable too and FemShaper deliver supper quick. It gives you an instant nip tuck, so if you were going out tonight and wanted a more svelte appearance with a waist that appears slimmer, you could slip this on and feel hot to trot.
Either way, whatever your stance is on waist trainers, you should try and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin and get used to the beautiful imperfections that make you special. So smile in the mirror because I promise it won't break :)