The waist training cincher was made extremely popular recently thanks to those Kim Karshashian waist cincher photos and other stars, including Jessica Alba, who jumped on the waist cincher training bandwagon after having her baby. Personally, as a woman, I’ve always thought those vintage photos (as pictured below) looked very painful of women partaking in waist cincher corset training.
When Kim Kardashian started sharing those waist training photos on Instagram, and Jessica Alba became an advocate of the corset, I became a little interested in waist training…the modern ones sounded much better than in the 1600’s when corset training first started with metal caged corsets…ouch!
Jessica Alba Corset
This is the Jessica Alba corset brand “Amia” which she swears helped her get her pre-pregnacy body back…(the jury’s still out on that claim)
Kim Kardashian Corset
Here is the same blue corset Kim Kardashian is seen in all over the internet.
Dangers of the Waist Training Cincher & Natural Alternatives
According to the very informative article “The Dangers of Waist Training” by Women’s Health:
You don’t have to be an M.D. to realize that “training” your waist to shrink sounds suspiciously iffy. In fact, experts generally agree that there’s no way it can really work—and it might do real bodily harm. “Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. “Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape. It’s also uncomfortable, restricts your movements, and if you wear it really tight, it can even make it difficult to breathe and theoretically could cause rib damage.”
Natural Alternatives To Waist Cincher Training
If you want a slimmer waist, there are natural and safer ways to develop a slimmer waist other than torturing yourself with a corset.
Pilates is the ultimate natural waist trainer! According to Tannis Kobrinsky for Pilates Style “From Corsets To Core Strength,”
The inner corset consisted (and still does) of the pelvic floor, transverse abdominus, multifidus, diaphragm, inner-thigh muscles and all muscles surrounding the pelvis. When we practice Pilates properly, we construct our deep inner muscle corset by hollowing our center (core) and activating the muscles of the pelvic floor and girdle.
Kobrinsky also points out that Joseph Pilates developed pilates around 1911 when women were still wearing corsets daily, and that pilates was an “emancipation from corset to strong abs!”
Joseph Pilates advocated building a powerhouse, which he called a “deep-muscle corset.”
The Stott Pilates website gives a great overview on achieving the Pilates rib cage in their article “Basic Principles Rib Cage Placement:”
When lying on your back in a neutral position, maintain the sense of the weight of the ribs resting gently on the mat (i.e. maintain the normal curve of the upper back). Don’t lift off or push your rib cage into the mat. Pay particular attention to the placement of your rib cage when inhaling or while performing arm movements overhead.
For a more in depth breakdown of the Pilates basics, read Stott Pilates Five Basic Principles.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pilates, Balanced Body, the makers of high quality pilates machines, has a great article HERE.
2. Belly Wrapping
Belly wraps have been a tradition in Indonesia, Japan, and Tawain. I’m more familiar with the Indonesian belly wrap otherwise known as Bengkung Belly Wrapping. After childbirth, Indonesian women use long pieces of fabric and wrap their pelvic and abdominal area. Using woven fabric instead of a boned corset is much for comfortable for the body, and it can be adjusted to be as tight or loose as you like it.
While Bengkung is used mostly for postpartum women, you could also use it to help retrain your abdominal muscles. It will give you support to have proper posture and also give you an all around awareness of your abdominal region.
3. Proper Diet and Exercise
Say what? I know, I know, it’s crazy to NOT have a wonder cure for slimming down your waist. Proper diet and exercise is generally always the key to a slimmer waist. Maintaining proper health also includes seeing your doctor for your annual physical.