Cinchers and corsets have recently made a popular comeback into mainstream culture with the endorsement from A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba. Unlike corsets of old, which are made of cotton and steel boning with laces you can tighten, modern-like corsets, also known as waist cinchers and waist training corsets, are primarily made of latex and boning with hook and eye closures. In fact, there are two types of waist trainers: every day and workout. Everyday trainers have lower compression (thinner latex) so are more comfortable to wear on a daily basis and for a longer period of time. They also tend to have fewer or less internal boning (metal or plastic rods that run up and down the garment). Workout waist trainers usually have higher compression so will feel tighter around the midsection, it can also have more and/or stronger boning in the garment.
Above: Amia Active Band from Hourglass Angel
Similar to a sauna suit, workout waist trainers are meant to stimulate more thermal activity in the core and help you sweat more during your workout. In addition, the high compression trainer along with its internal boning also supports good back posture. Back posture and alignment are important while working out as it helps maximize your muscle engagement. As the old adage goes, sometimes it’s about quality, not quantity. With good posture, your muscles will work more efficiently, your lifts will be stronger and most importantly, good posture can help prevent pain and injury.
The limitation to wearing a workout band while you’re working out is that there are certain exercises you shouldn’t do that requires bending at the stomach, like crunches. In these cases, it is best to take off the waist trainer as crunches and similar exercises can damage the waist trainer by bending the boning too much.
Wearing a waist trainer might take some time getting used to. But if used properly, wearing a waist trainer can help boost your workout. The rule of thumb is, if it causes pain or difficulty breathing, you should take it off immediately and consider getting a larger size or loosening the compression level.
By Ciara Spevacek,
Corsets not for you? Check out our top 3 core exercises that you can either do in the gym or at home.
1- SPIDERMAN PLANK CRUNCH
Start in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight. Bring your right knee aside towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
Start with 10 reps per exercise and work your way up.
2- THE SIDE PLANK
Lie on one side with your legs fully extended. Using your lower elbow and forearm, get your body up, making sure to keep your abs tight the entire time. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
30 seconds per side to start with.
3- BICYCLE CRUNCH
Lie flat on the floor with the lower back pressed into the ground
Place your hands slightly either side of your head, do not lock your fingers or pull the head up
Lift your knees to a 45-degree angle
At first slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion with the legs
Alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knee twisting back and forth through the core, keep the elbows back rather than forward to the chest as this could strain the neck.