When Kim Kardashian revealed she was an advocate of waist-training, I knew I had to try it out for myself. Say what you want about Kim, but the girl has curves. You know who doesn’t have curves? Me. Apparently, the word to describe my body is “apple-shaped,” which is surely the least sexy of all the shapes. Do I want a butt like Kim? No. Do I want her teeny, tiny waist? Hell yeah. So I decided to give waist training a go, and find out for myself: does waist training really work?
How does waist training work?
Before I embarked on my training — with a corset courtesy of Hourglass Angel — I thought it would be best to get an expert’s opinion. Enter celebrity personal trainer Kali O’Mard, who told me waist shapers work temporarily and can be a solution, just not a permanent one.
Snooki, Khloe Kardashian and Amber Rose are also fans. (Photo Credit: Instagram (3); Getty)
“In a nutshell,” he said, “All you’re doing is compressing your stomach and putting the fat elsewhere, not getting rid of it. I suggest you exercise, eat well and eliminate refined and processed foods from your diet. Then you’ll have the abs and waist of your dreams.”
Suggestion noted. But in the name of journalism, I went with the waist trainer anyway and decided to just jump right in and take the hardest class I could find.
Does waist training work without exercise?
Most celebs use their trainer while they're working out to reap the benefits. Enter Warrior Fitness Bootcamp, 60 intense minutes of every exercise I hate — burpees, box jumps, push ups, squat jumps. And that was all before the obstacle course. Oh, and two burly former marines are shouting at you to work harder throughout.
It's an amazing — but killer — workout, but with the corset? It. Was. Awful. I'm not ashamed to admit I had to take it off halfway through. #CorsetFail
Attempting the obstacle course at WFBC.
After that I was ready to throw in the towel (or the corset in this case), but I persevered (in the name of journalism obviously) and decided to try a workout loved by Kim herself.
Enter Barry’s Bootcamp. If you’re not familiar, Barry’s is a workout favored by many celebrities with locations around the world. The class is divided into sections, which alternate between weight training and running on a treadmill.
While doing the latter portion, in which you have to sprint, run uphill, sideways, backwards, every which way you can, I honestly thought I was going to pass out and actually started to panic that I couldn’t breathe. But I made it through, just about.
With Barry's Bootcamp master trainer Matty.
Is waist training dangerous?
Speaking to the instructor Matty Maggiacomo about the corset afterward, he told me, “It's a quick fix, in the same way, limiting water intake for two days is a 'quick fix' to look slim. Though, it is in no way a healthy one.
“The lungs should expand to their fullest during cardio, especially during an intense workout like Barry's. My advice is simple: If you want a slim waist and six-pack abs, stick to a diverse exercise regimen and eat well."
Being put through my paces by Jenn Seracuse at FLEXPilates.
Celebrity waist trainers
Kim Kardashian isn't the only celebrity who loves to waist-train; her sisters, Khloe, Kylie, and Kourtney also love a good waist-trainer, as does their arch enemy, Blac Chyna. Other celebrities who swear by waist-training are Lindsay Lohan, Kim Zolciak, Amber Rose, Snooki, Nicki Minaj, Coco Austin, and Ciara.
Do waist shapers work?
Two weeks later, I was done and ready to throw the thing in the trash…that was until I measured myself. I lost an inch off my waist in just 14 days and also received many compliments on how “tiny” my waist looked! Woo hoo! #CorsetFTW
So, does the waist trainer flatten your stomach? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably not. Here at 'Life & Style' we are all about safety, so if you do want to try it out, we advise you to read up on how to do it the safe way, such as Waist Training 101: A Guide to Using Corsets to Slim Your Waistline by Vanna B.
If you're wondering what is the best waist trainer, we've got some picks for you.
Courtesy of every celeb who swears by these things – looking at you Kardashians – we’ve rounded up the best waist trainers Amazon has so you can start melting off inches too.
1. Ann Chery Women's Faja Deportiva Workout Waist Cincher
This waist trainer is basically the same one Kim used minus the price tag. If you’re looking to spend less than $100 but wanting to feel like you’re a K-Dash sister here’s your chance. With 3 rows of hooks you won’t have to replace it right away once those inches go down. Amazon customer Pennie Sims is looking out for us, “‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ I did a full-blown insane workout 2 days into wearing it and I overheated. Don't do that. Ease into working out with it on and stay hydrated, because you're bound to sweat the entire time you're wearing it (which is good).” But she did say the fit and quality were fab.
Buy here: $24.90-$67.90, Amazon
2. Jerris Apparel Latex Waist Trainer
For an extra supportive boost, this latex waist trainer fits like a tank top and goes on like a vest. With over the shoulder straps you don’t have to worry about adjusting it throughout your workout. (And it makes it that much harder to fulfill the urge to rip it off). Amazon customer texasgirl is with us on budget and fit, “Great quality. Better than any of those $100+ spanx. Going to order 2 more. The fabric is fantastic and the hooks and eyes are strong quality. They will hold you in.”
Buy here: $25.99, Amazon
3. Charmian Latex Underbust Corset
Zip this baby right up and you’re good to go. The nude color works great for wearing it when you’re not sweating in the gym or wearing dark colored clothing. It also goes right up to the underwire of your bra, giving you a lil’ extra support there too. Several Amazon reviewers mentioned the extra posture bonus. “This corset is helping with my posture. My back hurts less while wearing it – it's like an extra brace.” says buyer ctb01.
Buy here: $7.99-$28.69, Amazon
4. TGQ Latex Rubber Waist Trainer with Zipper and Hooks
TGQ is bringing out the big guns here. With a zipper and four straps with three hooks each it’s working overtime to burn those inches and keep everything in. An #extra corset can only produce great results right? Amazon buyer M claims that “it fit very well and it's comfortable to be worn all day (9-5).” While we give her credit for her dedication, we don’t recommend putting yourself through that extent of torture.
Buy here: $12.99-$17.49, Amazon
5. FOUMECH Waist Training Belt $13.89-$14.99
Ah, good ol’ fashioned VELCRO®. Who knew it could be so useful for shaving inches off? The belt itself is made from neoprene it gives you more flexibility, which is ideal when you’re doing things like sit-ups – which seem like they’d be impossible in one of these (they’re not). Buyer Patricia S. will qualm all your anxiety about if these things work, “I have been wearing to the gym and seeing excellent results almost immediately! I was a skeptic but this definitely works!” Get ready for rockin’ abs (okay not really, but you’re going to see something).
Buy here: $13.89-$14.99, Amazon
6. SAYFUT Waist Trainer Mesh Corset $3.99-$19.99
Say hello to breathability with this stretchy corset. Instead of solid elastic or latex, this mesh waist trainer has little holes all throughout, so even though you’ll be drenched in sweat, you’ve got some ventilation. Customer Zen Mom says, “I bought this to wear for compression and it is the perfect mix of compression and comfort! No weird pokes or anything uncomfortable with this. It is breathable and very lightweight.” We just feel like we can trust Zen Mom.
Buy here: $3.99-$19.99, Amazon
7. ROCHVIE High Waist Tummy Control Shapewear $10.99-$18.99
If you’re still kinda skeptical about this whole waist training business, tight shapewear is a good place to start. You’ll get a feel for a toned down fit of an actual waist trainer and figure out how long you can handle wearing it. This super sleep wrap one is a great pick. “It’s an underwear with a waist trainer that will slim your waist and gives me shape. It only has two metals on the side so it doesn’t make you look lumpy on the front like others,” says buyer Elizabeth. A great starter that leaves your curves completely smoothed over.
Buy here: $10.99-$18.99, Amazon