What do waist trainers really do?


I have a question for you. Do you wear a waist trainer?

If you do, why do you wear one? It seems like everyone wears a waist trainer in the gym these days, yet no one can give me one consistent answer as to why.

This isn’t a video to make people feel bad about wearing a waist trainer, but I do want to clear up some of the common misconceptions associated with these seemingly magical yet nearly suffocating pieces of stretchy material. 

Take this quick quiz to bust some myths about waist trainers.

Which of these is true about wearing a waist trainer?

  • It helps me burn more calories!
  • It makes me sweat more and melt belly fat! 
  • It shrinks my waist!
  • It gives me a boost of confidence and self-esteem due to a temporary reduction in my waist circumference.

Before I give you the answer, we are going to explore the science behind WHY these waist trainers have gained so much popularity. I’ll give you a hint-- it’s NOT because it burns more belly fat.

Many of the modern markers of “beauty” or “attractiveness” can be traced back to the most innate, primal aspects of ourselves as a species, because when it all comes down to it, all our bodies really want to do is a) survive and b) procreate. 

Our attraction to a thin waist is also related to this concept and has likely contributed to not only the proliferation of the human race, but the propagation of products like the waist trainer. 

For example, researchers have determined that a lower waist-to-hip ratio in females typically indicates higher levels of estrogen and more ideal proportions when it comes to childbirth. These are probably not the first thoughts that come to mind when you see a woman with that ideal hourglass shape (gym bro: “damn, that girl would be the PERFECT vessel for my offspring”), but they’re lurking back there, deep in the primitive layers of your brain.

Don’t worry ladies-- men also have anthropometric standards that they feel pressure to uphold, consciously or subconsciously. Research has shown that a more reproductively “ideal” male body shape consists of a high shoulder-to-hip ratio. This is because broad shoulders and narrow hips typically signify higher levels of testosterone, making a male with these proportions a more attractive mate. 

This is likely why you see everyone in the gym wearing waist trainers these days-- whether you’re a male, female, or anywhere in between-- a waist that appears thinner compared to the rest of the body is considered more attractive simply because our brain recognizes it as good for the continuation of our species.

So back to our initial question! Sorry guys, but if you picked choice A, B, or C, I’m sad to say that there is quite literally no evidence supporting these claims that are commonly made by the sellers of these products. 

If you’ve watched any of my videos before, you probably know what I’m about to say, but I hope you keep listening regardless. 

First no, your waist trainer does not directly help you burn more calories. It may actually limit your caloric expenditure by impairing your breathing mechanics and increasing the perceived intensity of your workout, leading you to reach fatigue sooner and get less work done compared to if you were able to breathe uninhibited. 

Second-- no, your waist trainer will not magically help you “spot reduce” fat from your midsection. Check out my previous video for more on that topic.

Third-- your waist trainer may give you a temporary sensation of a smaller waist. When tissues are compressed for a period of time, they start to assume the shape in which they were held due to redistribution of fluids. This compression combined with sweating can result in decreased superficial water retention in the region, but rest assured that this feeling will be gone in the morning after resuming your normal hydration patterns.

Finally-- if wearing a waist trainer helps you feel good while you workout and doesn’t impact your ability to breathe, then I can’t really stop you. Going to the gym can be a tough habit to form for a lot of people, and if the only thing that keeps you going is having that extra compression to hold in your gut and liking what you see in the mirror, that’s your prerogative. Just make sure you’re being real with yourself and not falling for false claims of these corsets “melting belly fat” and “torching calories.”

I highly doubt that we will be coming out with a “Hybrid Waist Trainer” any time soon, but If you need help achieving your ideal body composition while sticking to the fundamentals of fitness or nutrition, check out Hybrid Training and Hybrid Nutrition today. 

Catch you guys in the next video!

Here’s your chance to redeem yourself…

Test your knowledge below and you could win some sick Hybrid apparel!

1. A higher shoulder-to-hips ratio is an indicator of higher levels of _________.

  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Oxytocin
  • Serotonin 

2. A smaller waist-to-hips ratio is an indicator of higher levels of ________.

  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Oxytocin
  • Serotonin

3. True or False: wearing a waist trainer tightly can impact your breathing mechanics and decrease your time to exhaustion.


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