Do waist trainers work? They’re certainly popular, but it’s a question I hear a lot as a health and fitness professional. You might be curious about what the benefits of a waist trainer would be, and also the possible risks that go along with wearing a waist trainer. It is important to know and consider these points before deciding to wear a waist trainer. First, let’s start with the basics. What exactly are waist trainers, and how do they work?

What is a Waist Trainer?

Waist trainers are essentially modern-day corsets. Unlike the fashionable garment that was popular during the 16th and 17th centuries to give the appearance of a smaller waistline, the waist trainer is marketed to specifically target the ever-loathed belly/mid-section fat. They are designed to help supplement your fitness goals. Most waist trainers consist of neoprene, a thick rubber, or latex that wraps around the torso and then attaches with Velcro or some hooks. A variety of waist trainers use this material to make you sweat by stimulating thermal activity.

Both women and men wear waist trainers. They’re widely used inside the gym as a waist trimmer and to target belly fat during a workout. Waist trainers gained massive popularity after high-profile celebrities like the Kardashians, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Snookie of Jersey Shore gave their endorsements and testimonials via social media.

But aside from the obvious question of “do waist trainers work?”, the idea of tightly compressing our abdomen for an extended period of time raises more questions. Are waist trainers actually safe? Fortunately, we’re going to cover the answers to both of those questions in this article.

Claimed Benefits of Using a Waist Trainer

Among the claims made by various companies and celebrities who endorse waist trainers, there’s one that the extra insulation around the midsection induces extra perspiration. Excess perspiration around the midsection will inevitably cause fat burning in that region. Additionally, companies have made claims that the sweat waist trainer will increase body temperature. This results in a thermogenic effect that ultimately leads to fat loss. 

Suppresses Appetite

One benefit that many people who use waist trainers will report is that it suppresses appetite by compressing the stomach. This could be one of the reasons why wearers of this product have noticed weight loss results. The question then becomes, what will their appetite be once the waist trainer is taken off? A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care was conducted to find out whether the use of waist trainers could maintain weight loss after participants followed a low-calorie diet. Participants were told to wear the waist trainer for at least five hours a day, five days a week, for nine months.

Improves Posture

Aside from the claimed fat loss benefits, many have reported that the waist trainers have improved their posture. It’s no secret that compressing your waist in any fashion will yield a more upright standing/sitting posture. Waist trainers are designed to provide support to the core muscles and the lower back. By wearing a waist trainer, you can improve your posture and alignment, reducing the risk of slouching and promoting a more upright position. This can alleviate back pain and contribute to a healthier spine.

Body Confidence Boost

Waist trainers can enhance your body confidence by instantly transforming your silhouette. They smooth out any lumps or bulges, creating a streamlined and contoured appearance. This can make you feel more confident and comfortable in your clothes, boosting your self-esteem.

Thermogenic Effect

Some waist trainers are designed to generate heat and increase perspiration in the midsection. This thermogenic effect can promote sweat production and contribute to temporary water weight loss. However, it's important to stay hydrated and listen to your body's signals during any activity that induces sweating.


So finally, do waist trainers work? It’s no secret that the waist trainer is a product with raving fans and big-name celebrities alike who have given it their endorsement. Some might ascribe this perceived benefit to a placebo effect at play. 

If you’re going to utilize this as a way to improve your body composition, monitor your body to ensure that the adverse effects aren’t too invasive AND that you’re giving yourself time without it. Listening to your body can go a long way in many cases but especially in this one.

If you’ve already had good (or bad) experiences, please let us know your waist trainer results in the comments below. We greatly appreciate your feedback!

Keisha Gibson