When it comes to problem areas on the midsection, love handles are at the top of the list for many women. These are the areas of excess fat accumulation around the hips and the sides of the abdomen, which can be more pronounced when wearing certain types of jeans and pants.
This is a tricky spot to target if you want to lose weight and tone up your figure. So it's no surprise that many people ask us: "Does a waist trainer reduce love handles?" The short answer is yes, absolutely – but it's important to define your goals a little further. Can a waist trainer conceal love handles? Absolutely it can, in an instant. But can it help you eliminate them for good?
You can use a waist trainer as part of an overall lifestyle regimen, including exercise and healthy eating, to target love handles, but there are many factors that will be at play. Here’s what you need to know.
How Does Waist Training Work?
Waist training is the practice of wearing a high compression waist-slimming garment daily as a part of a healthy lifestyle routine. The goal is to visibly reduce your waist size while you wear it, while also incorporating the practice into your long-term slim-down routine. Longer styles of waist trainers are designed to reduce love handles by compressing your lower midsection.
You can experience immediate results from wearing a waist trainer of 1 to 3 inches off your waist measurements, which is why it’s an ideal style of garment to wear under clothing. You can also use a workout waist trainer to amplify your workouts. The high compression stimulates heat and perspiration in your core, so you can feel it working.
Waist trainers are effective at targeting love handles because they target the whole midsection, not just the front. You’ll experience immediate slimming as well as the heat and perspiration right around your target areas.
For the best results with waist training, we recommend wearing a high compression garment for 8–12 hours a day.
How to Get Started with Waist Training
Waist training is a lifestyle change, and it can take some time to grow accustomed to it. If you’ve never worn a waist trainer before, we recommend starting with a latex garment that provides room for slimming down like the Size Me Down Adjustable Waist Trainer by Hourglass Angel HA113.
Begin by wearing your waist trainer for short periods of time so you can adjust to the way it feels, as well as break in the garment. Ensure that it fits well in order to achieve the best results.
You can start by wearing your waist trainer for just an hour or two the first day. After that, try adding up to an hour on each subsequent day. Remember, it will take time to feel comfortable with firm compression, but you’ll feel it working on those love handles and other target areas. You can break up your time in the waist trainer into two short sessions per day, if that is helpful during the adjustment period.
After several weeks of increasing daily wear, you should feel comfortable wearing your waist trainer for 8 to 12 hours a day. For the best results, we also recommend that you exercise regularly using a workout band, which you can alternate with the waist trainer you wear under your clothing for the rest of the day. The Curve Creator Workout Band by Hourglass Angel HA101 goes on and off easily and is a convenient, effective way to boost your exercise routine.
How Long Do You Have to Wear a Waist Trainer to See Results?
When you have a specific goal in mind, like reducing your love handles, you may be very eager to see results. The key with waist training, as with any lifestyle change, is to be patient.
When you see results, and how dramatic those results will be, depends on a variety of factors, such as how committed you are to your overall health regimen, including exercise. If you are making major changes to your lifestyle, you will probably see results more quickly. If you are hoping to see less obvious changes and have made only slight adjustments to your lifestyle, the results might not be evident for a while.
In general, most women can start seeing some results with waist training after a few weeks, if they are consistent with the practice and are committed to other healthy lifestyle habits. The best way to tell if you’re getting the results you want is to track your progress. Take weekly photos and measurements when you start waist training and see for yourself how your body is changing.
We have a collection from real women of different shapes, sizes and lifestyles who documented their waist training journeys over the first eight weeks if you want to get an idea of what you might experience. Check out their stories in these Waist Training Before and After Results.
Fitness and Lifestyle Tips to Complement Waist Training
While wearing a waist trainer will instantly reduce your waistline while wearing it, you’ll get the best long-term results if you pair waist training with a consistent exercise and nutrition plan that burns excess fat and helps you build muscle.
We recommend a well-rounded fitness routine that contains a variety of cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. Varying intensity cardio and strength training help you burn fat and build muscle, while flexibility prevents injury and helps you create more balance.
Nutrition also plays a large role in the results you’ll see with waist training. While you’re wearing your waist trainer, the compression will encourage you to have smaller meals. Taking in 5 to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones can be beneficial for your digestive system and prevent overeating. If you’re trying to lose weight, this can help keep your appetite satiated and prevent you from intaking excess calories.
Try to primarily consume whole foods while avoiding processed foods—especially those with sugar, including drinks. Talk to a nutritionist to determine whether you would benefit from a particular type of diet. In general, most people who don’t need dietary restrictions benefit from a balance of lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates and healthy fats.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated! You may be sweating more than normal when wearing a waist trainer, so you’ll need to replenish lost fluid. Hydration has many benefits including healthier skin and hair, boosting your energy and minimizing your appetite. Try to drink at least half an ounce of water per pound of body weight (and more if you exercise a lot).
What Exercise Will Reduce Love Handles?
If you really want to zero in on those love handles, the key is to eliminate excess fat and to build muscle in your core. You can’t always target where you burn fat, but if you have all-around fitness and diet plan, you’ll trim down your love handles as well as other target areas throughout your figure. Then, through targeted exercises, you can build muscle around your midsection.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength exercises are a great combination. HIIT exercises involve short bursts of explosive exercises like sprinting, jumping rope or burpees. For example, try sprinting for 20 seconds and resting for 10, repeated 4 times for a 2-minute set. Then, do a set of strength training exercises in between sets (like lunges or crunches). You will burn a lot of calories and make some serious progress on building muscle in just a half hour session.
You can do any number of HIIT exercises to burn fat, including:
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping lunges or squats
- Box jumps
- Jumping rope
Whatever exercise you choose, just make sure that you’re moving as fast as you can and breathing hard.
The best strength training exercises that you can do between or even following HIIT sets include:
- Russian twists
- Side planks
- Forward planks
- Hip lifts
- Bicycle crunches
- Dead lifts
Do any of these exercises with or without dumbbells, depending on your experience and fitness level.
Best Waist Trainers for Eliminating Love Handles
If you’re ready to get started with your waist training and healthy lifestyle plan, here are some additional garments we recommend for setting yourself up for success:
Zipped Up and Snatched Workout Waist Trainer by Hourglass Angel HA108: Slip on this workout waist trainer in seconds and get the firm compression you want. You’ll instantly shrink your waistline by up to 3 inches, while optimizing your workout and increasing thermal activity in your core.
Latex Waist Trainer Vest by Hourglass Angel HA103: This high compression latex waist training vest is designed with thin shoulder straps for added support and coverage. It provides instant slimming for the whole midsection and helps you stand taller and straighter for more confident posture.
Underbust Cotton Corset by Hourglass Angel HA202: This figure-snatching corset is made with cotton, so it feels soft and stays comfortable for as long as you wear it. The garment uses flexible steel boning for powerful compression, slimming your waistline and creating an hourglass shape from just beneath the bust down to the hip.
Be sure to check out our shop for the full curated collection of the best waist trainers.