As waist training grows in popularity, there are a lot of myths circulating about whether or not a corset or waist trainer has the power to reshape your body. Specifically, you may have heard crazy rumors about how steel-boned garments in particular can damage your rib cage or break your bones. Is it true or nonsense?
We thought it would be helpful to discuss some of the rumors out there and set the facts straight.
It's important to understand, first of all, how corsets and latex waist cinchers work and what the difference is. Corsets are used in the traditional method of waist training that goes back hundreds of years (they were once constructed with whale bone, prior to steel). Corsets lace up in the back and provide dramatic waist-slimming power.
Latex cinchers are becoming popular alternatives to traditional corsets. They work the same way, but they are constructed with plastic boning (sometimes called flexi-boning) instead of steel and are slightly more flexible—although still effective in dramatically slimming your waist. The latex also helps to stimulate heat, which is great if you want to work up more of a sweat around your belly, sides and back when working out.
Now let's dive into the facts and fiction about waist training:
Some people get their ribs removed to get a tiny waist: False
We haven't met anyone who has had a rib removed, have you? And we know many women who waist train! Think about it: waist training goes back hundreds of years. While women definitely coveted and achieved a tiny waist during the Victorian era, there is no way they would have elected for such a risky and painful surgery. Even the "Corset Queen," Cathie Jung, has a world record 17-inch waist and hasn't needed to any procedures to attain it.
Waist training reshapes your ribs: False
You would have to do some pretty drastic casting to reshape your skeleton. If you're wearing a waist trainer for our recommended 8-12 hours a day, those ribs aren't going anywhere.
A young woman who is not done growing could potentially affect the shape of her growing ribcage by tightly corseting every day. This is why we don't recommend waist training until you're at least 18; and we also recommend mixing in some "rest days" when you're wearing a garment regularly. Hypothetically even as an adult your lower "floating ribs" could shift slightly with intense, around-the-clock compression from a rigid steel-boned corset. But no one is suggesting you do that, and there's also no reason to. Also, keep in mind that if you stop corseting, your body shifts back to its natural form. For more information about the physiology of waist training, check out The Corset, A General History.
Waist training can break your ribs: False
We don't know of anyone who broke a rib waist training, do you? It takes a lot of force to break a bone inside your torso, and the narrow boning in even the tightest steel-boned corset is not going to do that. This myth may have started because the whale bones in Victorian corsets may have broken when they were laced too tightly. Get that: whale bones, not human rib bones. Besides, you should not wear any garment that causes discomfort. Today's latex waist trainers allow you to dramatically slim your waistline without compromising your comfort. If you feel any discomfort or pinching, you're doing something wrong – you probably need to go up a size with your shaper.
Waist training can reshape your waist: True
We love hearing the many stories from people who have been very happy with the results of their waist training. Wearing a cincher or corset immediately makes you look slimmer and creates that hourglass shape. Over time, when complemented with healthy lifestyle changes, waist training can assist in your slim-down journey.