No Time to “Waist” A Step-by-Step Beginners’ Guide to Waist Training
Like everything else worth doing in life, waist training takes dedication. While your waist might appear slimmer from the moment you first lace up your shiny new corset, true, long-term results often do not appear until several weeks into your new training schedule.
However, sticking with it isn’t always easy. We know. All of us here at Get Waisted love our corsets and cinchers, but we definitely still remember those rough first days.
The tightness is constant. You feel like you can’t relax. You keep trying – and failing – to slouch instead of keeping your back ramrod straight. You’re ending each workout more tired than ever before. You’re hungry, not yet adjusted to eating several smaller meals rather than a few large ones. No matter how much or how little water you drink, you find yourself rushing to the bathroom every half an hour. You might even feel grumpy, short-tempered and irritable and find yourself asking whether or not the eventual weight loss is worth the immediate discomfort.
We promise – it most definitely is. It may not be possible to fully eliminate every difficulty that comes with the first few days of a new waist training routine. However, we’ve compiled a bunch of helpful tips from our fantastic Get Waisted staff to make those first steps of your exciting journey way, way easier.
Of course, the most important element to successful waist training is your own dedication and willpower. There’s pretty much no way to drop those pounds and shed those inches if you don’t want to do it. So while these hints and tricks won’t fully replace hard work and determination, they can definitely help you keep that smile on your face through each and every cinched or corseted day!
Sizing It Up
The number one way of ensuring that your corset or cincher will be as comfortable as physically possible is buying the right size. A waist trainer which is too tight, too loose, too short or too long can be painful and irritating throughout the day. Simple tasks such as jogging, taking a brisk walk or even sitting at a desk may become next to impossible to complete. You deserve the best – so start things out right by choosing a properly sized garment.
Our huge catalog (located here!) contains pretty much every type of waist trainer you could possibly imagine. There’s definitely something in there for you. But how to find it?
Measure for Measure
Similar to many other types of clothing, corsets and cinchers come in a series of numerical sizes. A typical “small” corset is labeled with a size somewhere between 18 and 24, while values in the mid-20s represent “medium” and larger or plus sized corsets are typically considered to be size 32 and above.
To make sure you are selecting the right size, there are four measurements which you should take before choosing a corset. For the most accurate results, we recommend using a flexible cloth or plastic measuring tape which is capable of molding to your body. You may also wish to measure in front of a mirror to ensure that you are standing up straight, as poor posture can result in inaccurate totals. Using the tape, measure and record the size of your:
- Wrap the measuring tape around the base of your chest, slightly below the breasts, in order to find the circumference of your underbust area. If you are not sure exactly where to measure, put on a standard bra (not a sports bra) and place the tape just below its lower edge. This measurement will correspond to the top edge of your corset.
- NATURAL WAIST. Wrap the tape around your waist at its narrowest point – typically located between the base of the ribcage and the belly button, about one inch above the latter. (For men, the belly button typically sits higher and so the natural waist may actually be located beneath it). If you’re having trouble finding your natural waist, slowly bend to the left or right side – a “fold” or “crease” in your skin will indicate its location. This measurement will correspond to the narrowest, most highly compressed part of the corset.
- UPPER HIP. Wrap the tape around your hips, keeping it aligned with the top of the hipbone. If you’re having trouble finding the exact location, try sitting down slowly with the tape still wrapped around you – your upper hip can be found at the point where your body “bends” when you sit. This measurement will correspond to the lower edge of the corset.
- TORSO LENGTH. Sit down, making sure to keep your back straight, chest out and shoulders back. Place the measuring tape just below your left breast, ensuring that it is centered. Measure the distance from this point to the top of your left thigh, taking extra care not to bend or slouch as you do so. This measurement will be used to ensure that your corset is neither too long nor too short.
These four measurements can then be used to ensure that both the top and bottom edges of the corset fit properly, while the waist is sufficiently compressed to achieve the desired hourglass figure.
While the circumference of the corset’s top and bottom should generally match with that of your bust and hips, the waist is where all the important narrowing action happens. If your natural waist measured under 38 inches (97cm), choose a corset or cincher which is 4-7 inches (10-18cm) smaller at its narrowest point.
On the other hand, if your natural waist measurement is greater than 38 inches (97cm), go even smaller – your garment should be 7-10 inches (18-25cm) smaller at its narrowest point. This is because individuals with larger natural waists tend to have a greater percentage of body fat when compared to muscle, allowing for more intense compression to occur with minimal discomfort and no pain.
The Long and Short of It
It’s not enough just to choose a corset that matches your bust, hip and waist measurements and call it done. The length of a corset is another important factor, as corsets which are too long or too short can easily impede movement as you go about your daily routine.
A cincher that is too short may ride high or low, producing a lesser slimming effect than is desirable, while one which is too long can poke uncomfortably into the thighs or breasts whenever you attempt to sit down. Therefore, it is important to understand the three standard corset lengths and be able to determine which one is right for you.
- A SHORT or MINI (also occasionally referred to as WASPIE) waist trainer is best suited to individuals with torsos shorter than 5 inches (19cm) in length. Those with longer torsos may be able to take advantage of a mini waist trainer for fashion purposes – such as wearing it over a shirt or dress – but it will produce only aesthetic results rather than any significant weight loss or waist narrowing.
- A STANDARD or REGULAR garment is intended for those with torsos between 9 and 11 inches (23 and 28 cm) in length. Most standard corsets and some standard cinchers will have a longer front and back and slightly shorter sides in order to allow some amount of bending and twisting movements if necessary.
- A LONG or LONG-LINE waist trainer works most effectively when your torso measures greater than 11 inches (28cm) in length. Longline cinchers and especially corsets are typically easier to sit in than their shorter counterparts, so they may also be ideal if you work a desk job and wish to waist train throughout the day.
If, after taking the measurements described above, you find that your body lies between two sizes of corset or cincher (for example, halfway between size 24 and 26), go with the larger one. You can always lace a corset tighter to get a little extra narrowing at the waist, but a too-small garment will have you swearing off waist training forever after squeezing yourself into it for even just a day or two. If one of the purposes of waist training for you includes recovering from an injury (such as a fractured spine, rib or hipbone) or lessening the pain caused by a chronic condition (such as arthritis or scoliosis) err on the side of slightly less compression than would otherwise be recommended. Cinching too tightly could aggravate or even worsen your issue rather than remedying it. Go with a corset or cincher between 3 and 5 inches (8 and 13 cm) smaller than the narrowest point of your natural waist.
If you are allergic to latex, a corset, rather than a cincher, is likely the ideal waist training garment for you. Most cinchers are either made from latex or contain some latex elements in their design, and could cause allergic reactions unless they are specifically noted to be hypoallergenic. Corsets, which are stiffer and usually made from non-elastic materials such as cotton, brocade, or leather, typically do not contain any latex and are thus safe for allergy sufferers to wear without negative consequence.
Taking It Slow
Okay, so you’ve picked out the perfectly sized corset or cincher. You put it on for the first time and it fits great – snug but not too tight as to be painful comfortable but not so loose as to slip up or down during the day. Your waist already looks slimmer than it ever has before, while your chest and butt in turn appear more prominent.
So it’s time to dive right into your new waist training focused lifestyle, right?
Even once you’ve found the ideal waist trainer for your one of a kind body, immediately wearing it for an entire day with no breaks can still result in pain, discomfort and just plain old irritability. Just like a bra, a little black dress, or a pair of sexy stiletto heels, your brand new waist trainer needs to be broken in – slowly!
So what does this mean? In short, give your body time to get used to its new best friend the corset or cincher. Don’t overtax your core and abdominal muscles by forcing them to work at maximum efficiency starting from the very first day. Don’t start with every aspect of your new life – waist training, diet, and exercise routine – completed at 100% from day one.
Hour by Hour, Day by Day
Start by wearing your corset or cincher just a couple hours per day. At your own pace, gradually increase the time you’re spending cinched until you can comfortably go approximately 10 hours without experiencing any negative side effects.
If you plan to sleep in your waist trainer, do not attempt to do so until you can comfortably wear it for at least eight hours – the approximate length of time needed for a good night’s sleep.
While anywhere between 8 and 10 hours is considered the ideal time to keep your waist trainer on each day, going over that amount has been shown to not provide any significant additional benefits. In fact, keeping the trainer on for too long can lead to itchiness, discomfort, irritation of the skin, and even pain or bruising.
What does this mean for your routine? If you’re planning to wear your waist trainer during a standard 8-hour workday, don’t also sleep in it that night. And vice versa – if you’re sleeping in your corset, there’s no need to bring it with you to work. On days you work out in your trainer, keep your cinched hours even shorter (absolutely no more than 8 hours), as your muscles will be working twice or even three times as hard while at the gym or out for a run.
Introduce the other elements of your routine slowly as well. At first, take your corset off for meals – choose healthy foods, but eat them normally at the times of day which you usually would. Gradually transition to eating a few smaller meals spaced throughout the day.
Once you feel comfortable with that, add in the waist trainer during meal times to keep your appetite low and prevent overeating. (See here for ways to keep yourself on track for a healthy diet even if you can’t or aren’t ready to eat while cinched or corseted.)
If you choose to eat while corseted, stay away from foods which can cause unnecessary bloating such as refined carbs or sugary, fatty snacks. Bloating can strain the garment and temporarily – or even permanently – lessen its waist-narrowing effects. If you’ve got your trainer on over your clothes, avoid foods which can spill and leave unsightly stains – though see here for information on what to do if a spill does accidentally occur.
In regards to exercise, you can continue un-cinched workouts as normal even during the early days of your waist training routine. If your waist training routine exclusively involves stiff, rigid corsets, you might stay at this step indefinitely – do not add waist training garments to your exercise sessions unless you own one suited for such a purpose. Corsets will bend, warp and lose their aesthetic appeal after only a single strength training workout; for accompanying you to the gym, stick to cinchers, trimming belts and sufficiently elastic butt lifters.
If you plan to add a latex cincher or waist trimming belt to your exercise sessions, wait until you can comfortably wear it for approximately 4-5 hours at a time before doing so. (Even though your average workout will likely last only between 30 minutes and an hour, your muscles will be working harder than ever before, so you’ll actually be experiencing the effects of 3, 4 or even 5 hours of normal training during each trip to the gym!)
Don’t dive right into weightlifting or an intense set of ab exercises, either. Start out by trying some light cardio – such as a walk outside or a jog on the treadmill – while wearing your waist trainer.
Once you can comfortably do that, and have ensured that you do not experience any negative side effects such as dizziness or shortness of breath while exercising, it’s time to add the strength training. Either at the gym or at home, start with a few reps of exercises focused on the obliques and transverse abdominal muscles such as planks, leg lifts, or twists. (See here and here for some specific example exercises which pair well with your favorite cincher.) Gradually increase the number of reps each workout as your core and abdomen start to reap noticeable results.
Even once you’re totally comfortable working out in your cincher, there are certain types of exercises which you should continue to avoid. Anything which requires excessive bending of the torso, such as sit-ups or crunches, can damage your waist trainer in no time. Keep your cincher out of the pool as well – harsh chemicals such as chlorine can have similar wearing-down effects even on waist trainers advertised as “waterproof”.
Give Yourself a Break
Always remember to take the occasional day of rest. When starting out, pick one day a week to remain completely un-corseted all day and all night. (Our Get Waisted staff recommends picking a weekend for ultimate relaxation!)
Even when you’ve worked your way up to full intensity, give yourself regular days off. We suggest you keep sticking to once a week – and no less often than once every two weeks. Keeping your amazing body healthy is just as important as getting that gorgeous hourglass waist!
If you feel any pain, discomfort, dizziness, or shortness of breath at any time, remove your waist trainer immediately and keep it off for at least a full day. If you feel any rubbing or itching sensations or notice red marks on your skin, check that the trainer is fitting your properly and not riding up or down during the day. (Remember, as your waist thins out, you’ll start being able to wear it tighter – so frequent adjustments might be necessary throughout the process!)
Other Helpful Advice
Don’t despair if your trainer suddenly starts fitting less perfectly after a couple weeks. This means that what you’re doing is working! If you experience particularly dramatic weight loss, you may need to purchase a smaller, more narrow cincher or corset in order to continue your training routine. If that’s the case, visit our catalog here to explore tons of great options!
With the right amount of hard work and dedication, you should be starting to approach your goal weight and waist size after approximately six to eight weeks of training. If you wish to continue the routine in order to maintain your current waist, take several days to a week off before continuing. See our handy guide here for ways to keep yourself looking and feeling great during these “off-seasons”.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, comfort, or whether or not waist training is right for you, talk to your doctor. If you are pregnant, have recently given birth or are planning to become pregnant in the near future, you may also wish to consult a specialist before starting your training program.
Waist trainers are not recommended for children and young adults whose bodies – and particularly muscles – have not yet completed their development. If you are 20 or under and wish to get into waist training, try starting out with a workout-only cincher or trimming belt rather than full-day corseting.
Example “Break-in” Period
Everyone’s ideal timeline for getting adjusted to each new waist training garment is going to be slightly different. Don’t despair if you feel like you need to move slower than your friends or your trainer or the various celebrities Instagramming their routines.
Depending on your unique body, working your way up to the recommended 8-10 hours of corseting per day might take anywhere from a week to 6-7 weeks – or approximately a month and a half. Listen to your body, go at your own pace and remember that whatever’s right for YOU is the right answer!
However, if you’re not quite sure how to get started, feel free to take the schedule presented below and adjust it to fit your unique needs. This schedule is an “average” example compiled from interviewing various members of the Get Waisted staff about their favored routines. (For more scheduling goodness, see here for an example week of workouts, also inspired by our fantastic staff!)
- WEEK 1 – 1-2 hours of waist training per day. Do not wear your trainer during meals or while asleep. Exercise as much as you want, but leave the cincher or trimming belt at home. Pick one day, ideally a weekend, and designate it as a day of rest during which you do not wear your waist trainer.
- WEEK 2 – 3-5 hours of waist training per day. Try to eat at least one meal per day while corseted or cinched. Towards the end of the week, try out some light cardio workouts, such as running or jogging, while wearing a neoprene trimming belt or latex cincher. Pick one day, ideally a weekend, and designate it as a day of rest during which you do not wear your waist trainer.
- WEEK 3 – 6-8 hours of waist training per day, including all mealtimes. Do at least one cardio workout and one strength training workout while cinched. Focus your strength training on the core and abdominal muscles compressed by the cincher. If you wish to try sleeping one or two nights this week in your cincher, you may do so. Your choice whether or not you include a day of rest this week.
- WEEK 4 – Congratulations! You’ve done it! Proudly show off that waist trainer 8-10 hours per day, or have it accompany your beauty sleep if that’s what you prefer. Work out between 3 and 5 times this week, wearing your cincher as many times as possible. Try to strike an even balance between strength training and cardio. Definitely take a day of rest at the end of this week – you’ve earned it!
- WEEKS 5-8 – Stay consistent! Keep going with 8-10 hours per day, interspersed with regular workouts. Eat small, healthy meals and focus on getting plenty of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Take a day of rest either every week or every other week – but no less frequently than that.
So there you have it! Follow the tips and advice provided in this article, and we can practically guarantee that you can beat the irritability, grumpiness and periods of low energy which a less prepared waist trainer might expect to experience early in their routine. With your unbeatable work ethic and killer willpower, you’ll be needing a smaller waist trainer in no time – so visit our catalog here when you do!
Feel like there’s something missing in this guide? Got any favorite tips to share with waist training newbies? Feel free to contact us here at any time – at Get Waisted, there’s absolutely nothing we love more than hearing from our satisfied customers!