As women, it is so common to want to have a tiny, feminine waist, and sometimes that desire for perfection causes us to go to great lengths to achieve what we believe is “perfection.” All it takes is a quick scroll through Instagram or a few minutes of TV surfing to find celebrities popping fad diet pills or cinching their waists with waist trainers as a quick fix to thinning out…but does any of this actually work? After recently posting some pics and videos of myself on social media in what may be confused as one of these popular waist trainers, I received several questions as to whether or not these devices actually work. So today I’m setting the record straight as to what I actually wear around my waist in the gym and whether or not waist trainers are the key to a tinier waist.

One of my favorite, must-have tools in the gym is a weight belt. While both men and women can wear a weight belt to support their spines and core during heavier lifting (which I totally recommend), I wear my weight belt for ALL of my lifting, and I actually cinch mine a bit tighter. This serves as a constant reminder to 1) keep my core nice and tight while I’m lifting, and 2) to pull my belly button back toward my spine, which is one of the best ways to train, stabilize, and protect your back and core muscles, especially if you have any post-baby ab separation issues.

While waist trainers might be a temporary way to get a tinier waist, unless they’re worn religiously—even daily—the results are not permanent. The only way to get that tinier waist is to eat properly and work out regularly. Cardio will help burn that layer of fat that’s hiding your dream waist, and strength training will help build those muscles, which will make your whole body look fit and trim—including your waist!

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