What is a waist trainer, does it work, and are they safe?

It's the hourglass shaped trend that is sweeping Hollywood, with Kim Kardashian, Christina Milian and Beyonce all reportedly hooked.

kerry-katona-beyonce-kim-waist

by Jessica Anais Rach |

But what is a waist trainer and how does it work?

What is a waist trainer?

A waist trainer is a modern version of the corset, a device which came to prominence during Victorian times.

How does it work?

The practice involves wearing the 'trainer' for hours at a time- some wear it to bed or during a work-out- to decrease the size of your waist permanently over time.

Model and Kim K's BFF Black Chyna displays her gym waist trainer on instagram

Does it work?

Celebrities such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Christina Milian and model Blac Chyna swear by the practice.

Jessica Alba has said she wore a double corset 'day and night' for three months, describing it as 'sweaty but worth it'.

However not everyone is convinced.

The dangers?

They say beauty is pain but is this device taking it too far?

Apart from the possibility of fainting, there are also reports it can bruise and damage internal organs.

“Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine.

"Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape. It’s also uncomfortable, restricts your movements, and if you wear it really tight, it can even make it difficult to breathe and theoretically could cause rib damage.”

Khloe Kardashian shares her impressive figure, which she says is partly thanks to her waist trainer

The alternative

With waist-cinching being a costly and potentially dangerous exercise, why not try daily bursts of exercises to get that hourglass shape?

Side leg raises, hip raises and squat kicks all build up the muscles around the hips, and sit-ups, the plank and skipping will help tone your waist.

Marliyn Monroe eat your heart out.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us