The waist training controversy…

Today I want to talk about a “fitness fad” that is happening right now, that is actually a throwback to Victorian times…WAIST TRAINING or cinching or corseting. I will start off by saying I am completely against this and pretty much any other fitness fad that is unhealthy, unrealistic, or dangerous. The human body comes with an internal corset of muscles called the TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS or TVAs. These muscle are deep in the body and provide shape, support and strength for the entire core and trunk. These muscles are necessary for total body strength and health, as well as for proper posture, alignment, stability and spine mobility. What waist training is doing is restricting the use of those super important muscles by squeezing the torso tightly whereby you can not engage them yourself. The effect being a seemingly smaller waist…but a totally weak core and with that the potential for injury to your back. I am reading all of these articles about Jessica Alba and the Kardashians wearing corsets after having babies to quickly bounce back to an even tighter middle than before having babies. It’s CRAZY. ‘

These celebrities are paid millions of dollars in endorsements and royalties to wear these products and promote them, whether they are healthy or not! They also have the money to hire chefs and nutritionists and trainers to make sure they get back to pre-baby body as quickly as possible, regardless of how unhealthy it may be. It is a temporary fix and they are not telling you the whole story. You should not wear a waist trainer while exercising or sleeping…but so many women are. This is dangerous.


You need to be able to engage your own muscles while lifting weights or running or whatever form of exercise you choose. You need to create strength not weakness. It is not a support to wear a corset. It is restrictive to your breathing and to your body’s natural movements. I know I am standing on a soapbox, but as a professional in the fitness industry, I can not stand by silently. This is not opinion. This is physiological fact. The other issue is that these products proclaim that they help to burn belly fat. I’m sorry to tell you, but You can not spot reduce fat. If you have fat around your midsection and you wear a waist trainer, all you are doing is pushing that fat up and down…exercise and a healthy diet reduces fat all over the body!

You may sweat a lot in the area you are squeezing with a corset, but all you are losing is water, not fat. Body shape is determined mainly by genetics. If you don’t have an hourglass figure, it’s not likely you will get one naturally. To get the physique you long for, it takes hard work and dedication to a fitness regimen and a healthy balanced diet…not a magic pill or a magic corset. There is no “quick fix” that actually works for the long term. These fads come and go, but what has stayed tried and true is healthy eating and consistent exercise…it might take longer and may be more difficult, but that is what works!

Vanessa Lynn Campos is mom to 2 boys, Kai and Rocky.  Her interest in fitness began at age 15, having been a dancer, cheerleader and soccer player.  She studied dance at Beijing Dance Academy in Beijing, China and the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place in England. Her professional opportunities also included working with internationally acclaimed dance photographer, Lois Greenfield, who featured Vanessa in her 2007, 2008, and 2013 calendars.  Her professional fitness career began in NYC in 2002.

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