We all know that diet and exercise, in moderation, and when used together as strategic tools, can help us lose weight, inches, and tone different parts of our body – but they can only go so far – and only if they body is primed for rigorous training.
For women trying to achieve the elusive hourglass look, or fit into certain vintage fashions, there are a few assessments to make before making drastic, irreversible choices.
Consider Possible Injuries
If we are suffering from any known or undiagnosed abdominal injury, it can be almost impossible, and dangerous, to attempt a full-throttle diet and fitness regime targeting the abs and other supporting muscles, and it won’t produce the desired results.
Consider first that 2/3 of mothers, and especially those who have experienced multiple pregnancies, have a muscle injury known as diastasis recti, a thinning of the abdominal wall that can make organs bulge and pooch out from lack of adequate support and cause back pain as well.
You can perform simple at-home tests to determine if you have diastasis recti, and then begin special training moves and exercises – avoiding traditional strengthening and jackknifing movements – to heal your injury. If you are interested in making drastic changes to your waistline, seek out abdominal exercises and other instructors trained in and familiar with abdominal healing exercises.
Paid courses and programs for those with diastasis recti are available (fit2be.us, TheTummyTeam.com, or programs promoting the “Tupler Technique.”) There is also a wealth of free information, tutorials, and videos that explain all about how to modify your movements and start your abdominal healing.
To learn more about diastasis recti, including how to check yourself at home and adapt your exercise routine and daily activities, start by viewing these free videos on Vimeo.
Post-healing Waist Training
For most women, healing their diastasis recti will elicit drastic improvements, reduce inches, and improve appearance – getting them closer to their desired look and fitness level – not to mention also giving added mobility and lessened pain. However, for some women additional waist training may be needed which is when body-shapers, waist cinchers, and corsets can come into play.
For challenging areas, once underlying injuries are healed, a waist cincher, bands, bodysuits, shapers and corsets are must-have items. It can be overwhelming at first to learn what the best styles may be for any particular need but it’s good to know that there are options less potentially life-threatening than Angelica Kenova’s drastic six-rib-removal surgery to achieve her otherworldly Jessica Rabbit-esque proportions and look.
There are a variety of shapes and styles of waist trainers to choose from with varying levels of difficulty of wear and use. Some corsets and body shapers are fairly flexible and easy to wear – causing minimal pain or discomfort, others can make more drastic changes to not only the placement of organs, but structure of bones as well.
It’s important to consider what level of commitment one is ready to make. Corseting, as many will tell you, is a lifestyle choice. Some of the changes that you may make to your body over time are permanent.