Diet and Exercise While Corset Training
It’s important when wearing a corset constantly to exercise properly and to eat correctly. Given that your stomach is constrained, you won’t be able to eat big meals so you’ll need to make sure you’re spacing out four or five mini meal times throughout your day. You’ll also find that while wearing your training corset, your movement is restricted and your lung capacity is lessened. This makes a lot of physical activities impractical while laced up, and as a result you will tend to get less exercise. Your core muscles will also not be getting the workout you’d naturally get from an un-corseted torso. You should therefore have an exercise plan (take your corset off to exercise, obviously) that incorporates cardio and core strengthening exercises. Jogging is a great form of exercise for a tight-lacer for example, as it’s a great all over cardiovascular workout (gets the heart rate up).
A big side effect of wearing a corset is a weakening of the muscles in your back and torso. The corset supports the upper body, taking the stress off of the core muscles responsible for holding the top half of your body upright. These muscles then weaken over time and so must be strengthened as part of a regular exercise routine. There are specific exercise positions that are great for strengthening these muscles. These are the ones I personally use to strengthen my core –
The Plank – Where you take up a press-up position with your arms & back straight, butt tucked in, stomach ‘engaged’ (read clenched), and hands and toes shoulder width apart supporting your weight. This one is a must in my opinion. It gets all your core muscles, back and front. This is the easy version –The harder version below can be a bit tough on the arms. I personally go with something in-between where I rest on my entire forearms; so everything from my hands to my elbows are in contact with the mat. I’ll hold this position for one minute, rest for a minute and repeat twice more.
The Boat – Lay on your back then lift your feet and shoulders off the ground like in the image below. You can put your arms behind your head if you like. I cheat and put my hands under my bum and only raise my head and shoulders off the ground and my legs a few inches off the floor. Find something that works for you.
The Superman Pose – Or ‘back extension prone’, which isn’t nearly as catchy. This one works your back muscles, which are just as important as your front ones to keep strong. If you only strengthen your stomach, then those muscles will get tighter and you’ll end up with a rounded back and shoulders. I had a personal trainer tell me to look at the muscle men at the gym; the ones hunched over like gorillas aren’t doing their back exercises, the ones standing up straight have got it right. So for this one, you lay on your front, arms outstretched above your head, and lift your arms and legs off the ground, hold, then put them back down and rest. I choose to keep my elbows bent and my hands by my ears and do 20 little pulses up and down, rest for a minute and repeat twice. You want to try to keep your head facing the mat, chin close to your chest. You get a better stretch than throwing your head back.
These are all great non-impact exercises that use gravity to work the muscles that wrap round your torso, so you can do ’em at home on a soft surface or carpet. You can ask your gym staff for more core and back exercises and they should easily be able to help you find some that suit you. If you’re scared of the gym, go on youtube, there are many more plus some great video workouts. These are just the ones I personally use, I’m a bit core obsessed so I do a lot of mini crunches on the large squishy air filled ball things as well ? technical term there. And every morning I sit on the edge of my bed and do my ‘cat lifts’ which again is a very technical term for leaning back slightly with your legs straight, gripping your fluffy but heavy cat doorstop between your feet and lifting it to waist height. So now you probably know more than you’d like to about my exercise routine but I think I’ve made my point that you need to fit it in somehow. Wake up 5 minutes early, roll out of bed and into plank position ?
When it comes to diet you’ll find that eating little and often is the best method, as large meals will make you feel uncomfortable and won’t do your digestive system any favors. Five mini meals rather than three a day is normal for someone on a waist training regime, it’s also easier to digest smaller meals; so less for your constrained stomach to moan about.
When out at a restaurant, you may feel the urge to clear your plate but don’t force yourself to eat – you won’t enjoy the food and you’ll suffer for it too. If eating more will make you uncomfortably full, put your knife and fork down, even if you’ve eaten less than half the plate. As always, listen to your body. And of course ask for a doggy bag; you’ll eat that later.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to eat your fruit and veg but make sure your balanced diet includes fibre and roughage. Under constraint your digestive system will slow down in terms of how quickly food passes through your system. Help it along with plenty of fibre or you’ll probably regret it later. Besides needing the nutrients, vegetables and fruit help too but a word of caution on eating fruit after other food stuffs – fruit takes about 30 minutes to digest, steak takes around 4 hours I believe. If you eat fruit after a meal it sits on top and ferments causing gas, a bloated feeling, and general unpleasantness that might not have been a big deal on an un-corseted stomach ?
Another thing to watch out for is cold drinks. A cold drink will trick your stomach into thinking it’s emptier than it really is (cold numbs, that’s why there’s always room for ice-cream) so avoid drinking too much with meals as it’ll wear off and you’ll get that ‘Oh dear I’ve eaten too much’ feeling that always seems to creep up on us. Now you know why.