Q: What sort of exercises are recommended for persons wearing corsets? Can you describe how to do them?. --Kathy (1/2/01)

A: If the corset is lightly or moderately laced, conventional abdominal and back exercises are sufficient. These can be performed without any equipment, and books with pictograms are available in abundance from the local library in the exercise section. 

Specifically, you want to target the vertical or longitudinal front abdominal muscles by partial sit-ups, which will strengthen the lower abdominal wall. The back muscles must be exercised as well to balance the strengthening of the abdominal muscles. It is difficult to describe the proper positions for these, and I'll have to refer you to the library exercise section for the pictograms.

For corsets that tightly constrict the ribcage, there will be benefit in performing old style rotation exercises that can combat any respiratory congestion that may occur. These you will probably not find in the library, as tightlacing is no longer common. To perform these, stretch the arms left and right and twist left/center/right/center, etc., with the upper body while in the corset, using the arms for momentum. Do so slowly initially, as your movement range may be limited. Gradually increase the range of rotation until the body begins to loosen.

Another excellent exercise, when tightlacing is practiced, is walking. I would avoid any exercise level that causes breathlessness, rather, simply adjust the level to the breathing capacity available. Over time, this will increase or restore lung capacity.

A daily pattern of about 15 to 30 minutes is recommended.


Q2: Could you give me advice on back exercises to strengthen my back as I have been corsetting since 2000.  I lace  23/7. --Ruan (7/25/04)

A2: A primary focus for back exercise for corset wearers should be maintenance of muscle tone and flexibility. This implies selecting endurance type exercises. I would recommend a daily involvement of three major muscle groups:
1. the main back muscles, contract, stretch and rotation
2. the internal back muscles, crunches
3. the abdominal groups, standing rotation, side to side bending, crunches, leg lifts

A daily pattern with a few minutes on each group, building to 20 minutes total, should be sufficient. If your intention is figure training, a custom corset is highly recommended. There should be no pressure spots, which will potentially irritate or even
injure the underlying muscle tissue. One particular area to watch for is muscle pain in the small of the back, usually in the tight waist area. It is a consequence of too much pressure in the waist over a small (2") region. Key is an even distribution of pressure over a larger (taller) region. The amount of pressure is not as significant, other than for comfort, as the even distribution of it.

(7/28/04)- 11

Return to Main Medical Advice Page

Return to LISA's Main Page