Q:  " I understand that in a short waisted person the distance between the ribcage and pelvis is less. > My question is, why?  Is it because in a short waisted person the ribs are longer and come further down to the pelvis, or the vertebrae
between ribs and pelvis are thinner or the pelvis is longer and rises further up to meet the ribs?" --- Linda (9/20/05)

A: In light boned individuals, the ribcage tends to have a narrow angle in front and the ribs "hang down". Although this reduces the pelvis to lower rib distance somewhat, the stance has an effect as well. By arching in the back, the distance increases again, meaning a slouching person will make him or herself shorter waisted as well, but there are true physical differences (types) as you indicate.

On one end is the heavy bone structure with wider pelvis, shoulder and ribcage and proportionally "shorter waist"; on the other end is the slender build with thinner bones and narrow vs. tall proportions and "long waisted". The basic bone structure build is genetically predisposed, but weight gain over time can skew this somewhat.

In summary, the short waisted person, depending on body build, may have less space between the ribs and pelvis, but has a lower height/width ratio compared to a slender bone structured individual. Not just the height by itself!  It is the ratio that defines the type, although it is difficult to normalize height, weight and body build. The garment industry has always used "slight, average and heavy build", then and then height. Just using height and weight is not sufficient to bring out the actual height/width ratio, as is usually done for simplicity sake.

Relating this to predisposition for figure training is part of this as well, as lengthening the waist is also a function of pelvic tilt, as was used with the S-curve. Although the ribcage can be moved inward by pressing in the sides, the
lower ribs can also be be moved forward at the same time and then brought together further, while arching the back. This increases the region over which the figure can be trained (lengthening the waist). It bends the body backwards
by making the front longer, with the spine holding the back fixed in length.  This allows for waist reduction with modest compression and is the basic idea behind a straight front corset.  It was initially meant to reduce the inward abdominal pressure and then it was found that it allowed for further waist reduction. This type of waist lengthening can at least increase the waist length appearance in a short waisted person, as the waist in back will still be short in proportion to the overall width.

Then separate is the pelvic - rib distance in the male vs. female, with the lower broader female pelvis giving a larger space. This is then the fourth parameter! Giving this many variables, it makes it clear how important custom fitting is
for a corset or brace!

9/20/03) -56

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