Matt Edwards

Associate Professor of Voice, Shenandoah Conservatory Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute

Mix it up Monday: The Waist Trimmer Belt

CCM Bannder no dateswaist-trimmer-beltWaist trimmer belts are sold as a weight loss tool in the fitness section of most big box retailers (order one here). The theory is that when wrapped tightly around the waist, the belt will cause an increase in body temperature beneath the elastic, which causes stomach fat to “melt away.” Although these belts probably do not perform as marketed, they are quite beneficial for respiratory training.

In the past it was not unusual for a teacher to place her hands on the student to help him feel where to expand when breathing. However, today many are hesitant to place their hands on a student at all out of fear that the touch will be misinterpreted. I’ve always thought if you can use a prop instead of your hands, it is better for all involved. That’s why I like the waist trimmer belt.

The belt allows the teacher to instruct without physically touching the student. If you have the student buy her own belt, she will drastically improve her practice of breath management outside of the lesson. There is no “correct” location for the belt; feel free to move it to wherever you want the student to feel expansion. If you want to train him to “resist the collapse” instruct him to keep the belt expanded. The elastic recoil of the belt will help him self-monitor more effectively than using imagery alone.

Do you have other props similar to the waist trimmer belt? If so, leave a comment in the section below. Also be sure to follow the blog (if you are not already) by entering your email address at the bottom right of this page. As always, thanks for reading and have a great week! ~Matt

7 comments on “Mix it up Monday: The Waist Trimmer Belt

  1. KateHVsings
    November 28, 2016

    Good post Matt! I use stretchy yoga straps for the same purpose. They come in varying thicknesses (and widths) so I can choose the right one for each student.


  2. Katharina Rössner-Stütz
    November 28, 2016

    I use what we call Theraband here in Germany. Same principle, but very inexpensive. Maybe it is the same as the yoga straps – not sure!


  3. Dr Daniel K. Robinson
    November 28, 2016

    Nice idea! As a male teacher, I have a ‘no touch’ policy in my studio, so these kinds of ‘tactile response’ tools are excellent!


  4. Mary-Tyler Upshaw
    January 30, 2017

    There is some interesting research coming from Portugal, about post partum women and the use of these belts to help abdominal muscles.


  5. Pingback: Mix it up Monday: Balancing breath and tone with lip trills | Matthew Edwards

  6. Cleia Luna
    January 12, 2018

    I had a student whose rib cage massively collapsed in the onset and we could not correct it after trying several exercises, including using her own hands…and I just came with the idea of using her shoe lace (we made a knot at max expansion size and she had to not let it fall). Worked wonderfully!!!


  7. Pingback: Mix it up Monday: Richard Miller’s thoughts on addressing a shaky jaw | Matthew Edwards

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2016 by in Misc. Thoughts.

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