Determining Your Body Shape and How to Make the Best of It
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and though people come in numerous shapes and sizes, the truth is that there’s no one ‘perfect’ body type. The three main categories: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph, each have different characteristics.
Let’s First Look at These Three Body Types in Detail:
Those who have an ectomorph body are slim and tall and have a problem gaining weight. Such individuals mostly have a narrow pelvis and hips and long limbs, along with a lower concentration of body fat and muscle mass.
Although this may sound like a dream, ectomorphs aren’t without their share of grievances. For starters, their small joints and bones make ectomorphs more prone to serious injuries. However, they do tend to have amazing endurance and often excel at cardiovascular exercise. Muscle toning or training is recommended to ectomorphs so that they can build muscle.
Endomorphs are curvy and tend to have hourglass figures, which mean most of their fat is distributed below the waist. These people put on weight easily, especially on the thighs, buttocks, and hips, and due to this, they are often referred to as ‘pear-shaped’.
Such individuals have relatively shorter limbs as compared to ectomorphs, and reasonably small to medium bones.
Although a majority of endomorphs are troubled by the tendency to gain weight, the fact is that they often veer toward being well-proportioned and sensuous as far as their frame is concerned. Male endomorphs, however, are at a higher risk of suffering from strokes, diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle conditions, because they are most likely to gain weight around the abdominal area.
Mesomorphs are muscular and the subject of envy for both ectomorphs and endomorphs. Their bodies are well-developed due to their strong muscles and bones. Such people often have well-formed shoulders and chests that are broader than the waistline, and their stomachs, calves, buttocks, and thighs are taut. Mesomorphs have huge pools of energy and can be highly athletic, thereby giving them the upper hand when it comes to evenly distributed fat storage.
Despite these obvious advantages, however, mesomorphs have the downside of being less flexible than the other two body types due to their (mostly) heavyset frames.
Determining Your Body Type
Before you get started, you must note that men and women usually ‘fit’ into certain body types. For example, men, most likely, fall in the cone-shaped, ruler-shaped, or apple-shaped categories. Women, on the other hand, commonly fit into the ruler-shaped, pear-shaped, hourglass-shaped, or apple-shaped categories.
You can get a rough estimate of your body type by looking in the mirror and gauging which category you are most likely to fit into. If you prefer to be more precise, you will need a measuring type to take your measurements. It would be preferable to have someone help you out with this.
Get started by measuring the middle of your chest. Always make it a point to breathe out fully before taking your measurements. Next, measure your waist just above the belly button area, and do the same with your hips (the widest point).
If you are bottom-heavy, you’re pear-shaped. A pear-shaped person often has a huge difference between chest and hip measurements. If you are apple-shaped, your waist will be significantly larger in proportion to your chest and hips. Hourglass-shaped people have almost identical hip and chest measurements and a narrow waist.
Ruler-shaped individuals have an almost negligible difference between their hips, waist, and chest, while cone-shaped people have hips that are just a few inches narrower than their chests.
Recommended Exercises for Body Types
Jumping rope, brisk walking or jogging, cycling at a moderate to fast pace, performing dead lifts, leg extensions, angled squats, and upper body workouts like tricep and bicep curls and kickbacks, front presses, etc. are recommended. On the other hand, exercises like running on an incline, cycling with high resistance (stationary bike), performing lunges and leg presses, and kickboxing should either be avoided or kept to a minimum.
Side leg lifts, push-ups and pull-ups, cycling with light resistance, and dips are recommended. Conversely, leg extensions and presses, spinning, skating, running at high speeds, and lunges and squats are better avoided.
Recommended workouts for ruler-shaped people include leg presses, squats, and lunges, stretching, spinning, all high resistance exercises, swimming, kickboxing, and sprinting. No particular exercise is best left avoided in this case.
Stair climbers, abdominal crunches, jumping rope, sit-ups, and lunges, squats, and presses would prove to be advantageous. Triceps workouts with moderate to heavy resistance and kickboxing that focuses on the upper body should be limited to a minimum.
The above is just an outline of how you can use your body type to tailor your exercise regimen to your need. Consult your trainer or dietician for tips and handy advice on what foods you can eat or avoid, and what routines you can try out in the long term towards fitness for your body type.
About the Author:
Peter Markovic is passionate about the benefits of simple healthy living and recommends one takes the required steps to a healthy life with proper exercise and nutrition. Follow him on Twitter