The Perfect Exercises for Your Body Type
Body types can be categorized according to shape or metabolism. Under metabolism, there are three categories – ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs. Meanwhile under shape are pear-shaped, apple-shaped, rectangular and hourglass shaped.
Some body types are hard-pressed to gain weight, which could be frustrating to people who are trying to put on some pounds. People belonging to this kind of category are referred to as ectomorphs. There are also those who have a difficult time losing weight, fat especially, but also have a propensity for gaining muscle—these are the endomorphs. Then there are those who seem to have everything. Lean and muscular, mesomorphs, automatically look as if they have been fit and athletic all their lives.
Body types may also be categorized according to shape. Pear shaped refers to people whose bodies are bottom heavy. They have small and lean upper bodies where the width of the shoulders is narrower than the width of the hips. Apple shaped people are the opposite, their upper bodies tend to be rounder and their bottoms and legs much smaller. Hourglass shaped people, usually women, have proportional shoulder and hip widths. Their waists also tend to be very slim. Rectangular shapes are lean and “skinny” all over, but have none of the strategically placed adipose tissue of the other body shapes.
Most ectomorphs stay skinny all their lives. This is because of their rapid metabolism. Seems like a great deal until you realize that one of the reasons they are so skinny is because they lose muscle just as fast as they lose fat. For an ectomorph to be truly fit and healthy they have to focus on workouts that improve muscle strength but do not involve a lot of muscle wastage.
Keep cardiovascular workout, which involves burning fat as well as muscle, to a minimum and focus on strength training. A 15-20 minute cardio workout before every strength training session should be enough.
Mesomorphs can do anything. No, really — they can. Their bodies are designed in such a way that just as long as they maintain a good baseline level of fitness they will never have to worry about being too skinny or being chubby. Their extremities are bound to look long and lean without much work and the strength of their torsos is enviable. Most mesomorphs, because of the natural athleticism of their bodies, gravitate towards sports and should use their athletic tendencies for fitness.
Endomorphs tend to be bigger and rounder that the two other body types. Unlike both the mesomorph and ectomorph, their metabolism tends to be slow. They are the most likely to pile on fat. The one great thing about endomorphs though is that they can pack on muscle pretty quickly. More muscle equals a higher basal metabolism which means that the more the endomorph tries, the easier it will be for this body type to achieve the body it wants. It is a great idea to balance cardiovascular activities and strength training to shed the fat while developing muscle. A workout routine consisting of low impact cardio like swimming paired with weight lifting 4-5 times per week should do the trick.
- PEAR SHAPED
Pear shaped bodies tend to be heavier on the bottom. They also tend to hold on to subcutaneous fat, which is not so bad because subcutaneous fat is far healthier than visceral fat, a.k.a. belly fat. For a workout routine with the most impact pear shaped persons should focus on the big muscle groups from the glutes down. Working these muscles will not only be targeting a problem area but the compound moves that tend to work these areas are also a great way to work the entire body. Some examples are weighted squats, donkey kicks, and lunges.
- APPLE SHAPED
Apple shaped bodies have more visceral than subcutaneous fat. This means that they lose weight much easier because visceral fat is easier to burn. However, they are also highly at risk for diabetes, hypertension and cardiac failure. To keep visceral fat down apple shapes should have a routine involving an hour of cardiovascular activity a day, 5-6 days a week, and 30 minutes of strength training everyday 2-3 times a week.
The best exercise for these skinny types is strength training. A lot of people with this body type are what you would call “skinny fat”. Meaning they look skinny on the outside but are actually mostly fat and no muscle. To keep healthy, rectangular shaped people should focus on activities that build muscle.
- HOURGLASS SHAPED
Symmetrical and curvy, the hourglass shape is envied by women and desired by men. However, these buxom beauties have a lot to look out for. They also tend to gain weight easily and if they are not careful they can also be at risk for some of the lifestyle diseases that apple shapes are prone to (diabetes, hypertension and cardiac failure).
Hourglass shaped bodies should focus on workouts that target their bellies (which is where they are mostly likely to deposit fat), along with whole body workouts. It is also ideal for this shape to gain muscle mass through strength training in order to develop faster metabolisms.
It is important to note that although body shapes and types matter with regards to fitness, you can always train your body to be a better version of itself. These types are meant as a guide or starting point for you, but how far you’re willing to take your body is always up to you.