Depending upon your genetics, as well as your exercise routine and diet, your body shape may be quite different from those around you. Not everyone likes the body type or shape that they are born with, but there are ways to make the most of what you have. Here are some tips on how to identify your body type and shape as well as how to sculpt it with the best possible exercises.
There are six basic body types:
Each body frame carries weight differently and, therefore will pose different exercise challenges to the individual.
The 8 frame is considered the perfect body shape. It is often called the hourglass figure. For those of you lucky enough to have this naturally proportionate shape blessed with chest and hips of the same size and a waist ten inches smaller, your job is easy. You can perform any type of cardio which means you can vary your work out to keep from being bored. You should still include a regiment of resistance training at least twice weekly. Work all of the muscles of the body between the two days.
If you are 8 frame or an Hourglass
If you are have an hourglass figure, then you should be focusing on both cardio and resistance exercises. Cardio will assist in keeping your weight in check, while resistance exercises will help to maintain balance between your upper and lower body. Vary your repetitions and keep your resistance weights light so as not to build too much muscle mass. Here are some great exercises that you may want to try:
- slow jogging
- stationary biking (with light resistance)
- jumping jacks
- bicep curls, shoulder press, and squats
The A body shape is not quite as lucky as the 8 frame. This body type is thinner on the upper body and carries most of the body weight in the hips, thighs, and butt. This body shape wants to avoid doing cardio exercises that will increase the muscle size of the lower body. This means the stair climber is out unless you want to increase the spoon like figure proportions. Stick with the elliptical or the treadmillwithout an incline. Resistance training should target the upper body to even out the body shape. The bigger you make the upper body muscles, the smaller the lower body will appear.
If you are a A body type
If you are a A you will want to focus on exercises that will balance out the top half of your body with the bottom half of your body. You will also want to try to thin down your lower half. To achieve this, focus on aerobic activities that work out your lower body, and resistance exercises that will build your upper body. Use light weights and perform high repetitions of exercises. Some great activities include:
- cycling (with low resistance)
- elliptical training (See Elliptical Machine Reviews)
- jumping rope
- leg lifts and dips
- push ups, chin ups, and shoulder press
Cardio – 3 times per week (30 min) of low intensity exercise
Weights- 3 times per week working the whole body and combining light and heavy weights
The H frame body shape has a larger waist and shoulders. People with this type of body want to concentrate on minimizing the waist. The cardio choices for this body include the treadmill with an incline and the stepper. Resistance training should concentrate on the lower body. Squats and leg presses are great resistance exercises for the H body shape.
Try doing squats, leg press and stiff dead lifts composing a bulk of your training. You can use extensions and lunges as finishers.
The V frame body also known as the “cone shape” has shoulders measuring at least two inches more than the hips. This body shape is usually bigger up top and smaller on the bottom. The goal for this body shape is to build up the lower body to even out the body shape. For cardio, the stepper is a good way to burn fat while increasing the muscle tone in the legs. Avoid doing cardio that will slim the legs. As with the H frame, resistance training should focus on the lower body.
On the other hand if you want your back to be more pronounced train back muscles for thickness as well as width. Many back exercises develop the rear deltoids and the trapezius which are very important to getting that ‘V’. When your back is thick, you are bound to look powerful and with the width, it will make your waist look narrower, thus making the ‘V’ more pronounced. Try bar-bell row and deadlifts for a thick and powerful back. Chin-ups and push-ups done in a slow controlled motion will provide you the width or more commonly called ‘wings’.
The Ruler body shape is usually equally thin from bottom to top. A person with this body shape has difficulty adding weight and shape. The majority of exercise should be resistance training. Too much cardio will only further minimize the body. Focus on resistance exercises for the whole body evenly. Building muscles on the upper body and lower body will help bring out more shape.
If you are a ruler
Running is the ideal exercise for you. This will keep your build lean. You can do this for about half an hour. Sit-ups can also do well for you to strengthen your abs and maybe even that prominent belly look. You can do these 3 sets of 20 if you can. The ideal sports that you can engage to will be volleyball and basketball. These sports will involve your whole body and you can do this for also half an hour. Reaching and stretching before the game will do wonders on your upper body segment.
To ensure that you build a symmetrical body shape, all of the muscle groups should be emphasized and routinely given a workout. Focus on:
- step classes
- walking or jogging on an incline
- bench press and shoulder press
The apple/oval body shape is biggest in the middle, chest and stomach, but little in the arms and legs. This body shape wants to concentrate on cardio that will burn fat and build toned legs. The stepper and the treadmill on incline are great cardio to lose weight all over while still building some muscle tone on the legs. Resistance training should concentrate on the lower body, again to build tone in the legs.
If you are an Apple
If you are an apple, you will want to focus on aerobic training in order to slim down and lose body fat. By working on the lower half of your body, you can help balance out your chest and shoulders. Look to perform exercises that are low-resistance and involve low repetitions, such as:
The trick is, know your body shape and the exercises to use to sculpt the masterpiece.
Some women will not fit into any of these categories but the basic principles still apply. Regular exercise, light weights or resistance training and a healthy low fat diet will deliver lasting results over the long term.