Know your body type

Friday, 23 March 2012

Know your bodyIf you’re a…

… Pear, you’re likely to have a larger lower body and smaller upper body. You probably find that your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and that you tend to gain weight below your waist. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs. Most pears are mesomorphs, which means you have a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique.
Women with this body shape tend to have extra fat deposited around the lower body, so try weight-bearing exercises that focus on your stomach, hips, thighs and butt, such as lunges, squats and sit-ups. Cardio wise, try high-intensity interval training to keep the weight off: run as fast as you can for as long as you can, then drop right down to a slow jog or walk, and repeat for 20 to 40 minutes, at least four times a week. When on a bike or rowing machine, try alternating 30 seconds of intense speed or resistance with 30 seconds of a slow speed or lighter resistance.

If you’re an…

… Hourglass, you’re probably the envy of all your friends. This is because hourglasses have well-proportioned upper and lower bodies, with a distinctively narrow waist. However, you may find that you tend to gain weight all over your body, particularly in your hips and chest area. Hourglasses tend to be endomorphs (solid and generally soft, prone to gaining weight) or mesomorphs.
Try two or three sessions per week of 20-minute interval training with a combination of running, cycling or rowing. You can also mix up the length of the intervals to keep your body guessing, such as two minutes on, one minute off, then 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off the next day.
As an hourglass, you want to keep your curves under control, so challenge your bottom half with weights work. Add dumbbells for extra weight when completing leg exercises like squats and lunges. Stick to lighter weights for your arms to create tone but not bulk. Good exercises for your upper body include push-ups and bench presses.

If you’re an…

… Apple, you’re probably a little bigger on the top half of your body than on the bottom half. You likely have slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside. The majority of apples are mesomorphs or endomorphs.
If you’re a beginner, try walking or cycling for at least half an hour on most days. Once you are ready to take it up a notch, try interval training such as running as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then slip back into a walk or slow jog for the next 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat.
Try to fit in three weight-based training sessions a week. A good combination to try is 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 lunges and 10 sit-ups. Rest for one minute and repeat three or four times.

If you’re a…

… Rectangle, you have a ‘ruler-shaped’ body, and tend towards being slim (woohoo!). You have no large difference between the size of your hips, waist and shoulders, and tend to put on weight in your stomach and backside, while maintaining slender arms and legs. Most rectangles are ectomorphs: narrow waiste, hips and shoulders, and low body fat.
If you’re fit, challenge yourself by mixing up your cardio routine on a regular basis. Try a combination of interval training, running, cycling and gym classes such as Zumba. Stick to light weights when resistance training (you don’t want to bulk up), and go for a full-body toning programme that encourages a more defined waist and shapely shoulders, hips and bottom. Top exercise choices are squats, lunges, push-ups, bench presses and ab exercises, such as the plank and sit-ups.

Written by

Rachel McGregor is a Cape Town journalist (and part-time narcissist) specialising in food, health and lifestyle-related features. In her spare time she loves to cook and poke fun at hipsters. Sometimes she dreams of giving it all up and becoming a millionaire.

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  1. Pseudo_kate

    I’m a rectangle for sure and agree with the workout suggestions since that’s what I do a lot of in bootcamp. The cool thing is that I’ve gained weight (muscle, yay!) so even though I have very little body fat, I am building lean muscle which looks great.

    4 years ago •

  1. Leana

    I used to think I’m a ruler, but then the older I got the more I think I changed to an hour glass… the metabolism aint what it used to be.

    5 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    This article makes it very easy to identify ones body type.

    5 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Nice workout tips for hourglass shape

    5 years ago •

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