Can you still change the shape of your body?By Mitch Felipe Mendoza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
For years, I’ve been recording the weight and measurements of my clients, and I have found the types of exercises and weight-control strategies that work best based on genetic makeup, lifestyle, body type, shape and structure.
Learn about your body type and modify strategies to achieve your ideal weight.
Ectomorph: You are naturally thin, with a small frame. It is difficult for you to gain weight because your metabolism is high, but it is also hard to develop muscles. You need to exercise more, eat right and rest well so you can achieve a leaner physique. Focus more on resistance training and do cardio in moderation.
Endomorph: It is easier for you to gain weight, but hard for you to develop muscles. Engage in a moderate and well-balanced routine (cardio and weights) to maximize weight loss. Do not over-exercise so you avoid injuries and don’t overeat.
Mesomorph: You have a naturally lean and athletic body. You exert less effort to develop muscles. You also have a fast metabolism so you can effectively control your weight. Avoid lifting heavy weights if you don’t want to get bulky. Maintain a lean body by lifting moderate weights and being more consistent in your cardio workout.
Recognize and appreciate your body shape, and then apply appropriate strategies to improve it.
Pear: The width of your shoulders and chest/back is smaller than your hips. The difference between the hips and the waist is eight to 12 inches. Focus on exercises for the lower body instead of lifting heavy weights with less repetition.
Develop your back, shoulders and chest muscles by doing resistance training. For a cardio workout, choose an activity that will develop your upper body, such as swimming, and avoid exercises that will require heavy resistance for the thighs, such as cycling.
Apple: Fat is usually stored around the waist and the upper body. The difference between the hips and the waist is small, so the body lacks curves. You need to be consistent in lower body resistance training to develop more muscles in your buttocks and thighs. Use lighter weights for the upper body. Engage in fat-burning exercises like circuit training and running so you can lose more fat and therefore reduce waist measurement.
Straight or banana: Your chest/back, waist and hip width are almost the same. You can improve your body shape by consistently doing a full-body workout so you can develop more muscles in your upper and lower body. Make sure you do a well-balanced resistance and cardio workout during the week. You can vary your activities to stimulate different muscles to avoid an early plateau. Try running, badminton, swimming, cycling, dancing.
Hourglass: The width of your shoulders and chest/back is almost the same as your hips. The difference between the waist and the hips/chest is eight to 12 inches. You can maintain this ideal figure by doing moderate full body resistance workouts and well-balanced cardio workouts that target all the muscles in your body.
Consider the structure of your spine. Aside from your body shape and your body type, it is important to focus on improving your posture and design your workout according to the structure of your spine, so you can avoid injuries. If you have spinal problems, consult a doctor and consider specialized exercises that will strengthen your core (Pilates) and stretch the correct muscles in your body (yoga).
Round back: If you have a kyphotic/round back, you usually have a weak back and tight chest and shoulders. Do more exercise that will open up your chest and strengthen your back.
Arched low back: A lordotic or significantly arched lower back causes problems. You can strengthen your abdominals, buttocks and back thighs or hamstrings. Perform more exercises that require flexion of the torso and extension of the hips.
Straight back: If you have a straight back, you need to restore the natural curves of the spine. You need a balanced workout that focuses on mobilization and strengthening of the muscles around the spine.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mitchfelipe.