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What Are Good Exercises for My Body Type?

written by: Janelle Martel • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/9/2011

Looking at body types can help us discover what sort of exercises will help us manage our weight. Knowing which type of exercise best suits you can help you meet and maintain your fitness faster and more easily.

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    Body Type and Weight Management

    Our body types determine how we’ll respond to training and nutrition. Influenced by both genetics, level of physical fitness, and diet, body types can help us determine the best exercises for weight management.

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    What Kind of Body Type Do I Have?

    The three basic body types are endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. While most people will fit into one of these three categories, others will ask themselves “what kind of body type do I have?" and realize that they are actually a combination of two body types.

    Endomorph

    The endomorph body type is very round, typically with an excess of abdominal fat. . Endomorph body type characteristics include:

    • Round body shape
    • Little muscle mass
    • Weight loss is difficult

    Mesomorph

    The mesomoprh body type is typically described as the “athletic type." A female mesomorph usually has an hourglass shape while a male mesomorph is described as having a ruler shape. Celebrity mesomorphs include Bruce Willis, Hugh Jackman, and Britney Spears. Mesomorph body type characteristics include:

    • Muscular bodies with large bones
    • A torso that narrows in at the waist
    • Gains muscle easily and burns fat easily

    Ectomorph

    The ectomorph body type is typically very skinny. Ectomorphs are people with long, lanky arms, legs, and fingers who never seem to be able to put on muscle. The cartoon character Olive Oil from “Popeye" is the classic example of an ectomorph. Ectomorphs

    • Are very lean
    • Tend to be tall and have long bones
    • Have a difficult time building muscle or gaining fat

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    What Are Good Exercises for my Body Type?

    If you are looking to combat your genetics, there are good exercises for your specific body type. While each individual really needs an exercise plan tailored to his or her needs, the following suggestions represent good exercises to help each body type manage his or her weight.

    Endomorphs looking for a more lean body shape should embark on fitness regimen heavy on cardio. Any sort of cardio activity from running, biking, and swimming to working out on an elliptical machine will do. Regular cardio exercise for a half hour a day four times per week will help the endomorph rev her metabolism and burn fat. Since building lean muscle also burns fat, endomorphs should also include weight training in their fitness plans. Along with a healthy diet, this plan will help an endomorph trim down.

    Since ectomorphs tend to want to gain weight, not lose it, their routines will differ. Good exercise for the ectomorph body type includes intense weight training workouts that will fatigue the muscles and then build them up. Diet will also be important to an ectomorph. If they want to put on weight, ectomorphs need to consume an excess of both carbs and protein. Consult a nutritionist to determine the amount of calories your body needs to gain weight.

    Mesomorphs, who seem to embody the best attributes of both ectomorphs and endomorphs, should maintain a healthy diet and get regular exercise to keep in the best condition. The biggest fitness obstacle for the mesomorph body type is their ability to easily shed fat. Mesomorphs generally need to stay on top of their fitness routines in order to stay in shape.

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