Every person is born with a certain type of body, based on their body composition and skeletal frame. If you have ever wondered or noticed how not everyone’s body looks the same, but there are often similarities – this is the reason for it.
But how much do you actually know about your body type? Or the different body types for that matter?
There are, in fact, classifiers for the body types we have – health professionals came up with classifications for the different types of body to understand them better. And here’s the good news – this knowledge isn’t just the domain of experts, the information is now at our fingertips.
Read on to learn more about the different body types.
Here is the basic idea behind body types – everyone falls into one of the three body types (see below), and people with different body types get affected differently by things like exercise, food, etc.
One important thing to note is the fact that not everyone fits clearly into one of the three types – often there are overlaps, and most people will have body types which are combinations of two body types. We will expand on this below.
The concept of body type, or somatotypes, was introduced by in the 1940s by William H. Sheldon, Ph.D., MD.
Since then health professionals have been using the concept to design health, nutrition and fitness plans.
Types of body
There are three main body types:
- Ectomorph: People with ectomorphic body types have long and lean bodies – think swimmers.
- Endomorph: People with endomorphic body types are usually heaviest of the three types and are heavier and rounder than the other types.
- Mesomorph: Mesomorphic body types are usually neither overweight nor underweight – most bodybuilders usually fit into this type.
Here are the main characteristics of the different body types.
- Flat chest
- Small shoulders
- Lean muscle mass
- Fast metabolism
- Relatively hard to put on muscles
- Round physique
- Soft body
- Generally stocky and short
- Relatively slow metabolism
- Harder to lose fat
- Puts on muscle, and fat, easily
- Athletic, V-shaped body
- Wide shoulders
- Thick skin
- Low body fat
- Large musculature
- Sheds fat relatively easily
- Puts on muscles relatively easily
Here are some famous examples of different body types:
- Ectomorph: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Bruce Lee, etc.
- Endomorph: Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Melissa McCarthy, etc.
- Mesomorph: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Halle Berry, Mark Wahlberg, etc.
How to figure out what type of body you have
Here are some simple tips and questions to figure out what body type your body is:
- Ectomorph: Does your body fit more into the long and lean type? Then your body is ectomorph type.
- Endomorph: If your body, especially the middle part, is more round than rectangular than you are very likely an endomorph.
- Mesomorph: Are your shoulders broader than your hips? If your upper body is more V-shaped than O or U shaped than mesomorph is your body type.
- Endo-ectomorph: If your body is more round around the middle (apple-shaped) with a comparatively thinner lower body, then your body type fits into the endo-ectomorph combo type.
- Ecto-endomorph: Do you have a pear-shaped body – with a thinner upper body and more fat in the hips and thighs? Then your body type fits into the eco-endomorph combo.
For a visual example, here’s an image of what the three body types look like.
Need more information? Check out this video:
Best workout by body type
So now that you have a good idea about your body type, how can you design a workout plan that will work best for your type?
Here are some tips on the type of workouts that work best for the different body types:
- Ectomorph: Short, intense workouts (like HIIT workouts) work best for ectomorphs. Focus on the bigger muscle groups.
- Endomorph: It’s important to watch calorie intake as endomorphs put on weight easily. Best workout plans include both weight training and cardio training.
- Mesomorph: Mesomorphs respond best to weight training.
Understanding your body type can make it easier for you to come up with exercise and diet plans that are more effective for your individual body type.
This can be a valuable tool in your health toolbox, as this knowledge will help you develop plans that are individual to you, rather than adopting one-size-fits-all type plans which might not be the most effective for your body type.
So it is really useful information to have.
What is your body type?
Let us know in the comments what you think and if you have any additional tips. It is always good to hear from our readers.
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