If your new year resolution for 2023 is to start getting physically active or incorporating exercise into your routine, you should start by identifying your body type. Many people have made the mistake of choosing grueling workouts or hitting the gym every day, only to find that it isn’t making any difference. Why? Because they are not considering their bodies’ natural capabilities.
Every individual is different, and to reach your fitness goals, you need to customize your fitness and diet plan according to your body type.
Why Is Body Type Important?
Before we delve deep into the main topic, let’s discuss why your body type is important when choosing an athletic sport or exercise routine. According to research conducted in 2021, morphological features play a critical role in sports’ accomplishments. For example, when an athlete is being considered for a sport, their physical characteristics must fit the model somatic pattern for that specific sport.
Your body composition provides a foundation for improving movement technique and particular physical fitness. Body type assessment consists of a somatotype assessment based on the relationship between body fat and lean body content, reciprocal ponderal index, muscular development and skeleton robustness. Somatotypes provide complete information about the morphology and features of the body. According to this assessment, there are three main body types.
What Are the Three Main Body Types?
Typical characteristics include:
- Wider body
- Slower metabolism
- Heavier bone structure
- Better strength
Endomorphs are individuals that can gain weight easily but have a harder time losing it. They have lots of muscles and body fat and a wider body structure than other types, such as wider hips, waist and shorter limbs. Although, their increased muscle mass gives them extra strength and stamina to do hardcore workouts or hold postures for longer periods.
Typical characteristics include:
- Narrow and delicate frame
- Struggles to gain muscle
- Faster metabolism
- Longer and leaner
Ectomorphs are individuals with leaner and longer body frames. They have a faster metabolism than other body types and struggle to gain weight or muscle, which is their ultimate fitness goal. Even if they gain weight, they look thinner, especially in their limbs. Their faster metabolism ensures they stave off fat from accumulating in the body.
Typical characteristics include:
- Well-defined muscles
- They can be lean or muscular
- Small joints, long limbs
Mesomorphs are a combination of both ectomorphs and endomorphs. They can gain and lose weight without extra effort and eat whatever they want without worrying too much. They tend to have a narrow waist, broad shoulders, and round muscle bellies.
Aside from these three, there are typical combinations of body types, such as:
- Ecto-endomorphs – they are pear-shaped with thin, delicate upper bodies and high-fat storage in the hips and thighs,
- Endo-ectomorphs – they are apple-shaped with high-fat storage in the mid-section and thin lower bodies.
Identifying your body type can give you an idea about the type of exercise or workout that will generate results within a specified timeframe. Remember, these findings are indicative and not conclusive. Individuals can also be a combination of two body types and, thus, should choose their exercise regime and diet accordingly.
Choosing the Right Type of Exercise According to Your Body Type
If you are an endomorph, you can include the following type of exercises or workouts in your routine. Try doing two to four sets of each exercise with a minimum of 15 reps.
Squats are perfect for this body type as it helps you work various muscles. Although there are multiple variations available, and you can choose according to your preference, we have defined the method for the basic squat below:
- Stand upright with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outward.
- Keep your back flat and your core engaged as you bend your knees and sit in a squat position, pushing your hips out. It’s best to go down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Ensure you inhale in a squat and exhale when returning to the initial position.
Pushups are another beneficial compound exercise for individuals with an endomorph body type.
- Lie down on the floor and keep your hands under your shoulder.
- By aligning your head and body, ensure your body is in a plank position.
- Slowly lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows. Stop a few inches above the ground. Then push yourself up while engaging your shoulders, legs and glutes and keeping your back straight.
SST (Steady State Training)
SST is a continuous and steady-effort cardio workout sustained longer than other workout types. It includes jogging, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, etc. These exercises increase aerobic fitness levels and improve heart efficiency, ensuring your muscles get adequate oxygen supply and recover easily.
Ectomorphs are lean and lanky and, thus, should consider strength training to build muscles and avoid injury as they progress in their fitness regime. Strength training exercises include pushups, squats, weight training, cardio and balance exercises.
Wight training is ideal for individuals that want to build muscle mass and strength. People should include heavy weights and focus on completing three to five sets of approximately eight to twelve reps for each muscle group.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT is a powerful aerobic cardio workout that works well with every type of exercise. HIIT can be defined as tough bouts of work interspersed with recovery periods. During work, you will push your body to the limit and, thus, can only sustain the exercise for a short period, such as 20 seconds. Moreover, you must give your body ample rest before starting the next reps.
HIIT can work with cardio and strength-based workouts, such as running, kettlebell swings, squats, pushups, etc.
Since mesomorphs are a combination of the two other body types, they have more leeway and options regarding types of exercises. These individuals tend to gain weight quickly and, thus, must include cardio in their workout routine. The ideal cardio session frequency should be three to five times weekly, for 30 to 45 minutes. You can reduce the number of sessions if you have less body fat.
You can also alternate between HIIT or steady-state training sessions according to your endurance levels and how quickly you want to achieve your fitness goals.
Weight training helps you build strength by using weights and providing stress to muscles to help them adapt. Limit your weight training sessions to 30 to 45 minutes, twice or thrice weekly, for best results.
Type of Exercise Based on Body Type – Will It Work?
Whether incorporating physical fitness into your routine to improve your mental health or weight loss/gain, finding your body type can help you reach your goal faster and easier. It provides a framework to build your exercise routine and pushes you in the right direction. Multiple types of exercises are suitable for different body types, find one that you enjoy, don’t push yourself too much, and set realistic goals. Good luck!
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