How to figure out your body shape

Metadescription: Good health is within reach – use our breakdown to figure out what your body shape and type is and tailor your diet and exercise regimes for your own needs.

There are three main body types – Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. Some people will be a combination of two but others will have the traits of just one type. There are a number of different factors that you need to take into consideration to figure out which body type is yours. It can help to know because it can also help you to plan your diet and exercise regimes.

Ectomorph – Most people who fall into this category are quite slim, with few curves. Some people who are ectomorph have some muscle definition. The bone structure is small and there are low levels of body fat, even without exercise or the use of a low-fat diet. The shoulders, chest and buttocks are usually small. The ectomorph tends to have longer arms and legs and they do find it hard to gain weight because they have a fast metabolism. They have a tendency to hyperactivity but building muscle is harder for them.

Mesomorph – A mesomorph is generally naturally slim and has a tendency to be muscular. The mesomorph has medium or large bones and joints. They are a strong shape with broader shoulders than the other shapes. Body fat is usually distributed quite evenly and they can lose weight quite easily thanks to an efficient metabolism. This type can gain muscle very easily and when they start an exercise regime it will show very quickly.

Endomorph – The endomorph tends to be a little more rounded. They can develop their muscle easily but most do not get to the stage of developing muscle. Like the mesomorph, the endomorph has medium to large bones and joints. The endomorph also has a tendency to gain weight easily and often has higher body fat levels. The endomorph has small shoulders and larger hips, giving a pear-shaped appearance. Those who fall into this category find it hard to keep body fat off due to a slow metabolic rate. The endomorph is more likely to suffer tiredness and fatigue.

These terms are often used by dieticians and exercise professionals when they assess your needs but you may also hear other terms being used when you consider how to figure out your body shape.
We have already mentioned that endomorphs tend to be pear-shaped, but this term is used generally to describe those who have larger hips and thighs and who are narrower at the shoulders.
There is also the hour glass shape, where the hips and bust are around the same size but with a narrower waist. Famous hour glass figures include Marilyn Monroe.
Apple shapes have hips that are narrower than their chests but that are around the same size as the shoulders.
The rectangular shape is one that is slim all over and is often referred to as a boyish figure, think of supermodels like Kate Moss.
Those with an inverted triangle body shape have wider shoulders and narrow hips.

These descriptions are very useful to have but if you want to know how to figure out your body shape you will need to have a little more information. For example, you could suffer the fatigue of the endomorph but have the tall shape of the ectomorph. Here are a few things to think about when you want to know how to figure out your body shape.

  1. Consider the metabolism
    Do you notice a weight gain if you eat the wrong things for a few days or if you have not done any exercise for a while? If you can lose the weight relatively easily just by making a few changes to your diet or your exercise routine then you will probably fall into the mesomorph category. Those who do not put on any weight are more likely to be an ectomorph, but you could also fall into the mesomorph category.
  2. Eating habits
    Consider your eating habits carefully and relate this to your appearance. Those who can eat a large number of calories and not put on any weight will fall into an ectomorph category. Those who eat a relatively small amount of calories and seem to be healthy and slim will fall into the mesomorph category. Endomorphs can eat a smaller amount of calories but still seem to be on the heavy side even with a great deal of effort to lose weight.
  3. Bone and joint size
    So how do you know what size your joints are? It isn’t just a case of looking at them and guessing! Use your thumb and middle finger to encircle your wrist. If the middle finger is able to overlap the thumb then you have the smaller bones and joints of the ectomorph. If the thumb and finger are just able to touch you fall into the mesomorph category. If they do not touch then you have the larger bones and joints of the endomorph.

Developing a great body shape can be done without worrying about what body type you are. You can lose weight and inches from problem areas provided you follow an adequate diet plan and exercise programme, although some people may find it takes a little longer than others. Those who are larger framed can still be a smaller dress size and look great in swimwear.

Remember that your body type could fall into more than one category so just because one description fits it does not mean that you should dismiss others out of hand. It could be that you find it hard to lose weight by dieting but that exercise is much more effective for you. Consider all the facts carefully before categorising your body shape.

If you still need a little more help all you have to do is a quick online search and use one of the many body shape calculators that there are. Keep in mind that they will not have all the features to give you a completely accurate assessment but they can give you an assessment that will form a starting point for you to work with.

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