Choosing the right exercise for your body type may be the more effective way of achieving your weight loss or weight gain goals. Mr Lim Hun Teck, Principal Physiotherapist at Raffles Physiotherapy Centre, shares with us the recommended exercises for the different body types.
If you are slim in the belly area and have a wide bottom
This body type is sometimes called “pear shape”. You have full-bodied bottom and you need to tone your bottom and thigh areas.
The most ideal exercise that you need to do is jumping jacks which will usually give you heart-pumping cardio. You can start by doing three sets of 25 then slowly increase to three sets of 100 each day. However, take caution if you frequently experience knee pain, as this exercise may not be suitable for you. When it is not done correctly, it can worsen the pain or further injure your knees.
You can also add push-ups to your regime. Aim to do 3 sets of 10 each day. This will add definition, shape and tone to your arms.
The appropriate sports that you can do or join would be soccer or in-line skating.
If you have broad shoulders and slender legs
This is the opposite of the pear shape and is sometimes known as “cone shape”. You have broad or squared shoulders but you have got slender legs. The goal for this body shape is to build up the lower body to even out the body shape. Avoid doing cardio that will slim the legs. Resistance training should focus on the lower body.
The stepper is a good form of cardio to burn calories and add thickness to the legs. The treadmill on an incline is also good, but it is best to avoid the elliptical machine, as it will lean the legs up too much. Focus on quality leg training. Basic power movements should compose the bulk of your leg training, such as squats, leg presses and stiff deadlifts. Shaping exercises such as extensions and lunges are a good finisher for legs.
Tennis is an ideal sports for your body type.
If you have a narrow waistline, and wide or curvy hips and chest (hourglass)
This shape is otherwise known as an hourglass, and is more common amongst women than man.
Jumping rope is an appropriate exercise to get you toned all over. You can start doing 50 rotations then slowly work it up until you reach about 250 to 300.
You can also engage in swimming or dancing as they will give your body the toning it needs.
Some people may not fit into any of the above categories. Regardless of body shapes, the basic principles still apply. The combination of regular exercise, light weights or resistance training and a healthy, low fat diet will deliver long term and lasting results.
If you have a generally even body proportion
You are evenly proportioned but you may have a prominent belly, this is known as the ruler shape. Other than that belly, you are already in good shape so all you need is to tone evenly.
Running is the ideal exercise for you. This will keep your build lean. Sit-ups for the strengthening of your abs may also be suitable. Try doing 3 sets of 20 each day if you can.
The ideal sports for you will be volleyball and basketball.
What if I want to gain weight, instead of losing weight?
Here are a few exercises you can incorporate into your regime:
Bench Press – Bench press targets your chest (inner and outer), your shoulders, your triceps and your forearms to a lesser extent.
Your chest itself is a combination of many muscle groups, which contains one of the largest ones in the body. This is one of the best exercises to go with if you want to gain weight. For even better results, perform some modifications of bench press, such as the incline bench press.
Squats – Targeting your calves, quadriceps, and parts of the back, this is another great exercise. The muscles in the legs are some of the largest muscles, so even though the total number of muscles in the legs in not as high as some other zones, the gains that you will see in your weight will easily rival other exercises. If you’re really serious about wanting to gain weight, this will quickly become one of your favourite exercises.
Crunches– Many people tend to neglect strengthening the abdominal muscles while trying to gain weight through exercises. Crunches are a good way to start. Make sure you stretch your lower back before and after doing them.
(Source: Raffles Medical Group)