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Every Body’s Different

Match your workout to your body type

By Micaela Whitworth

Women come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you’re shaped like a banana, apple, pear, or hourglass, understanding your body type can help you achieve a workout plan better suited to your individual figure.

Find Your Shape
APPLE: You may store excess body fat in your midsection and have broader shoulders compared to your narrow hips.
PEAR: You tend to carry extra weight in your lower body, which is featured by full hips and thighs, and you have a slim upper body in comparison.
BANANA: You have a slim and narrow figure (almost a rectangular type of frame) and have a hard time putting on muscle mass.
HOURGLASS: You have a narrow waist and an equally proportioned hip-to-bust ratio. You also tend to be more full figured with a higher overall body fat percentage that’s most visible in the arms, thighs and upper abdomen.

Apples
Apples need to focus on building lower body strength and size by using heavy weights and low reps in conjunction with an upper body and core workout using lighter weights and higher reps.
Strength Workout: Perform a lower-body circuit of deadlifts, barbell squats and dumbbell reverse lunges for 6-8 reps and repeat for 4-5 sets. Follow-up with a second circuit of bent over barbell rows, abdominal ball tucks, dumbbell chest flys, and reverse crunches for 12-15 reps and repeat the circuit 3 times. Perform the workout 3-4 times per week.
Cardio Workout: Perform cardio 2-4 times per week at 70-80% capacity for 25-45 minutes. Interval training using the treadmill and step machine are great apple-friendly cardio options.

Pears
Pears should focus workouts on building upper body strength and size in their back, chest and shoulders by using heavy weights and low reps. For lower body, they should focus on endurance training by lifting lighter weights and performing more repetitions.
Strength Workout: Perform an upper-body circuit of single arm dumbbell rows, dumbbell chest flys, and a dumbbell overhead press for 6-8 reps and repeat for 4-5 sets. Complement with a second circuit of walking lunges, abdominal ball pass, barbell squat and press, and straight abdominal leg lifts for 12-15 reps and repeat the circuit 3 times. Perform this workout 3-4 times per week.
Cardio Workout: Perform cardio 2-4 times per week at 70-80% capacity for 25-45 minutes. Pears should focus on speed and endurance and avoid using heavy resistance on cardio machines.

Bananas
Because of a Banana’s straight and narrow shape, the focus of their training should be on building lean muscle in their shoulders, legs and glutes by using heavy weights and low reps.
Strength Workout: Perform a full-body circuit of dumbbell deadlifts, seated rows, barbell squats and barbell presses for 6-8 reps and repeat for 4-5 sets. Complement this with a second circuit of walking lunges, push-ups, dumbbell step-ups, and planks for 6-8 reps and repeat for 3 sets. Perform this workout 3-4 times per week.
Cardio Workout: Perform high intensity interval training 2 times per week for 15-20 minutes.

Hourglass
Hourglasses should place an emphasis on training their arms, thighs, and abdomen with full body circuit training using moderate weight and high reps.
Strength Workout: Perform a full-body circuit of alternating lunges, push-ups, dumbbell squats, bent over barbell rows, and crunches for 12-15 reps and repeat for 3 sets. Perform this workout 3 times per week.
Cardio Workout: Perform cardio 2-4 times per week at 70-80% capacity for 25-45 minutes. The hourglass should avoid using heavy resistance on cardio equipment and place an emphasis on speed.

Micaela Whitworth is a personal trainer and certified medical exercise specialist. Catch Micaela extol the virtues of physical fitness on Montreal’s Global TV news affiliate.

Summer 2014, Vol 6 N°3

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