Body Shape

It’s useful to pay attention to your body shape while working on improving your health and fitness. Your natural body shape and type will affect the amount of body fat it is healthy for you to carry, and your body’s response to diet and exercise. You can work within the capabilities of your physical type, but you can’t change from one type to another, so instead it’s best to recognise your particular physical category and work to your particular strengths.

There are three main types of body shape:

Ectomorphs are tall and thin with long limbs, small bones and a narrow upper body. They are not naturally muscular. Ectomorph is the ideal physical type for good marathon runners.

Endomorphs tend to be rounder with wide hips and large bones and are prone to gaining weight, but are also physically strong. This is the ideal physiological type for shot-putters and hammer throwers.

Mesomorphs tend to be short with broad shoulders, average size with well-developed muscles. Their physiological type is ideal for sprinters.

Most people are a mixture of two body types so it’s useful to know your pattern and design a fitness regime around that. For instance, a meso-endomorph may have upper body strength but be prone to weight gain on the lower body. If you are aware of your physical type you can take it into account and work with your strengths and against your weaknesses.


Ectomorphs lose weight easily so should avoid hectic workouts.

Endomorphs put weight on easily so regular aerobic exercise will help you keep trim.

Mesomorphs find it easy to build muscle so only needs to lift light weights.