You can shape a curvy body regardless of your body type! I will discuss various training techniques for different womens’ body types. Keep in mind that you probably are a combination of any of the following 4 types. So don’t worry, just do the hard work based on your body type (and follow your meal plan).
Jump training (plyometrics) and other high-speed exercises can be incorporated into any workout for all body types. Plyometrics and high-speed training will give your body better definition and give you faster results. That is why athletes’ bodies are so well defined. Good jump training exercises are squat jumps, pike jumps, depth jumps, jump rope and box jumps.
Also, sprinting is one of the best body sculptor exercises available. Avoid long, steady-state cardio sessions (defined as 40 minutes or more) unless you are a beginner or recovering from illness or injuries. Too much slow, long, steady-state cardio has been shown to waste away your valuable muscle mass.
Body types for women can be broken down into 4 basic types. Keep in mind that every woman needs to do core exercises like planks, ab ball curl ups, leg raises, back extensions, trunk rotations, medicine ball chops and bridges regardless of body type. And, sprint interval cardio sessions (20 minutes per session) are superior for fat-burning and heart-health purposes. Some women may need extra ab work.
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Body Type 1
A woman with a thin, linear shape (ectomorph). Muscle mass needs to be built on the entire body. A woman with this body type has trouble gaining muscle mass. Good exercises: Concentrate on compound exercises like squats, bench press, leg press, deadlift, lunges, step ups, shoulder press and bentover row to build major muscle groups and add definition to your body. Calf raises, tricep dips, bicep curls and leg curls are also needed.
If this is your body type, you also need to make sure you eat enough! Many times, a woman with a thin, linear body type can “eat anything she wants” and still have trouble gaining weight! Or, she will “eat like a bird” and remain skinny. So, weight training and proper eating is critical for building muscle if you have this body type.
Body Type 2
You have thin arms and legs with excess fat in the mid-section of your body. You need to burn abdominal fat and build muscle mass in the other parts of your body.
Belly fat causes serious health problems! Scientist have learned much more about fat cells (adipose tissue) than ever before.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that abdominal fat cells secrete inflammatory proteins that cause damage to blood vessels and other cells, leading to diseases like cancer, heart disease and Metabolic Syndrome!
Of course, don’t just focus on your belly fat! Focus on burning total body fat with full body circuit strength training and short, intense cardio sessions.
Strength exercises for fat loss should focus on maximizing your time at the gym… build more muscle mass to speed up your metabolism and burn more fat.
Good exercises to include for Type 2 body type:
Upper body: bench press, tricep pushdowns, shoulder press, one-arm bentover row and biceps curl.
Lower body: squats, lunges, step ups, leg press, deadlift, calf raises and leg curls.
Abdominal area: ab ball curl ups, reverse knee ups, hanging leg raises, back extensions, bridges, planks, medicine ball chops and medicine ball trunk rotations.
Body Type 3
You are petite in your upper body and heavy in your lower body. Build muscle mass in your upper body and burn fat and tone your hips, thighs and butt. Exercise your body in all 3 planes of motion to improve the 3-D shape of your arms, shoulders, chest, back, butt, hips and thighs! An example would be a grouping of walking lunges, side lunges and transverse lunges.
Upper body: Bench press, tricep pushdowns, shoulder press, one-arm bentover row and bicep curls are all good exercises. You will need to challenge yourself with heavier weights to build muscle (you won’t get bulky)!
Lower body: Do light weight circuit training with high repetitions (10-12) to burn lower body fat (squats, lunges, step ups, leg curls, cable leg abductions/adductions, etc.). Also, incorporate many one-legged exercises such as power step ups, single leg squats, single leg good mornings, single leg medicine ball exercises, etc. These types of exercises are more intense than two-legged exercises. High-speed jump training is also effective for this body type.
Good jump training exercises are squat jumps, pike jumps, depth jumps, jump rope and box jumps. Sprint interval cardio also works well for this body type.
Body Type 4
You have a type 4 body type if you have wide shoulders and a narrow waist. If you have this body type, you tend to gain weight evenly throughout your body. You are probably athletic.
You will need a full body “fat blaster” program. Do full body light weight circuit training with high repetitions (10-12) to burn total body fat. High-speed jump training is also effective if this is your body type.
You tend to be muscular with large bones and thick joints. Due to you having more muscle mass, you usually don’t have weight problems unless you overeat and undertrain. You also respond to weight training by building muscle mass much faster than other body types.
You probably know where your body stores the most fat. When you train, don’t neglect areas of your body. For instance, it is critical to stabilize and strengthen your body’s core first. This will aid you when you train other areas of your body.
Burn fat and shape your curves leaner and meaner. You will look and feel great!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES