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STRENGTH BUILDING WORKOUTS FOR YOUR BODY TYPE

Are you doing the best workout for your body type? If you have a slower metabolism or are prone to a greater percentage of body fat, it is likely you’ll need to eat certain foods and physically train differently than someone who gains lean muscle mass and has a higher metabolic rate. Of course, every workout is for every body and your physical activities don't have to be chosen based on your body composition at all. While it’s not a perfect science (especially since some of it depends on your genes), we've taken some of the guess work out for you.

Ectomorph

If you've got a straight up-and-down thing going on… you’re most likely to be an Ectomorph. Small frame, lean muscle mass, fast metabolism, and find it hard to gain weight or muscle? Read on. Ectomorphs will benefit from lifting weights and plyometric activities to create a more balanced fitness level.

Workout: Go for ab exercises—such as front and side planks and bicycle crunches—that target your obliques and cinch the waist. Moves that sculpt your lower body (kettlebell swings, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups), as well as your shoulders and upper back (rows, flyes, shoulder raises and presses) will balance out your frame. To build a booty, focus your effort moves that will shape and define your glutes, hips and thighs, like squats. As for aerobic exercise, try things that challenge both upper and lower body, too like W.O.D.

Mesomorph

If you put on muscle pretty easily… it sounds like you’re a Mesomorph. You might describe your body as athletic and muscular, with broad shoulders and narrow hips.

Workout: Women really don't bulk up the way men do, but some gals do have a natural ability to get more ripped than others. If you love looking super strong, go for the same style of workouts recommended for those who don’t put on muscle easily. Your body will respond to the extra challenge. But if you want a longer, leaner look, steer clear of moves that only target a single muscle, such as biceps curls and shoulder presses. Instead, try doing compound exercises where several muscles are working at once, like squats with an overhead press. You can focus on lower body strength exercises to balance out broad shoulders - weighted single leg squats, lunges and step-ups, as well as plyometric exercises like jumps. For cardio, pick moderate, steady state aerobic exercise—such as a brisk walk, spin class or cross-trainer session.

Endomorph

If you have a hard time adding muscle tone… this is usually a trait of Endomorphs. They have a naturally rounder figure, often carrying weight on their lower body such as tummy, bum, hips, and thighs, and find it hard losing weight.

Workout: Body weight exercises, like push-ups, lunges and squats are going to be the best kinds of workouts for you. Yoga and TRX training—that also involve lots of muscles working together at the same time—are good bets for you, too. These types of strength exercises are more challenging than lifting weights. They add more load to your muscles, which will create that definition you’re looking for. If you’re looking to strengthen and even out your upper half, add moves such as biceps curls, triceps dips and kettlebell swings to your training. For cardio, go hard with high intensity interval training—such as running, Spinning, or boxing.

The best “body type” is one that’s healthy and happy. Although you may have a specific body type, that doesn’t mean you can’t be good at many different activities. Try as many activities as you like until you find the one you love best and that works for you, and go outside your comfort zone once in a while to keep a balanced and well-rounded fitness level.

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