Four Body Shapes and How to Achieve Them
It is every woman’s dream to have a body that looks amazing in any clothing. However, body shapes are predetermined by our genes, rendering it somewhat difficult to alter.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I always remind my patients that it is not entirely possible to change the shape of the body due to the influence of our genetic make-up. However, there may be ways that one can seemingly refashion their body to give an impression of having a different body shape. This can be achieved by highlighting specific body parts that are distinct to a particular body shape.
Body Shapes: What Makes Each Distinct
Before knowing what you can do to achieve the body shape you desire, you must first understand their differences. Here are the four main body shapes for women:
- Apple-shaped – Women with an apple body shape tend to have a softer but fuller midsection. It is a well-proportioned shape as the shoulders and pelvis are wide. Breasts are also fuller, but the buttocks tend to be flatter. Another distinct characteristic of an apple-shaped body is the shapely upper legs that come with slender thighs, which further highlight the prominent midsection.
- Pear-shaped – For pear-shaped bodies, the hips are larger than the chest area. Because the hips are broad, it projects a slimmer upper body, giving women an elegantly shaped neck and leaner arms and shoulders. One take away from this body shape is that the waistline is well-defined, which makes the lower body appear more muscular and full.
- Hourglass-shaped – This is the ideal body shape among the four. An hourglass body has the best proportions, with the full bust line and hipline having the same width and are nicely aligned. The waistline is likewise aesthetically defined, which greatly accentuate the balanced upper and lower body.
- Ruler-shaped – Known as the rectangle or oval figure, the ruler-shaped body is the most common of the four body shapes. It is characterized by the straight alignment of the shoulders down to the hips. It is almost similar to the hourglass shape only without the well-defined waist. The shapely lower legs are the best asset for this body shape.
Ways to Achieve the Body Shape You Desire
Changing from one shape to another may not be downright possible. However, what is workable is sculpting the body to give a semblance of the body shape you desire. If you’re considering altering your figure, here are some quick tips that you can follow to achieve the form you want.
Train muscle groups – Improving your muscle mass is one way to change the shape of your body. However, I do not advise my patients to perform spot-reducing exercises. Likewise, doing repetitive exercise will only work on larger muscle groups and increase their size, making your body look more imbalanced. Instead, it is ideal to join boot camp classes or perform compound exercises. These types of workouts involve various activities that work on a vast number of muscle groups. Also, you may combine the following exercises to better sculpt your body to the shape you aspire to achieve:
- To appear broad-shouldered, which is a characteristic of having an hourglass or apple-shaped body, you should work out your shoulder muscles (deltoids). Doing shoulder press and dumbbell flies could help increase the size of your deltoids and make them appear wider.
- For a fuller chest, which is typical of the hourglass and apple-shaped bodies, you can do the inclined-chest press and pectoral flies. These exercises contribute to highlighting your upper chest muscles.
- Do hamstring curls and stiff-legged barbell deadlifts to achieve shapely legs, which is usually an asset for women who have an apple or rectangular-shaped body. These exercises work on your hamstrings and buttocks muscles (glutes). Avoid overtraining the front muscles of your legs (quadriceps and adductor muscles) to put more emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes.
- Exercises like lying rotations can help you achieve an attractive back and corset-shaped torso. It involves bending the hips and putting your knees together while rotating towards one of your outstretched arms. Lying rotation exercises also help strengthen your back and midsection, improving your posture and body shape in the long run, through providing a steadier base and support of the natural curve of your spine.
Lose overall body fat – Fat distribution in your body affects your overall figure. However, you cannot spot-reduce (lose fat only in a specific area of the body) your body fat. What you can do is work on losing your total body fat.
I recommend doing strength training as it can increase your metabolic rate or the ability to burn and reduce more fat. High metabolic rates can lead to an increased muscle mass and redistribution of fat to other areas of the body.
- Watch what you eat – Together with an exercise regimen, you should set a limit to what you consume and if possible restrict enjoying your treats to just once every few weeks. It is also advisable to maintain your calorie intake to below what you burn every day.
- Body Contouring through Cosmetic Surgery – The advancements in cosmetic surgery has made it a viable option when it comes to improving one’s overall figure. Body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck, liposuction, body fat transfer, and body lift, can aid in eliminating excess and unwanted fat and reshape the body into your ideal body profile.
If you opt for body contouring surgeries, it is essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to assess your qualification for any procedure. It would also assure your safety should you undergo any body contouring procedures. With a board-certified plastic surgeon, you are provided with expert guidance, excellent patient care, and a more satisfying outcome.
You Are Beautiful Whatever Body Shape You Have…
There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the shape of your body. If anything, the desire to improve your body only means you want to become the best that you can be. Above all, it is important to remember: whatever you do, whatever body shape you have, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. So, keep your head up, girl, and slay it.
So Sassy Peeps, knowing the different body shapes are important! What is your individual body shape? Inquiring minds want to know!!!!
Have A Happy Healthy, and Remember to Always…Stay Sassy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pankaj Tiwari, MD
Pankaj Tiwari, MD is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon serving at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery that focuses on breast reconstruction with advanced microsurgical techniques (DIEP and GAP flaps) and the treatment of lymphedema.