Learn Your Body Frame and ReShape It! By Karen Sessions
There are basically six different body shapes that women fall into, the A Frame, V Frame, H Frame, Ruler, 8 Frame, and the Oval Frame.
These shapes are genetic and an extension of your lifestyle habits. This means you can win with the deck of cards you have been dealt. It's all in how you play the game of nutrition and exercise. Not only can you reshape your body, but you can also better your health.
Many are unaware that not all exercise programs are equal. What may work for one lady may not necessarily work for the next.
Your body shape will determine which cardio exercises and training techniques best suit your specific body shape. For example, if you carry extra weight in your lower body, hips, thighs, and buttocks, the stepper is not a cardio exercise that you should be incorporating if you want to slim down your lower region. The stepper will add mass.
Let's discuss each body shape individually for better understanding and solutions you can implement to make a change.
The "A Frame"
The "A Frame" lady is also known as the "Spoon Shape." These individuals carry extra weight in the lower region, mainly in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, while their waist and bust are small. Balance needs to be met by widening the shoulder girth and the back.
Cardio - This body type must focus on lower body cardio to rid the excess weight in the lower region, such as walking or use of the elliptical machine. Avoid the stepper, as it can build more size on the legs.
Resistance Training - Add more weight to the shoulder presses, lateral raises, and pulldowns to bring balance and harmony. Widening the back and shoulder girth will make the lower body appear smaller.
The "V Frame"
The "V Frame," also known as the "Cone Shape," lady possesses shoulders that are two or more inches wider than her hips. She usually has large busts, narrow hips, and thin legs. Balance needs to be met by bringing the lower body up to speed with the upper body.
Cardio - The stepper is a good form of cardio to burn calories and add thickness to the legs. The treadmill on an incline is also good, but this body type is best to avoid the elliptical machine, as it will lean the legs up too much.
Resistance Training - To bring the legs up to speed, focus on quality leg training. Basic power movements should compose the bulk of your leg training, such as squats, leg presses and stiff deadlifts. Shaping exercises such as extensions and lunges are a good finisher for legs.
The "H Frame"
The "H Frame" lady has an athletic build, but has a large waist and shoulders, and lacks symmetry. This body shape is squared off and blocky. This body shape really needs to focus on symmetry by minimizing the waist.
Cardio - Cardio choices should be focused trimming the upper body and bringing out the symmetry. Such cardio tactics should include the treadmill on an incline and the stepper.
Resistance Training - Proper lower body training is needed for balance to bring it up to par with the wide shoulders. Focus on squats, leg press and stiff deadlifts as the bulk of your training, and use the extension and lunges as finishers.
The "Ruler" body shape's measurements of the chest, waist, and hips are fairly equal. This lady is lean, has a high metabolism, and doesn't gain weight very easily.
Cardio - Cardio should be kept to a minimum, preferably the stepper, and more focus should go on the resistance training.
Resistance Training - Training should be intense and brief. Train each muscle group once weekly. The focus should go into intensity and building symmetry through proper shoulder, back, and leg training. Use heavier compound movements such as bench presses, shoulder presses, lat pulldowns, squats, etc.
The "8 Frame"
The "8 Frame", also know as the "Hourglass", is genetically gifted. They are the proper height and weight for their body. Their busts and hips are the same size, with the waist being ten inches smaller (Said to be the perfect figure from modeling experts). This body shape gains are evenly distributed, as well as fat loss.
Cardio - Cardio is best balanced with training. Any cardio technique is fine. Keeping a variety is best.
Resistance Training - This is the best body frame for bodybuilding and/or fitness. A balanced training program with a variety of exercises works best.
The "Oval Frame"
The "Oval Frame", also known as the "apple" is average height or shorter, large busted, has thin legs, and gains weight in the midsection.
Cardio - Routine cardio, such as the treadmill on an incline or the stepper, is necessary to generate overall weight loss. The elliptical machine should be avoided as it leans out the legs too much.
Resistance Training - Weight training should be focused on the legs to create balance with the upper body. Include more squats, leg presses, and stiff deadlifts to bring the lower body up to speed with the upper body.
When I began working out I was a Ruler. Over the years I have changed my body shape. I have created balance and symmetry.
In the beginning my back grew wide fairly quickly so I had to bring up my shoulders to create harmony. My next step was to bring my legs up to speed with my upper body to create balance and symmetry. I did a lot of heavy leg training to build legs, as they were very skinny. When I begin to diet down for a contest I incorporate the elliptical to really melt the fat off the thighs.
The trick is, know your body shape and the exercises to use to sculpt the masterpiece.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.