The 4 body shapes anatomical classification is extremely useful for weight loss and fitness purposes - not only just from a style point of view. Are you a Spoon (Pear) or an Hourglass? A Ruler (Rectangle) or a Cone (Apple)?
If you want to lose inches primarily from the stubborn "problem" areas and see permanent results in a matter of weeks, rather than months, I suggest reading Escape Your Shape: How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder by Edward Jackowski, the fitness expert known over the past decade as the "female body shape Master".
You will discover how, whether in the twenties or seventies, the four body shapes can be modified with the right exercises - unlike Dr. Sheldon's three body types (Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph), which are inherited genetically and stay unchanged throughout your life no matter your weight.
So which body shape are you?
Before we get down to the detailed description and characteristics of each specific body shape, you should know this: your female body shape has nothing to do with your weight nor with your height.
Nor does it have anything to do with your age or fitness level.
Rather, it is the anatomical representation of yet another system of body typing, Metabolic (Glandular) Typing originated by Dr. Barker for health purposes, which classifies people based on the dominant gland in the endocrine (glandular) system: Thyroid, Adrenal, Pituitary and, only for women, Gonadal, or Ovarian.
But let's get back to the four body shapes. You already know that you can’t re-shape your body with diet alone, right?
Of course, you need to exercise. But not just any workout will do.
How many hours have you spent in the gym before giving up frustrated and discouraged because you didn't get the results you wanted?
Or, you may have lost some pounds, but from your breasts and face rather than your butt and thighs.
Agonizing, isn't it?
That's why the following description of the four body shapes with their own "problem areas" helps you determine the right nutrition and exercise plan for your female body shape.
So, are you ready to identify your body shape?
First of all, take three measurements: your bust, waist and hips. Now read through each of the four body shapes descriptions below and look at the corresponding images:
If you have an Hourglass body (also known as Figure 8 body shape), your bust and hips are about the same circumference, and your waist is narrow, between 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) smaller than your bust and hips.
You have strong bones, a lot of muscle mass, and great flexibility throughout your entire body.
Hourglass body problem areas:
These are your triceps (backs of the upper arms), inner & outer thighs, the saddlebag area (below the hips, outside of the upper thigh), and the lower abdomen. You tend to put on weight evenly throughout your entire body (sometimes a little more on the lower half), but less at the waist.
Losing fat and toning up for an Hourglass body:
More than the other types, you need to lose inches rather than pounds. This simply can’t be done with diet alone - you need to exercise. The loss of inches doesn’t show on the scale the same as on how your clothes fit, so forget about weighing yourself! To measure your progress, use a measuring tape instead - you'll be pleasantly surprised :)
The right workout for your Hourglass figure will make you look toned and at least 10-15 pounds slimmer - follow the Hourglass female body shape diet & specific workouts >>
If you have a Ruler body shape (also known as Rectangle, or Banana body shape), your bust, hips and waist are about the same circumference. Ruler body shape is similar to the Hourglass figure, but more slender and a lot less curvy.
You are naturally thin and have a pretty straight built (skinny rulers are typical fashion models).
More often than not, you have a small or medium frame, small breasts, and not much muscle mass or muscle strength.
Ruler body shape problem areas:
You tend to gain weight all over the body, a bit more on the stomach & butt.
Losing fat and toning up for a Ruler body shape:
To burn fat, you have to exercise frequently; in order to build muscle, strength and power, you need to work out at high intensity - with a lot of upper-body and abdominal exercises to support the back, avoid a poor posture and subsequent lower back pain.
Follow the Ruler/Rectangle female body shape diet & specific workouts >>
If you have a Spoon body shape (also known as Triangle, or Pear body shape), your hips are at least 2 inches (5 cm) larger than your bust; your waist is just a little smaller than your bust, less than 3 inches (7,5 cm) smaller.
You tend to look heavier than your actual weight and your lower body is generally bigger than your upper body.
The good news?
You’re most likely to have the most gracious neck line and the best-looking arms of all the other body shapes!
Spoon body shape problem areas:
Weight gain and bulking up is mainly from the hips down, especially on the outside of the thigh. If you are not active, you may increase your size of hips and thighs, simply with the pressure of the weight on this area.
Losing fat and toning up for a Spoon body shape:
Losing fat from your problem areas is relatively easy with lots of low-impact aerobics and lower body weight workouts.
Follow the Spoon female body shape diet & specific workouts >>
If you have a Cone body shape (also known as Inverted Triangle, Athletic or Apple body shape), your chest and waist are relatively close in size, but your hips are significantly smaller - at least 3 inches (7,5 cm) smaller.
You have a body shape quite opposite to the Spoon body shape (that's where the "Inverted Triangle" comes from): your upper body is larger and stronger than your lower body, your waist is short, and you typically have long, shapely legs.
Cone body shape problem areas:
Your arms, upper back, chest, and stomach.
Losing fat and toning up for a Cone body shape:
You benefit from lots of aerobic workout with abdominal and upper-body endurance exercises that protect your back and shoulder areas. Also, avoid working with weights on your upper part of your body, as you will make it even bigger, looking disproportionate.
Follow the Cone female body shape diet & specific workouts >>
If you're a man...
...simply ignore the Hourglass and Spoon body shapes.
So all recommendations from the Ruler and Cone body shapes apply to you too, respectively.
Are you a woman...
...and still not sure of your body shape?
This is most likely because you are overweight.
Also, if any one area of your body is larger, it may be bulkier perhaps due to some specific activity or the type of workouts you have been doing.
If that's the case, or you just seem to be between these four body shapes, simply follow the Hourglass female body shape workout until you lose enough weight for your true body shape to be revealed.
Whether you're a woman or a man and are obese or even significantly overweight you can figure out your specific nutritional and exercising needs by relating to a simplified version of body shapes - either top-heavy or bottom-heavy: Apples and Pears >>
Don't forget to take a look at...
...Escape Your Shape: How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder!
Edward Jackowski's four body shapes system is the world’s only patented exercise plan guaranteed to re-shape your body while improving your health and fitness level - all in one.
Escape Your Shape system is great for both women and men and appropriate for all ages, from teens to seniors. You'll only need about three hours per week to achieve the body you desire, reduce cellulite throughout your body and improve your "problem areas" in as little as two weeks.