I'm a firm believer that weight loss and gain is in relation to calories... (if you haven't read my post Calories In v Calories Out click here). Cardio and calorie counting is a great weight loss method, but in order to change the shape of our body, we've got to workout! Although, we shouldn't get hung up on the body shape we've been given, do you know which body type you are? I've broken it down below along with a few exercises to keep in mind to help change your shape!
- Apple: Similar to the beautiful Kate Winslet or Catherine Zeta Jones, this shape tends to have lean arms and legs, but carries their weight around the midsection. Exercises: To help strengthen and tighten up the tummy, I recommend focusing on exercises that engage the core. This would include plank exercises. It's also important to incorporate cardio when performing any strength or resistance training. Pilates or barre classes are great for apple shapes because they focus on the core, but also will help to strengthen the limbs. Again, just make sure you're getting enough cardio like in High Intensity Interval Training.
- Pear: This shape carries their weight in the lower body... Think Jennifer Lopez or Beyoncé (not a bad place to be). I recommend focusing on the upper body to help balance out the larger bottom. Exercises: Push-ups, rows, and shoulder presses will help frame the upper body. I also recommend lateral movements to slim the inner and outer thighs. Lateral movements include any move from side to side like shuffles or side lunges. Try to avoid anything that focuses solely on the lower body like squats or resistance spin classes.
- Hourglass: A la Kim Kardashian or Scarlet Johansson, this shape has a curvaceous lower and upper area and narrow midsection. Luckily, this shape is proportioned on top and bottom so you don't need to worry about balancing. Exercises: Hourglass figures should focus on toning up the extremities. Cardio intervals like sprint training will help to tone up this type while maintaining a womanly figure. To keep your chest perky do push-ups and squats to keep your booty lifted!
- Rectangle: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Biel and Cameron Diaz all have a body to swoon over. But, a rectangle shape can quickly become too thin or boxy looking when they aren't doing proper resistance training. Exercises: Spin or boxing classes are a great option for a rectangle since this shape doesn't need to focus on weight loss. Use heavier weights to get a greater definition in the muscles. Also, workouts like pilates and barre will help to elongate this sometimes boxy shape.
Overall, we are all shaped differently and you might not fit in to just one category. I am a combination of Rectangle and Apple. Barre and Interval training have helped to change my body, but I know that my tummy will always remain the first and last place to gain and lose weight. Plus side, I've got a nice bum :) Find what works for your body and don't be afraid of weights! Bottom line, cardio is great for overall weight loss and heart health, but you've gotta do some strength training to change your shape! Stay fit, babes. xo