HomeBody typeWhat’s Your Body Type?

What’s Your Body Type?

3 Body types - ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorphMost people have combinations of the three body types. For example, some have an upper body that is ectomorphic and a lower body that is endomorphic, resulting in a slim upper body and a more fat-prone lower body, creating a pear shape. Sometimes the variation is not as clear-cut as having one body type for the upper body and another for the lower.

Height has little to do with body type, despite the fact that people tend to think of skinny people (ectomorphs) as tall and heavy-set people (endomorphs) as short.

Ectomorph Mesomorph Endomorph
Skinny, linear/ ruler appearance
Naturally lean
Smooth, round body
Lightly muscled
Naturally muscular
Gains muscle easily, but tends to be underdeveloped
Small joints/ boned
Medium size joints/ bones
Medium/ large joints/ bones
Low body fat (without exercising or following low calorie diets)
Naturally strong
High levels of body fat (may be overweight)
Small shoulders, chest and buttocks
Broad/ square shoulders
Small shoulders, high waist and large hips creating a pear-shaped physique
Long arms and legs
Body fat evenly distributed
Difficult to keep lost body fat off
Difficulty gaining weight
Losing fat is easy
Slow metabolic rate
Fast & efficient metabolism
Efficient metabolism
Attacks of tiredness/ fatigue
Hyperactive
Gaining muscle easy
Lose weight slowly
Difficulty gaining muscle
Responds quickly to exercise  

 

DETERMINE BODY TYPE

Perhaps it was immediately obvious which body group you fell into. But, if it wasn’t think about how you react to food and exercise.

1.   METABOLISM

Do you gain weight quickly if you eat the wrong foods or after going on a lazy holiday? If you lose this weight rapidly after a change in diet or some exercise, you are probably a mesomorph. If you struggle to lose these extra pounds, then you exhibit endomorphic features. If you don’t put on any weight, you most likely are an ectomorph.

2.   EATING HABITS

Compare your eating habits with your appearance. If you consume a large amount of calories and are still thin, you are probably an ectomorph. If you eat a small number of calories and still appear thin and healthy you are probably a mesomorph. If you consume few calories and still appears heavy you are probably an endomorph.

3.   SIZE OF JOINTS/ BONES

To determine whether you are small, medium or larger boned/ jointed, encircle your wrist with your thumb and middle finger. If your middle finger overlaps your thumb, then you are small boned/ jointed (ectomorph). If your middle finger and thumb just touch, you have medium sized bones/ joints (mesomorph). If your finger and thumb do not touch then you are larger boned/ jointed (endomorph).

4.   THINK BACK!

To help determine your body type, think back to your adolescence, a time before age (metabolism slows as you get older, making you more prone to weight gain) and lifestyle transformed your body into what it is today.

5.   BODY TYPE CALCULATOR

Use this body type calculator to help you determine your body type.

6.     PICTURES

Look at some images of the various body types here and see if you identify with any of the body types.

ONE LAST THING …

Everyone has the potential to develop a great shape – regardless of his or her dominant body type. Losing inches, especially off your problem areas, can be accomplished through proper exercise and eating habits. If you are a large-framed person, though you will never be willowy, you can be slender and fit, wear a size 8 with room to spare and look super sexy in a bikini. However, it is futile for a person with strong mesomorph or endomorph characteristics to aim to be willowy like an ectomorph, this will only lead to disappointment and ill health. Even if this target thinness were reached, it probably would not look good, could be difficult in the extreme to maintain and would continue to have adverse effects on the body.

Do the right cardiovascular exercise for your body type to improve your body and get the results you want. Also, ectomorph workouts, mesomorph and endomorphs need to train differently when it comes to resistance training.

15 comments

  1. I need some help, I’m 5’2 and 103 pounds, It says I have a small frame, but I have a pear shaped body. I really don’t know which one I am.

    • Hi Lily.

      You can have a small frame and be pear-shaped. For example, Keira Knightly and Misha Barton appear to have small frames, but are also pear-shaped.

  2. I THINK I AM ECTOMORPHIC NICE LEARING ABOUT BODY TYPES.

  3. hi my size is
    36 – 31- 32
    i really dont know what shape i am..
    i have no idea what sort of dresses i shud wear
    help

    • Hi Shruti,
      your body shape appears to be apple/ cone. See this page on body shapes. If you search the web for clothing/ dresses for apple shapes you’ll find that there is a lot of information on it. Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you so much for helping me! Im a 15 year old Foster kid and Last year around this time I Was underwieght 95 pounds for my hight and shape, and had always had bad body image issues and thought I was to fat, The people I was staying with gave me up and I was just going through puberty, now this year 2013, I am 130 and was totally freaking out because I hated my wieght! My real mother is very large and I never wanted to look like her and was thinking about trying to become bellimic or anorexic soon because a week ago a boy in my class called me fat, and I hate how I look! I am still very small aprantley because everyone reasured me I am…But still.. Thank you for showing me that I am mesomorph

  5. I think etcomorphs can gain weight under the right circumstances. I don’t gain weight unless I’m stressed. My bones are tiny and I am ruler shaped. I think I am either etcomorph or etco-meso but I am overweight. Nothing about me sticks out. I was born skinny and long and I always been skinny and long until my 20s.

    I am on medication so losing weight isn’t fast nor slow. ( surpisingly i’m losing something considering it’s hard for most people to lose weight on steriod meds). It’s just really hard to find excercises on the web for overweight ruler/etcomorphs.

    My measurements: 42, 37.5, 44.5

  6. I have a long lean top half (ectomorph) and a pear shaped bottom half with thick muscular legs…where does that place me and what kind of regimen should I be on?

    • You may be an ecto-endomorph or ecto-mesomorph. Misha Barton is a good example of someone who appears to have the upper body of an ectomorph and the lower body of an endomorph/ mesomorph. To bring more balance to your body shape, i.e. move your body shape from pear towards hourglass, you need to slim down your lower body and increase mass in your upper body. But first, if you have some weight to lose, slimming down through diet and cardio will turn you from a large (obvious) pear into a smaller (less obvious) pear. If you are already a smallish pear, focus on slimming down your lower body with endurance running (running 30 minutes as opposed to sprinting or interval training), which will slim down bulky leg muscles. Read more about how to slim legs here. The next thing you can do is increase the size of your upper body (just as little) by doing resistance exercises that target your upper body – not to get muscular, but to just enough bring balance your body shape.

  7. This is very interesting – although I wonder if it is possible to be between 2 body types? I think I’m either an Mesomorph or an endomorph. I’ve always been told I have a ‘swimmer’s physique’ – broad shoulders, narrow waist and strong legs. I measure up at 36-25-36 (a typical hourglass) and I’m a comparable shape and size to Beyonce and Scarlett Johansen as per the aritcle. I lose body fat fairly quickly (when I put my mind to it!) but I find it hard to identify with body types such as Jennifer Aniston; as an example of a Mesomorph. My frame is medium build, I’m 5,7″ and currently weight 143. I know my margin of error for weight loss is very small – I’ve been down to 130 – which is still classified as ‘ideal’ – but I was very sickly thin with protruding hips and ribs at that weight. I’m still trying to fathom what’s my own ‘ideal’! I guess it’s hard to really figure where I should be…I have a lot of friends which if anything, are actually slightly larger than me, and weight a good 10-14lbs less than I do….however I know if I lost that much I’d be frail and bony.

    • Hey Emma!
      Absolutely! Almost everyone is a combination of body types. It seems that you have a good understanding that weight isn’t everything. Even though you’re smaller than your friends, you might have more muscle and/ or heavier bones than they, which means you’d weigh more, despite being slimmer. When people think of weight, they think body fat, but the scale measures everything! So I wouldn’t be too hung up on a number on a scale but would focus more on what you see in the mirror and how you feel. If you’re currently exercising and watching your calorie intake to lose weight, just keep going until your like what you see and how you feel (full of energy & healthy!) – that’s your ideal weight. Then maintain that weight with regular exercise and a balanced diet. You have a wonderful body shape, and I’m sure look pretty spectacular at your happy, healthy weight! :)

  8. Hello,
    First off, I’m obsessed with your website it’s awesome.
    Secondly, I’m trying to trim down and get lean but know how to. I’m really confused about my body type and shape because I know for a fact that I have a small frame (my hands are tiny but my middle finger still manages to cover my entire thumbnail when I do the wrist measurement) but I’m also a clear hourglass as my measurements are 34-28-38 and my shoulders and hips are equal which makes me look really out of proportion considering I’m only 5ft 3in. I gain weight so easily and my body fat is like 28-29% but beneath the fat I can feel strong muscles on my stomach and when I sit down my thighs feel rock hard and they look really bulky. I’m 130 pounds so I’m not overweight but I feel it. I want to have a lean hourglass like Leighton Meester and Scarlett Johanssan but I don’t know how to. I thought I was an endomorph but I feel like I have qualities in all three so know I don’t know what to do to slim down and get lean. I’ve started doing pilates and jogging from time to time (like once or twice a week) but even though my weight went down to 130 my body looks the same.

    • Thanks Jessica!
      You may be a combination of all 3 body types. It sounds as though you might be trying to lose weight. Pilates is great, but it isn’t really going to help with that, but jogging will. If you can jog regularly you’re very likely to see a big difference in your body. Check out this run/ walk program for beginners, which will help you get started!

  9. My measurements are 40-36-46 I’ve always been an endomorph and so I just wanted to know what shape I am.

  10. I’m 5’9 and I’m confused on whether I’m consider a ectomorph or mesomorph body type. I have long legs that people describe as lean. I also have broad shoulders. My thighs however are muscular due to competitive cheerleading. They aren’t super muscular but very toned and all muscle. I have little body fat.

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