HomeBody typeEctomorphEctomorph Body Type

Ectomorph Body Type

Ectomorph body typeAn ectomorph has the body type that is most often seen in the pages of fashion magazines. They are slim boned, long limbed, lithe and have very little body fat and little muscle.

Ectomorphs tend to have fragile, delicately built bodies and find it difficult to gain weight or add muscle. Supermodels, ballerinas and basketball players most commonly fall into this group.


  • Skinny
  • Small joints/ boned
  • Long arms and legs
  • Linear physique – “ruler body shape
  • Small shoulders
  • Lightly muscled
  • Small chest and buttocks
  • Low body fat (without exercising or following low calorie diets)
  • Can eat anything they like without weight gain
  • Fast and efficient metabolism
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Hyperactive
  • Difficulty in gaining muscle mass



MALE examples include:

  • Brad Pitt
  • Bruce Lee
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Chris Rock
  • Toby Maguire
  • Edward Norton

FEMALE examples with ectomorphic characteristics, include:

  • Kate Moss
  • Gisele Bündchen
  • Nadja Auermann
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Thandie Newton
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Whitney Houston
  • Calista Flockhardt

Click here for images of some famous ectomorphs.


Although ectomorphs tend to be highly regarded, one must remember that they have problems of their own. Ectomorphs tend to lack shape because of their low muscle mass. Female ectomorphs are likely to be flat chested and may complain of looking boyish, wishing they had more womanly curves. Male ectomorphs struggle to increase their muscle mass and may look wiry. As you see, they too, have to work hard to achieve their goals. As ectomorphs lack muscle mass, thus they need to keep their weight lower than endomorphs or mesomorphs. Furthermore, some ectomorph want and struggle to gain weight – muscle and some fat.

With age, even the super-fast metabolism of the ectomorph slows down and as a result, they often gain weight, since they are not used to exercising or watching their calorie intake. However, this is an opportunity for male ectomorphs to gain muscle and female ectomorphs who want more curves to get them. Brad Pitt for example, has become much less ectomorphic over the last few years, as has Kate Moss.


Ectomorphs may be underweight, but over-fat and thus be carrying too much body fat and not enough lean mass (muscle). Hence, the skinny people who look wobbly naked and the term skinny fat. Ectomorphs can benefit, as much as the other two body groups, from body fat (composition) measurements. Even ectomorphs can’t get away without exercise if it is a super sleek toned body they are after.

If it is shape you want, you need to increase your muscle mass. The ectomorph diet should choose nutrient and calorie dense foods for their snacks and meals, such as nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables. Also, try a weight gain diet for ectomorphs, if you want to put on weight.

If you are struggling to gain weight, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. People suffering with hyperthyroidism for example, experience weight loss, are unable to gain weight and tend to be hyperactive and fidgety.


  1. The article is about loosing weight, but you do not help with this, you only discuss weight gain with this body type while acknowledging that weight can be gained quickly with age .

  2. I found this article on Pinterest and as I’m not familiar with the site aside from that, I don’t know if this is a place for questions…so sorry if it isn’t.

    As a child and teen, I was skinny and could eat whatever I wanted without more than moderate exercise to stay that way. Now that I’m almost 33, have birthed three babies, and have in recent months gotten into a bad habit of stress-eating (we’ve had major changes in our lives recently, but I am working on changing that habit to healthier ones, like jogging with my kids after school and drinking green tea instead of snacking), I look more like the fat-retaining body type. Was I just always that body type, but my youth helped me out, or am I this ectomorph type? I will add that just before my husband and I got pregnant with our third, I’d started jogging and doing light weight/resistance training and was seeing some good rsesults without really having to change my diet, aside from refraining from snacks.

    Thanks! This article was rally interesting and helpful, if only I could figure out what type of body I have, so that I can follow the correct plan, ;-)

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