What are some different body types? (2023)

Bodies come in different shapes and sizes, influenced by a person’s frame and composition. This is part of what makes every human unique.

Some bodies are curvier, some have broad shoulders, and some have more musculature.

People usually have a defined body type after puberty, but this can change based on activity level, dietary habits, and other major lifestyle and hormonal changes.

This article focuses on common body shapes, common body types, what determines body shape, and ways a person can improve their body image.

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A person’s body type depends on the distribution of muscle mass and fat. Some people are long and lean, while others are curvier.

Likewise, some people find it challenging to gain weight, whereas others have difficulty losing weight.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

(Video) The Best Workout for Your Body Type

In the 1940s, psychologist William H. Sheldon introduced the concept of different body types, or somatotypes.

While many people tend to think that this type of classification only refers to males, it can also describe the female body. This classifies the body based on how lean a person is or how easy it is for their body to store fat.

Per this classification, there are three different body types:

  • Ectomorph: This is when the body is lean and slender and tends to have less body fat and muscle. People with this body type can often find it challenging to gain weight in the form of muscle or fat. Fashion models are an example of this body type.
  • Endomorph: This is when the body has more stored fat, lots of muscle, and gains weight easily. People with this body type are not always overweight. Football lineman and Marilyn Monroe are examples of this body type.
  • Mesomorph: This is when the body is athletic and strong. People with this body type are neither overweight nor underweight. Swimmers and volleyball players are examples of this body type.

Females tend to have more fat mass. They also tend to be curvier due to a combination of larger breasts, wider hips, larger buttocks, and bigger thighs.

While every body is unique, there are several broad categories for the female body shape. An older 2004 article notes that this historically stems from the fashion industry.

Common shapes include:

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  • Pear or triangle: People with this body shape have narrower shoulders than their hips. A person tends to distribute most of their weight in the buttocks, lower hips, and thighs.
  • Inverted triangle: This is when the lower half of the body is smaller than the top, with shoulders wider than the hips. People with this body shape tend to gain weight in the upper body and stomach areas. They also tend to have larger chests and narrow hips.
  • Rectangle: This is when there is no major definition at the waistline and hips. People with this body shape have similar hip and shoulder width, and the body tends to be in equal proportions.
  • Hourglass: This is when both the top and bottom halves of the body are equally broad. People with this body shape tend to have a smaller waist than the chest and hips.
  • Oval or apple: This is when the top and bottom halves of the body are narrow. People with this body shape tend to carry weight in the chest and stomach areas and have slender legs.

Many factors determine a person’s body shape. These include:

  • genetics
  • sex
  • age
  • diet
  • activity level

Changes in activity level and diet may affect a person’s body shape. For example, if someone is an ectomorph and wants to gain some weight, while they will have to put in some extra effort, they can do it successfully with a proper diet and exercise routine.

While some people may find it helpful to identify their body shape, others may find little benefit. The appearance of a person’s body can change with exercise and diet. Additionally, a person’s body type may not be an indicator of their overall health.

Exercise

A person who seems to have an ectomorph body type may believe that they will not experience as many benefits from working out as a type that may find it easier to gain muscle, such as endomorphs.

However, people with all body types will notice improvements in strength, flexibility, and weight if they follow an exercise routine to reach their goals.

Metabolic obesity

Some people may assume that certain body types are less likely to develop conditions due to overweight or obesity. However, this is not necessarily true.

Research shows that a person who has an apparently healthy, or moderate, weight can have metabolic obesity, which can lead to an increase in the risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

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Low amounts of physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and not following a healthy, balanced diet are all risk factors of having metabolic obesity. While some genetic factors also exist, experts have not investigated this link fully.

People should not assume that they are at a lower risk of developing conditions associated with obesity due to their particular body shape.

Disordered eating

A person who displays characteristics of one body shape but wants to look like another may develop poor body image issues or body dysmorphia. In some cases, a person may develop disordered eating patterns.

A 2019 study investigated the effects of social media on females in college aged 18–25 years. A majority of the study participants had a healthy body mass index (BMI). However, even participants with a healthy BMI viewed their bodies as overweight compared to those of social media influencers.

The researchers suggest that people who see a “thin ideal” on social media may be at a higher risk of developing disordered eating patterns in an effort to achieve this ideal.

Eating disorders can severely affect the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one has an eating disorder can contact the National Eating Disorder Association for advice and support via:

  • phone or text at 800-931-2237
  • online chat, by going to this link

These services are only open during specific hours. Someone in crisis can text “NEDA” to 741741 at any time to get support from a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.

Alternatively, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) run a Disaster Distress Helpline that people can contact on 800-985-5990 for 24-7 support.

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Many other resources are available, including:

Sometimes, people do not feel comfortable with their body shape.

For example, a very curvy person may wish for a more rectangular-shaped body, while someone with a rectangular-shaped body may want to have more curves.

It is common for some people to feel pressure around the concept of the “ideal body” shape or type, but ultimately there is no ideal body shape — health is the most important factor.

The National Eating Disorders Association outlines some thought patterns a person can consider for a more positive body image:

  • Appreciate what the body can do.
  • Remember that beauty is not skin deep.
  • Be around positive people.
  • Shut down negative self-talk.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that inspires confidence.
  • Be critical of social media images.

It is important for people to consider that all bodies are beautiful and unique but are only a part of what defines a person. How individuals treat others and behave are also important aspects.

If a person suffers from poor body image issues or body dysmorphia, they should seek support from a medical professional.

Summary

(Video) How to Lose Weight According to Your Body Type

All bodies are special and unique. One aspect of what makes them unique is their shape and how they carry weight and muscle.

There are many different body shapes and many different body types. Sometimes, people do not feel comfortable with their body shape. If a person has concerns about their body, they should consult a doctor.

FAQs

What are the main 3 body types? ›

People are born with an inherited body type based on skeletal frame and body composition. Most people are unique combinations of the three body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

What do the 3 body types look like? ›

According to Sheldon, endomorphs have bodies that are always rounded and soft, mesomorphs are always square and muscular, and ectomorphs are always thin and fine-boned.

How do I tell my body type? ›

To determine your body shape, start by looking at your midsection and determining if it is the largest part of your body. If it is, and you have slimmer legs and hips, you have an apple shape. Alternatively, if your midsection and bust are smaller and your hips are wide, you are likely pear-shaped.

What are the 5 female body types? ›

The five main body type shapes are rectangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, pear and apple. To begin specifying your body shape, stand in front of a full-size mirror with no clothes on, or just your underwear. After your initial inspection, you can determine what body type you might be.

Which body type is best for female? ›

One of the most desired body shapes is an hourglass one. It looks the most balanced of all, and if you have this body shape, then it means your hips and bust measurements are equal in size, and you have a waist that is well-defined and narrower than your bust and hips.

Which body type is strongest? ›

A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.

What is the best body type? ›

Mesomorph: This body type is generally considered the ideal body type. Individuals usually look lighter and have a more rectangular bone structure, longer limbs, thinner bones and a flatter ribcage. A mesomorph has a natural tendency to stay fit and achieve muscle mass very easily.

Can Endomorphs be skinny? ›

I received A LOT of questions asking me whether it is possible to achieve a lean body and slim down your legs as an endomorph female. The short answer is- yes, definitely! But, in order to do so, you need to exercise and eat right for your own body type.

Which body shape is rare? ›

What is the rarest body type? The hourglass body shape is the rarest body shape as it requires equal bust/shoulder and hip proportions with a dramatically smaller waist size.

What is the fattest body type? ›

Endomorph You tend to have more body fat than the other body types in this framework. Catudal says that women who are endomorphs may be described as curvaceous, while men may be called stocky. You tend to carry weight in your belly, hips, and thighs.

What body is more attractive? ›

Felix's team took a survey for the most attractive body parts of men and women and here's what they found: Men cited women's faces as being their most attractive attribute by 46%. In second place, women's butts came in at 18% followed by hair at 11%. Legs, breasts, eyes, and others composed the remaining 26%.

What body shape is 34 30 36? ›

Ruler Body Shape (Rectangle/ Banana Shape)

Tend to put on weight in stomach and bottom, while maintaining slender arms and legs. E.g. 34-30-35, 36-33-37, 40-36-42.

What is a normal female body type? ›

The rectangle is the most common female body shape.

What size is an hourglass figure? ›

Many believe an hourglass body shape translates to bust-waist-hip measurements of approximately 36-24-36 inches, respectively. The truth is, though, an hourglass-shaped body simply describes roughly equal bust and hip measurements with a significantly narrower waist.

What are the 10 different body types? ›

The 10 Different Types Of Body Shapes In Women & How To Identify Which One You Are
  • Pear/Triangle Body Shape.
  • Spoon Body Shape.
  • Apple/Round/Oval Body Shape.
  • Inverted Triangle/Lollipop Body Shape.
  • Hourglass Body Shape.
  • Top Hourglass Body Shape.
  • Rectangle Body Shape.
  • Diamond Body Shape.
Sep 7, 2022

What is an 8 shape body? ›

The 8 Shape has high hips that create a shelf. Think about a (naked) Barbie doll. Her tiny waist pops right out into her hips. No smooth transition from waist to hips. Another hint that you may be an 8 rather than an X: 8's are often short-waisted; there's not a lot of room between the ribcage and those high hipbones.

What is the most attractive weight for a girl? ›

Subsequent studies have found that a body mass index in young adult women of between 18 to 19 is the most attractive.

What does curvy body look like? ›

Basically, curvy body type measurements are larger than skinny ones. They include a bigger ratio between the hips, waist or chest. There are no specific measurements that define a curvy body type, as all female bodies are unique.

Which body type gets fat easily? ›

People with an endomorph body type tend to have a slow metabolism, making it easier for them to gain weight and harder for them to lose it.

Which is the weakest muscle in human body? ›

The Stapedius, the smallest skeletal muscle in the human body, which is about 1 mm in length, is regarded to be the weakest muscle. It originates from a prominence known as the pyramidal eminence at the posterior edge of the tympanic cavity.

What body type is harder to build muscle? ›

Ectomorphs have a difficult time putting on muscle mass because their metabolism has a tendency to run higher than other body types.

What is the perfect figure size for a girl? ›

According to the class 12 CBSE Health and Physical Education textbook, 36-24-36 is considered the best shape for females. “That is why in Miss World or Miss Universe competitions, such type of shape is also taken into consideration,” states the textbook.

What is the most common female body type? ›

One of the most common shapes of the female body is the hourglass. It is characterized by hip and bust measurements being of equal size, with a narrower waist measurement. Your shoulders are slightly round, and your legs are in proportion with your upper body.

Can you change your body type? ›

You can't change the body type you were born with, but you can boost your body for the better with the right set of exercises.

What does a fat endomorph look like? ›

Endomorphs have softer bodies with curves. They have a wide waist and hips and large bones, though they may or may not be overweight. Their weight is often in their hips, thighs, and lower abdomen. Endomorphs often have lots of body fat and muscle and tend to gain weight easily.

What does a mesomorph body look like? ›

According to Sheldon, people with a mesomorph body type tend to have a medium frame. They may develop muscles easily and have more muscle than fat on their bodies. Mesomorphs are typically strong and solid, not overweight or underweight. Their bodies may be described as rectangular in shape with an upright posture.

Is endomorph just fat? ›

Endomorphs are said to have a higher percentage of body fat and less muscle mass. They're often heavier and rounder but do not necessarily have obesity. Because of their physical makeup, people with endomorphic bodies are more sensitive to calorie consumption than people with other body types.

At what age do girls get curvy? ›

Puberty usually starts when you're between 9 and 13 years old. But it can start earlier or later. Thanks to hormones like estrogen, you'll notice changes like your breasts starting to grow and new curves forming on your body. You might notice that you start to get taller, and eventually you'll get your period.

What body shape has big thighs? ›

The Pear {a.k.a. The Triangle}

Curvy hips, thick thighs, and a full rear are the key characteristics of the pear-shaped individual. Many pear shapes also have a small bust/chest, narrow shoulders {compared to the hips}, and a defined waist.

What body shape is the least healthy? ›

Apple Shape

Abdominal obesity is probably the most dangerous of all, and apple body shape is considered at the highest risk for health issues compared to the other body types. Larger waists can mean higher risk of heart disease. It can also mean higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.

What body weight is attractive? ›

(27) found that the most frequently selected ideal body had a BMI of 19.79, closely followed by an underweight ideal of 18.26. Ahern et al. (28) found that a BMI of 20 was considered the most attractive, while Swami et al. (29), and MacNeill and Best (30), found that an underweight body was most frequently selected.

What age group is the fattest? ›

The obesity prevalence was 39.8% among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.3% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 41.5% among adults aged 60 and older.

Why am I so wide but not fat? ›

Muscle is denser than fat, and as it is more compact within your body, as you gain muscle mass, you end up looking thinner, no matter your physical weight. So, if you've been doing a lot of strength training lately, it's likely this is the reason that you're looking fantastic but not dropping those numbers.

Which body part attracts guys most? ›

10 Physical Features That Attract Men The MOST
  • Booty.
  • Breasts.
  • Legs.
  • Eyes.
  • Lips.
  • Clear skin.
  • Hair.
  • Well-kept nails, hands, and feet.
Sep 6, 2017

Which body part attracts girls most? ›

There's more of a spread across women's preferences in men. Contrary to popular opinion, women seem to much more concerned with the body below the neck than men are. Only 2% preferring the face above all else. Taking the lead is the chest at 24%, closely followed by hair at 22% and arms at 19%.

Which type of boys girls like? ›

Girls like guys that show respect to them, their friends, and other people. Support her dreams and desires. Be willing to help her along the way to achieving her goals. It is important for girls to know that they have someone who is in their corner and will provide encouragement when they want to do something.

What is a top hourglass figure? ›

Hourglass shape can be of two kinds- top hourglass or bottom hourglass. Top hourglass is when everything fits as per the characteristics, except that the bust is slightly bigger than the hips. And the bottom hourglass is exactly the other way round, that your hips are slightly wider than your bust.

How do endomorphs eat? ›

Endomorph diet plans usually focus on avoiding refined carbohydrates and eating a mix of healthful fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from vegetables, nuts, fruits, and whole-grain foods.

What is a female athletic body type? ›

If your body is muscular but isn't particularly curvy, you might have an athletic body type. Your shoulder and hip measurements are about the same. Your waist is narrower than your shoulder and hips, but it isn't overly-defined and looks more straight up and down.

Is waist size 34 fat? ›

For men, a waist circumference below 94cm (37in) is 'low risk', 94–102cm (37-40in) is 'high risk' and more than 102cm (40in) is 'very high'. For women, below 80cm (31.5in) is low risk, 80–88cm (31.5-34.6in) is high risk and more than 88cm (34.6in) is very high.

How do you get a curvy waist? ›

The moves
  1. Banded side step. Great for a warmup, the banded side step will get your hips and glutes ready to go. ...
  2. Step up with reverse lunge. Step ups will not only give your booty a nice lift, they're a practical exercise, too. ...
  3. Dumbbell lunges. ...
  4. Superman. ...
  5. Med ball side lunge. ...
  6. Donkey kick. ...
  7. Single-leg deadlift. ...
  8. Bridge.
Aug 2, 2019

Is an hourglass figure genetic? ›

Is it healthy to have an hourglass figure? 'Genetics play a role in the "hourglass figure" however, only 8% of women have a naturally small waist and wide hips,' cautions Dr Perry.

What is the most common model body type? ›

The Straight Body Shape

This body type is popularly known as the supermodel body. It is also called a rectangular or ruler body. Since it does not have a well-defined waistline, the body tends to look straight.

What is the most preferred body type? ›

Based on various studies, the ideal body shape is the hourglass type body shape. The amount of these qualities vary between culture and race, but as long as you hold an hourglass shape, then you have an ideal body shape.

What are the 5 male body types? ›

Men's body type categorized into five types:
  • Rectangle.
  • Triangle.
  • Trapezoid.
  • Oval.
  • Inverted Triangle.
Jun 10, 2020

What body type is trending now? ›

It's All About The Midriff In 2022

With low rise jeans and crop tops back in fashion, it is no surprise that the focus for body type trends is on the midriff. Low cut trousers work to elongate the top half of the body, and this is the look that everyone is going for this year.

What are the 13 body types? ›

The 13 Kibbe Body Types & Their Clothing Lines
  • Dramatic.
  • Soft Dramatic.
  • Flamboyant Natural.
  • Natural.
  • Soft Natural.
  • Dramatic Classic.
  • Classic.
  • Soft Classic.

Which body shape is very attractive? ›

Top hourglass body shape

Considered to be the most attractive body shape, this is very similar to hourglass body shape, except that in this case the curves are more defined.

What body type is attractive to men? ›

Men prefer a woman who has less body fat and more muscle than that. She'll still weigh a fairly regular amount, but she'll be significantly fitter and more muscular than average, with a leaner waist, stronger hips, and broader shoulders.

What body type is usually skinny? ›

Ectomorphs. Generally thin and lean, ectomorphs tend to have slender waists, narrow hips and shoulders, small joints, and long legs and arms. They tend to be slim, without much body fat or noticeable muscle mass.

What burns body fat the fastest? ›

The 14 Best Ways to Burn Fat Fast
  1. START STRENGTH TRAINING. ...
  2. FOLLOW A HIGH-PROTEIN DIET. ...
  3. SQUEEZE IN MORE SLEEP. ...
  4. ADD VINEGAR TO YOUR DIET. ...
  5. EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS. ...
  6. DRINK HEALTHIER BEVERAGES. ...
  7. FILL UP ON FIBER. ...
  8. CUT DOWN ON REFINED CARBS.

What body type loses weight the fastest? ›

Easier to lose weight.

Mesomorphs may be prone to weight gain, but they also tend to lose weight easier than people with other body types. If you're a mesomorph and you find that your jeans are a little too snug, you may lose weight easily by making healthy changes to your diet and exercise regimens.

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