Male_body_shape-300x226It’s the guys’ turn to find out their body types. For the ladies, consult our first post on body type to see what shape or shapes your body may resemble.

Men’s bodies differ from women’s in terms of muscle mass and proportions. Generally, men have broader shoulders and narrower hips than women, although, as with anything relating to body types, there is always an exception.

Knowing your body shape can help you learn the proper way to exercise for maximum benefit. It can also help you find clothing that looks great and fits to a tee.

Gentlemen, start your engines

Stand in front of a full-length, upright mirror and notice the relationship between your shoulders, waist and hips as a guide to your true shape.

Note: There is no ideal body type. The goal for every body is to balance the elements. Depending on what unique elements you bring to the table, different clothes and workouts will suit you more than others. Check out the following types and learn more about the individual body that belongs to you!

1. Trapezoid: Those with a trapezoid body type are proportioned individuals with medium to narrow waist and hips and a broad shoulder and chest. The upper torso is usually larger than the lower torso, which can be exemplified by weight lifting. This type can choose from many clothing types, as a wide variety of men’s styles will fit this build well.

2. Inverted Triangle: This shape is often associated with bodybuilders (think the Governator circa 1980) and includes a broad chest and wide shoulders matched with developed chest, arm and shoulder muscles. The waist and hips on this type are generally narrow. Creating a proportionate physique for physical comfort and well-fitted clothing is key, so make sure you include lower body exercises such as weight-bearing squats and lunges to help you build lower body muscle.

3. Rectangle: The simplest to describe, this type includes a chest, waist, and hips that are about the same width, paired with a straight torso. When working out, focus on your upper body and emphasize your shoulders to enhance your streamlined appearance.

4. Triangle: Men with this shape carry more weight in their lower half and have a chest that is narrower than their hips. The great news is that men with this body type can take full advantage of striking fashion choices, such as jackets with square shoulders. Upper body workouts can help you balance your frame, but be sure to also work out your legs to take full advantage of your lower body strength.

5. Oval: If your appearance tends to be round, with a pronounced stomach, your type is the oval. Many people in the process of losing weight have an oval shape and will transform into one of the above shapes once significant weight has been shed. Others keep this shape at any size.

When exercising, focus on strengthening your core to reduce the pressure that a large stomach puts on your back. Look forward to more defined abdominals as you shed fat to reveal your hard-earned muscles, and be sure to enjoy a wide range of upper body exercises. One of the best workouts for oval shapes in pilates, which elongates muscles for a lengthened effect.

The great Socrates proclaimed one should “Know thyself.” A big part of knowing ourselves is understanding our physical, mental, and emotional makeup. By understanding how your body is proportioned, you will be able to appreciate your weight loss successes all the more by having realistic expectations of how your shape performs, both at the gym and in clothing. Good luck and have fun!