CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


exercise according to "body type"

Wondering if there's anything to this theory. Basically, if you're an "hourglass" or a "spoon"--anything bottom heavy--MANY exercises will only make you bigger--bulk you up? Things like stair stepping, step aerobics, lunges, squats, even running--are supposedly no-no's for these body types. I've found several sites that support this theory, but I want to hear about personal stories. They don't really leave much to choose from except for bike riding and jumping rope.

Wed. Jun 20, 10:59pm

Add comment  
I think it's a bunch of crap, really. When you build muscle (as a woman)-sure it gets slightly larger, but if you are burning fat along with that, you actually get smaller as you build muscle. Definitely not bigger! I think this is an excuse people use not to do certain types of uncomfortable exercise.

I've always been an hourglass (which by the way, doesn't mean bottom heavy) whether I was overweight or not-and after losing 75 lbs and doing lots of vigorous cardio (treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, aerobics classes) and all sort of different resistance routines-including lunges, squats, and currently LOTS of running, and yoga and my butt and thighs are the smallest they've been in my entire life-and I'm rock solid!! My measurements are now 36-27-36 and they were formerly 45-36-47 so I definitely don't believe anything about working your body type a certain way! Burn fat and build some muscle and you will look fabulous!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 11:35 PM

Add comment
I agree, 11:35p! And I think people may get bigger because they're not paying close enough attention to their diet - what they're eating and HOW MUCH
of it (i.e., people can gain weight or not lose by eating too much healthful food!) So, they build muscle without shedding the layer of fat. I certainly have experience with that! Once I payed attention to how much I was eating and cut back - I got in the best shape of my life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 11:42 PM

Add comment
Thanks you two; I really appreciate that feedback.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 6:56 PM

Add comment
I don't know....

I hope what you say is true 11:35 and 11:42! I have been doing a lot of cardio videos, which tend to have a lot of lunges and squats... and my butt is getting huge. :( I'm toning up all over, but my backside is growing inversely with my decreasing weight! It's very disheartening. I only hope that if I keep working out and burning calories, the fat there will eventually burn off. In the meantime.... I'm so discouraged!

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:16 PM

Add comment
that's my concern, 7:16...that I finally work up the motivation to get started working out, and that it turns out to backfire. I just read this book years ago called, "Exercising according to your body type". I'm a DEFINITE hourglass, and my rear does not need to get any bigger. I seem to recall that when I used to "The Firm" with lots of step up moves, lunges and squats, that I got firm, but bulked up. So, now that I'm ready to lose weight and get into shape, I looked body type exercises up and found several sites advocating that hour glasses stay away from this type of exercise.

It just doesn't make sense to me. MOST of the women are hourglass or spoon shaped. Very few have that ruler shape (like models) that CAN do these type of exercises. It just seems that if it were true, it would get a LOT more publicity because these are all the types of exercises women do: Aerobics? Come on. That's a pretty basic thing and this theory says that most women shouldn't even do it? I have torn ligaments in my knee before and can't do high impact stuff. I have a stair stepper which would be ideal, if I weren't worried about this theory of bulking up. I can't jump rope (which they say is ideal for hour glasses) and I'll get bored really quickly on a stationary bike. Anybody else want to chime in? I'm holding off getting started exercising until I feel pretty comfortable with this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:42 PM

Add comment
Exercise by body type

If your lower body is big becuase you have a lot of muscles there, heavy leg work is going to build that part of you up. Those muscles are already big and inclined to build up.

If your lower body is simply where you carry your fat, you probably won't "bulk up" down there but you still want to concentrate your heavy workout to your upper body. By building the upper body, you will "balance out" the lower where you carry more fat

Friday, June 22, 2007, 10:04 AM

Add comment
One other thought- you don't lose fat evenly all over at once- I know in my case, I lose fat from my legs first then upper body and last of all from my midsection.

SO, you might be building muscle under an area of fat that your body is holding on to longer than the rest. If you keep it up, eventually, you'll lose that fat too and then all that toned muscle that was hiding will look fantastic.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 11:50 AM

Add comment
I am bottom heavy- very big quads and calves. I resisted doing "too much" for this reason for many years, then I figured out that I may bulk up initially, but as the muscle increased, and the fat melted, I did eventually get smaller and in better proportion- just stick with it and remember that when you carry more muscle, you burn more fat with everything you do. A combination of weights, running, yoga, and varying the cardio machines works for me.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 1:58 PM

Add comment
For those of you doing mostly cardio and feeling like you're getting bulkier, I would actually cut back on cardio and do more strength training. That will help burn more calories overall and help shed layers of fat. Women don't have the testosterone necessary to get bulky - you'll get lean, not bulky like a guy. Diet is a big part, too. You have to take in fewer calories than you need to burn off that fat! And for some cardio ignites that appetite, which won't help!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 7:29 PM

Add comment
Here's an example of how women don't really "bulk up". ( I am also the 11:35 pm poster). I've had big, muscular calves my whole life and while they were defined and attractive, I couldn't wear zip up style knee high boots. It totally used to bum me out, and I'd have to buy lace up ones instead. I lost 50 lbs and thought-here's my chance to buy boots maybe?? Nope my calves hadn't gotten any smaller even though the rest of me had. They hadn't gotten any bigger though either. Fast forward to now-and I've dropped 25 more lbs and suddenly my calves are smaller, sleeker and my muscles are more defined than ever. I can wear those boots now, no problem! I never stopped doing exercises that focused on my legs and even though I thought I didn't have fat on my calves to lose, apparently I really did!!!

Just keep going! Work hard and eat right, and you can have the body you want! No excuses!!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 10:02 PM

Add comment
7:16 again

I'm so glad you all shared your experiences. I really needed to hear them to stay motivated! I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing in terms of my workout and focus more on my diet, and maybe one day I can kiss my big butt goodbye!

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 1:27 AM

Add comment
10:02- I've had the same *boot* experience! I can just forget about those "cigarette" jeans- my calves won't fit into the thighs of those pants! and I've got six pack abs! I used to hate my big legs, but not all men think skinny legs are sexy- think of Tina Turner!

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 2:18 AM

Add comment
Count me among the dissenters. Who comes up with this stuff?? With healthy exercise that balances between cardio and weight training, your body will become what it should be when in balance. As long as you're not using steroids or overtraining, nothing about exercise is a no-no.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 9:37 AM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge