November 4, 2010 – Thousands of athletes and wannabe athletes turned up for the Standard chartered marathon. Apparently, most turned up to cut some weight as they thought. Although the idea was to run for charity, poor preparation and physique was a clear undoing for most. Just a few meters after the gun was fired, some were seen walking, hoping to cover the entire 42 km. I couldn’t help but notice several body types of Kenyans as they wobbled along Mombasa road taking in all manner of fluids, watering the road, chatting along and showing off their cute little kids as they escaped their very evident body shapes.
How to ID your body shape
There are several body shapes for both men and women; the hour glass, spoon, ruler and cone.
Some people are bottom heavy, some are top heavy, some well proportioned and curvaceous and others with few curves.
These types are determined by genetics and have nothing to do with your diet, your weight, how much skinny you are, your athleticism, or your fitness coordination. You cannot change from one body type to another and it is important to note that no body type is better than the other.
To ID your body shape, you have to ask yourself these simple questions.
1. Do you carry most of your weight on the hips, thighs and buttocks?
2. When you look at the mirror, do your eyes focus directly to the lower part of your body?
3. Do you gain weight from hips downwards
4. Are you slender at the top?
The hour glass
1. Do you carry weight on both upper and lower body?
2. Are you slender through the waist?
3. Does your body appear curvaceous when you look in the mirror?
4. Is there some difference between your chest circumference and waist circumference?
1. Do you have very few curves?
2. Are you pretty much built from top to bottom?
3. Do you tend to put weigh in your mid section?
4. Is there uniformity in your chest, hip, waist and hip?
1. Do you have weight on your back, arms and chest?
2. Are you slender downwards to waist and hips?
Facts you ought to know about your body type
• Most men are rulers or cones
• Most women are hourglasses or spoons
• If you are overweight, you may have difficulty determining your body type and may be caught in between types.
• You could be a flat chest hourglass. Note that it’s about proportioned type, the circumference of your back and chest not the size of your breasts.
• Some female rulers have bigger breasts
• Your diet has nothing to do with body type but directly affects your current weight.
• You could be a busty spoon but the waist and hips are bigger in proportion.
Remember to measure the sections of your body before determining your type.
1. For the upper body and chest; place the tape measure at mid breast gong round the back.
2. For the waist, place the tape around the umbilicus or one inch above the belly button.
3. Hips; place the tape around the widest hip circumference but still above your buttocks.
4. Thighs; place the tape at the widest circumference point but just below the buttocks
5. Knees; measure one inch on tops of your kneecap.
6. Arms; place the tape under the armpit at the widest part.
In the next article, we tell you the types of fitness exercises recommended for your body type.