Body Types

body, bodytype, composition, ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph -

Body Types

Success as an athlete comes from a combination of athletic ability and our body build. The three components of body build are type, size and composition. A system, developed by W.H. Sheldon, uses the terms ectomorph, endomorph, or mesomorph to describe the body build of an individual.

Endomorph

  • A pear shaped body
  • A rounded head
  • Wide hips and shoulders
  • Wider front to back rather than side to side.
  • A lot of fat on the body, upper arms and thighs

An endomorphic individual typically has short arms and legs and a large amount of mass on their frame. Their mass hampers their ability to compete in sports requiring high levels of agility or speed and perform sustained weight bearing aerobic activities such as running. Sports of pure strength, like power lifting, are perfect for an endomorph. They can gain weight easily and lose condition quickly if training stops.

Mesomorph

  • A wedge shaped body
  • A cubical head
  • Wide broad shoulders
  • Muscled arms and legs
  • Narrow hips
  • Narrow from front to back rather than side to side.
  • A minimum amount of fat

A mesomorphic individual excels in strength, agility, and speed. Their medium structure and height, along with their tendency to gain muscle and strength easily makes them a strong candidate for a top athlete in any sport. They can sustain low body fat levels and find it easy to lose and gain weight.

Ectomorph

  • A high forehead
  • Receding chin
  • Narrow shoulders and hips
  • A narrow chest and abdomen
  • Thin arms and legs
  • Little muscle and fat

A predominantly ectomorphic individual is long, slender and thin, and therefore power and strength sports are perhaps not suitable as their slight build leaves them susceptible to injuries. While they can easily get lean and hard, their lack of musculature severely limits their chances in sports requiring mass. Ectomorphs dominate endurance sports and gymnastics. They can archive low levels of body fat which can be detrimental to health and for females in endurance sports it can result in a cessation of periods and iron deficiency.