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Workout for optimal symmetry

Exercise Cardiovascular_training

Written by:
Birgitte Nymann ( www.nymanns.dk )
Author, speaker and educator within Exercise, health, nutrition and motivation. Concept – and seminar developer at Pro Academy, Denmark. Educated and trained in sport from University of Copenhagen.

If you are too plump on the wrong places on your body, you can model it with exercise so it will look smaller in the big places – without losing weight.

We are all created differently. The body can be divided into big and small, tall and short, thick and thin, wide and slender. The body can be divided into a few different categories depending on where on the body you are big or small. Depending on which shape you have been assigned from nature’s hand, you can with advantage focus your exercise on different areas of your body in order to create more symmetry and hence look more slender. When some clothes make you look slender and something makes you look bigger, when some pants make your legs look short and others make your legs look long, it is because it changes the symmetry of your looks. In the same manner you can permanently alter your body’s symmetry by exercising the musculature in areas, where you can add some more bulk. Many people, especially women, have a tendency to exercise uncontrollable in the areas they wish were smaller. However, this can actually result in a greater distinction in the body’s symmetry and you will end up looking fatter/bigger. If you think your hips are wide, then do not exercise them additionally to loose weight there. You cannot loose weight pointwise by making certain exercises, but you can look a lot more slender, if you add bulk to other places than the ones you already think are big.

You have to remember, though, if your are overweight you will not get healthier by looking slimmer. If your body fat percentage or BMI is too high you have to loose that extra layer of fat in order to become slimmer.

Apple shape

If you are apple-shaped, then you have a lot of bulk on your stomach and arms and your legs have relatively little bulk. If you are apple-shaped you have to exercise your abs in order to prevent back problems. The more overweight you get on your abdomen, the greater is the risk of getting back problems. When you store a lot of fat on your abdomen it will to a greater extend end up under your abs and squeeze the muscles so they will stretch. The more overweight, the more the muscles will stretch. The more the muscles stretch, the more lordotic you will get or your upper body will sink towards your hips, so you will get a bad posture in the upper part of the back, the shoulders will round forward and your neck will sway more than it should. Additionally, it is unhealthier to have fat stored under the abs than on the outside of them, because the fat is easier released into the bloodstream and this can, in the long run, result in cardiovascular problems, which can result in blood clots later on. So, if you primarily store fat on your abdomen you will need to loose some weight and exercise your symmetry, which will make the body more harmonic to look at.

You can engage in fitness training to get rid of the fat and then you have to exercise your thighs, so your legs become bulkier, exercise the upper part of your body so you will get a V-shape as well as exercising your waist so it will become more conspicuous. When you add bulk on your legs and your upper body and exercise your abs so it becomes flatter, you will get a better posture and look more slender. If you are more than 10 kg overweight it is quite necessary that you loose weight for the sake of your health.

This is how you do it:

  • Eat healthier, regularly and drink lots of water – every single day.
  • focus on fitness training; running, power walking, cycling, swimming, aerobic, step and so on.
  • go for a walk instead of watching TV – to increase the fat burning.
  • perform exercises that strengthens the centre of the body from within: exercise on the big exercise ball, the small Redondo ball, EFFEKT, Pilates, gymstick, core training, back training, back gymnastics, power yoga and so on.
  • avoid excessive training of the rectus abdominis (regular sit-ups)
  • Ride your bike to work or some of the way
  • Exercise your shoulders, legs, buttocks, and back, so the muscles will take shape there. Exercise with focus on the deep abdominal muscles (the ones that keep the abdomen in gives a good posture, when they function correct).

Pear shape

If you are bulkiest around your thighs, buttocks, and the lower part of your abdomen, and is the upper part of the body proportionally smaller than the lower part of the body, then you are pear-shaped. It is less unhealthy to have too much fat on the hips than on the abdomen, but if you weigh too much it is still possible to develop diseases in the wake of the overweight. If you are pear-shaped you have to focus your exercise on the upper part of the body. If you are pear-shaped you have to add muscles on your shoulders and the upper part of the back.

If you also want to loose weight you have to do fitness training combined with weight training with extra focus on the upper part of the body. You have to add more muscle mass on the upper part of the body as well as avoiding to increase the muscle mass in the lower part of the body. You have to exercise shoulder, chest, upper back with heavy weights and the lower part of the body with light weights or no extra weight at all. The more extra weight you apply, the more your muscles will develop and grow bigger. If you use less weight when you exercise your muscles will not develop as much. Do not worry – women do not get voluminous muscles on the upper part of the body by training with heavy weights.

This is how you do it:

  • perform non weight-bearing fitness training such as rowing, cycling, spinning, Nordic walking (here, you carry your own weight, but there is close to no strain on the musculature) 3-4 times a week or as long as you want to or have the time to. Work as hard as you can in the devoted period, so that you spend as much energy as possible. If you want to loose weight you have to burn more energy than you consume. The harder the training, the more calories you use.
  • perform weight training for the upper part of the body.
  • avoid weight-bearing fitness training such as stair masters, aerobic, step, racket sports and so on.
  • avoid heavy weight training for your legs – especially on the outside of your hips and the inside of your thighs.


You have a “beanpole” shape, if you are equally wide from your shoulders down to your thighs. If your want to shape your body a little more so you get bigger curves, you have to focus your work out on your buttocks, hips, shoulder and back so will get an hourglass shape - wide on top, slim waist and a bit wider over the hips. If you do not want to loose weight you have to make sure you eat more on the days you work out, so you get enough nutrients to cover the body’s need. In the old times skinny children were given cream and extra butter on the bread in order to gain weight. However, when you are skinny you do not just wish to gain fat. When you wish to gain weight, the increased bulk on the body should be caused by the muscles growing and the layer of fat becoming healthy.

This is how you do it:

  • avoid excessive fitness training unless you have too much fat on your body. It will make you even slighter
  • eat varied and regularly so you keep getting nutrients and thereby give energy to the body, so you do not loose weight.
  • work out on a stair master, run, attend pump, boxing, weight training with heavy weights and few repetitions.
  • perform exercises which focus on increasing the bulk on the upper part of the body and the lower part of the body, so you enhance the female forms.


You are stocky if you have an angular shape, where all the limbs are hefty and stout. You have hefty, wide joints. The musculature is stout and looks a bit beefy. If you are overweight you should loose weight like everyone else. If you do not have too much fat on your body, you should focus on fitness training. Fitness training can be muscle-degrading or at least it will not give you significantly bigger muscles. Besides this you have to do some muscle training which will make the musculature more flexible and enduring, which will make the “beefy” look disappear as well as giving a better posture. Heavy weight training, on the other hand, will enhance the stout look.

This is how you do it:

  • avoid weight training, boxing, heavy weight-bearing leg training such as squats on one leg, squats with barbells or on a machine, pump, stair masters and so on.
  • focus on cycling, spinining, walking, cross-country skiing, swimming.
  • perform exercises that make the muscles flexible while they are being worked out such as Pilates, EFFEKT, training with balls, balance, yoga, stretch exercises.
  • weight training/bodybuilding: perform exercises for the entire body which you can repeat for 15-25 times before you tire.
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