Some women can easily achieve their ideal feminine body, while others can't. If you struggle with this, it is time to stop. It's more important to focus on exercises and nutrition that fit your body's natural shape.
What’s a Feminine Body?
According to Bradley University, the standard for an ideal female body has changed significantly over time. Prior to the 1960s, people desired women to have fully mature, curvy bodies. During the 1960s and 1970s, the ideal feminine figure shifted from curvy to thin. Thanks to models like Twiggy and depictions in advertising, many women came to believe that the ideal female body is very thin.
The most recent trend is a much more body-positive idea of beauty. Organizations such as the Body Positive organization encourage people to accept all female body types and appreciate their bodies for all the amazing feats they can accomplish, no matter the size or shape.
Different companies display models with a wider range of shapes and sizes, promoting health and wellness over a specific look. Even Barbie dolls are on board, now offering curvy, petite and tall dolls to showcase a wider variety of bodies for young girls.
Despite the recent move towards body positivity and acceptance, some advertisers and many women still hold onto a body type ideal that comprises thinness, a tiny waist and fuller breasts and hips. According to the Girls Empowerment Network, mass media continues to display nearly-impossible-to-achieve standards for women and girls.
Instead of beating yourself up trying to achieve an impossible ideal doing cardio workouts at the gym or at home, you should focus your exercise routines on what will help you maintain a healthy body. In doing so, you may notice your waist slimming, or your butt filling out, but if you don't, that's OK too. Good health and being comfortable in your own skin is far more important than meeting impossible standards.
Exercises for a Feminine Figure
Different body types all build muscle and burn fat differently. According to the American Council on Exercise, most people fall into one of three body classifications, or exhibit traits from a combination of the three. The three types include:
- Mesomorphs: This body type builds muscle mass faster than other body types.
- Endomorphs: This body type is curvier or more rounded in shape.
- Ectomorphs: This body type is slimmer and more linear in shape.
Each of these body types will respond differently to similar exercise routines. For example, if you fit the mesomorph body classification, you will build muscles faster and more easily. On the other hand, if you are an endomorph body type, losing weight will require cardio routines.
In other words, it is important for you to understand how your body responds to exercise, in order to better reach your feminine body goals. A part of this understanding is acceptance that your body may look very different from those of other women, even if you both follow the exact same diet and exercise plan.
Not only does every woman have a different body type, but everyone also has a different wants for their body type. One woman may desire a lean, sculpted look while another may want a softer silhouette. Therefore those two women would choose different types of exercise for a womanly shape.
Regardless of body type, you should include a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength (resistance) training for best health. The American Heart Association recommends adults get a minimum 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. They also suggest adding resistance training on at least 2 days per week.
You should plan to do several days a week of cardio workouts like running, walking or biking if you are looking to lose weight or working for best health. You will want to spend time doing full-body resistance exercises.
Side bends, crunches and bicycle crunches are effective for helping to build a strong core and encourage body slimming changes in your posture. Squats, lunges and deadlifts can build your butt and thighs. Push-ups, chest presses and chest flies can help strengthen and lift your chest.
- American Council on Exercise: " Why We Still Need Cardio Training: A More Effective Approach"
- American Council on Exercise"Building Muscle for Women"
- Girls Empowerment Network: "Media Today: Unattainable Beauty Standards"
- The Body Positive: "Our Work"
- Bradley University: "Body & Beauty Standards"
- American Heart Association: "American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids"