When you look in the mirror, what body shape do you see? If your body looks broader on top and slimmer on bottom, you may need an inverted triangle body shape workout. Choosing exercises with a specific focus on the lower body can help increase muscle mass and shape your hips, glutes and thighs.
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What Is Your Body Type?
Your body type is based on body composition and skeletal frame. In general, there are three body types: endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), most people are a blend of two body types.
That said, Penn Medicine breaks the body types down further based on the following: apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle and ruler. With that in mind, they define the inverted triangle body type as one with narrow hips and a larger upper body and, more specifically, a larger bust and broad shoulders.
If you have this body type and you want to look less narrow from the belly to your toes, they recommend designing your training around exercises that focus on building up your lower body. This includes targeting your gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.
To do this, consider performing compound movements for the lower body, which allows you to work multiple muscles at the same time. ACE recommends the deadlift, squat and loaded carries to target the large muscles in the lower body.
Inverted Triangle Body Shape Workout
When it comes to working out, someone with an inverted triangle body shape should still follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which state that adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.
If you don't have that much time to spare, you can bump up the level of your workouts to vigorous-intensity and decrease the total time to 75 to 150 minutes per week. Further, they recommend two days of muscle-building exercises that target the entire body.
To meet those guidelines, while targeting your lower body, you can include inverted triangle shape exercises in your workouts. Certified personal trainer and creator of the Peak Physique program, Dempsey Marks, AFAA, tells LIVESTRONG.com that the squat, lunge and deadlift are three of the best exercises for an inverted triangle shape.
"The squat is one of the most effective lower-body exercises," says Marks. "This one gem will strengthen and firm your hips, butt and thighs." Additionally, she recommends lunges for targeting your lower body muscles and increasing stability and deadlifts, to round out your inverted triangle body shape workout.
Read more: 10-Minute Leg Sculpting Workout
Cardio for Inverted Triangle Body
The best cardio for inverted triangle body shape will also focus on the muscles in the lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings and quadricep muscles.
Leslee Bender, ACSM, NASM, owner of Applied Functional Movement in Orlando, Florida, tells LIVESTRONG.com that cycling, the elliptical and stair climbing machines are excellent forms of cardio for inverted triangle shapes. "When performing these exercises, try and maintain strict posture and wear good training shoes to keep your alignment," she says.
Additionally, Marks says running is a good option since it is weight-bearing and works your entire body. Plus, it gives you a great aerobic workout and helps burn calories.
Remember to follow the guidelines described above and consider adding high-intensity interval training, or HIIT workouts, twice a week to your cardio routine. HIIT is a method of exercise that uses bouts of high-intensity exercise alternated with short rest periods.
- American Council on Exercise: "Mesomorph Body Type"
- Penn Medicine: "What Your Body Shape Reveals About Your Health"
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition"
- Leslee Bender, ACSM, NASM, owner of Applied Functional Movement, Orlando, Fla.
- Dempsey Marks, AFAA, certified personal trainer and creator of the Peak Physique program.
- American Council on Exercise: "5 Compound Exercises You Should Add to Your Workout"