Genetic Exercise? 

We’ve discussed how your unique genetic code can influence how your body responds to different foods.  Now, we’ll take a look at how your body type, or body genetics, is the foundation of the “house” in which you live.  Custom building your house to your satisfaction requires that you understand what strategies or building plans will work best.  You can enhance or redesign your body with this understanding. 

First, there are various reasons and purposes we exercise; for overall health, athletic performance, physical therapy, and to get our bodies in shape.  For most, it’s to get our bodies looking good, rather than overall health.  All exercise is good for our health, and to get moving is the first goal, whether it’s walking, dancing, or circuit training (full body training, alternating upper and lower body exercises), done consistently, you will find reaching your health goals much easier to reach.  Athletic training has its own goals and strategies. For those of us who want to get our bodies in the best shape possible, there’s more that goes into the equation.   

As a personal trainer in the 90’s, we were taught to train our clients the same, barring any health for physical issues.  As I learned and experienced more, I found myself not agreeing with that strategy.  One of my clients saw the results I was achieving by the program I used, and asked if she could work out with me.  She became my workout partner for a while, yet became frustrated that she did not achieve the same results.  What I realized later, is that we weren’t molding the same “clay”.  Her body type was different than mine.  She had different strengths and weaknesses.  Her body’s shape, or genetic type, caused her to respond differently to the same workout I was doing.   

Body Types 

The Pear Body Type 

  • Narrow shoulders 
  • Straight waist 
  • Lower-body weight in hips, thighs, and buttocks 
  • Wide pelvic and hip structure 
  • Need to reduce lower body 
  • Need to build muscle mass in upper body 

The challenge for the pear body type is to redesign the body by filling out the chest/bust and adding width to the shoulders while isolating, toning, and firming exercises to the lower body area.  

The Apple Body Type 

  • Upper body stores fat around waist, upper back, and arms 
  • Lower body is undersized 
  • Thin buttocks and legs 
  • Abdominal area out of proportion and protrudes 
  • Need to shape and tone upper body 
  • Need to build hips, thighs, and buttocks 

The challenge for the apple body type is to build the upper and lower leg muscles while shaping and toning the upper body.  The apple will need to concentrate on the abdominal or core muscles also.   

The Banana Body Type 

  • Lacks pleasing lines and shapeliness 
  • Pelvic bone, ribs, and shoulders equal width 
  • Wide waist 
  • Need to firm and tone muscles 
  • Need to elongate thighs 
  • Need to tone buttocks 

The challenge of redesigning the banana is to firm and tone muscles to incorporate an hourglass shape.  The banana should concentrate on the abdominal or core muscles, and try to elongate the thighs and tone the buttocks.   


No matter what exercise program you choose, get moving.  Understanding your body type will help you strategize in your training.  Most personal trainers have this knowledge imbedded into their brains by now, and can help you get the shape you want.  However, you can also take this knowledge to “Google”, and find exercises that specifically address each issue.  I work out at home with little equipment, and no machines.  It can be done.  Motivation and time management is key, no matter where you train.  First, find out your “why”, and define it.  Write it down.  Then, get moving! 

Reference: “Blood Types, Body Types, and You”, by Dr. Joseph Christiano 


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