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Somatotypes

  • The aim of this lesson is to learn about body shapes called somatotypes and how these suit different sports (Equivalent to UK GCSE Physical Education)

The word somatotype basically means the shape of your body. There are three basic body shapes, but most of us fall somewhere inbetween the three:

Ectomorph

  • Very thin and lean
  • Narrow shoulders, hips and chest
  • Not much fat or muscle
  • Long arms and legs
  • Thin face and high forehead

Endomorph

  • Large body frame
  • High percentage of body fat
  • Wide hips but narrow shoulders
  • Ankles and wrists tend to be slim

Mesomorph

  • Muscular physique
  • Wide shoulders and narrow hips
  • Strong arms and legs
  • Very little body fat

As already mentioned, most people are somewhere inbetween these three extremes. The best way to see this is using a chart like the one below. Three numbers are used, one for each body type, with 1 being dissimilar to that shape and 7 being exactly like that shape. The numbers are always in the same order, with endomorph being first, mesomorph second and ectomorph third.

 

Somatotypes

 

People with different body shapes, tend to be good at different sports. Most top level athletes will have a body shape which leans towards the mesomorph end of the scale as most sports require a good deal of strength. They will then have either ectomorph or endomorph features, depending on how lean they are and how weight affects their sport. For example, a weight lifter or wrestler will be more towards the endomorph scale, and a long jumper or soccer player would be more ectomorph.

The image above gives some examples of ideal somatotypes for different sports.

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