Does your body composition matter for your sport?

Why is it that when watching a marathon, the people at the front are always short, and lithe? Or when watching rugby, the props are always huge? Research shows that certain body types result in better ability at some sports than others. So what sport is your body suited to?

There are three main body types, with most people predominantly one or two over the other(s). Ectomorphs tend to have long legs, are thin and lean with narrow shoulders, hips and chest.. These people have low levels of fat and muscle in general. These guys make great marathon runners.

Endomorphs have a larger frame, with higher body fat, wider hips. This group is better at shot put, discus style of sport.

Mesomorphs are more muscular, with wide shoulders and narrow hips, strong limbs and low body fat. Sprinters or AFL players tend to be more ‘mesomorphic’.

Can you change your somatotype? Well, ‘change’, not sure about that. But train to alter body composition? For sure.

Through adequate training and nutrition, it is possible to significantly reduce body fat (or increase), or change muscle composition – you want to go from power lifting to endurance running? No problem, but the focus of the training is different; instead of spending hours pumping weights in the gym, you will be spending hours pounding the pavement. Anyone can do anything they set their mind to.

The key thing to remember though, is some people are naturally built for certain activities, so are genetically better, unfortunately that is something we cannot change!

Would you like to know more about your body composition? I would love to meet you – feel free to book in with me at BJC Health, where I can measure your skin folds, or one of our exercise physiologists is able to do a DEXA scan!

About Chloe McLeod