Ideal Body Proportions

Is there such a thing as ideal body proportions? Apparently so, according to science.

The Golden Ratio are numbers used by artists, sculptors, plastic and dental surgeons, to create symmetry and proportion. These numbers are height-specific.

Leonardo’s da Vinci’s Mona Lisa’s face indicates this ratio, and Salvador Dali applied the ratio in his painting, Sacrament of the Last Supper.

Although many assert that the ratio classifies people as beautiful who come close to these proportions, there really is no worldwide standard for beauty.

Aside from the numbers, what is considered attractive is a matter of personal and societal preferences that change over time.  

This isn't to say that symmetry never matters. Bodybuilding and other physique competitions grade contestants on standards of symmetry.

The goal of this article is to give you some clues as to how you can influence your body proportions.

As a general rule, narrow waists as compared shoulders and 'healthy' hips are attractive on a woman. Broad shoulders are attractive on a man.

How to Reshape Your Body into Those Ideal Body Proportions

We often hear the statement that you cannot spot reduce. That may be true; but, you can get closer to more ideal body proportions once you know how to reshape your body.

I call it “body sculpting.” It's a simple concept. Create better symmetry with muscular development.  

It is time to shift your thinking into terms of creating proportion and symmetry rather than focusing on little pockets of body fat. 

Thinking solely about reducing areas of the body to create shape ignores the most powerful tool you have to create better body symmetry -- building up areas of your body instead of fixating on your big or little whatevers.

Body Sculpting Exercises at Work 

The following two examples employ the building concept. They apply to both men and women.  

Maybe you're the person who doesn't need to lose much, if any, body fat around your waist. You can make your waist appear smaller and sculpt a beautiful upper body by following my favorite solutions that are only possible through weight training.  

Consider an inverted triangle with the top line representing the shoulders and the bottom point representing the waist. You can create a proportionately smaller waist by building this inverted triangle.

Both of these bodies are beautiful. The waist size is the same on both. The body on the right has been enhanced by muscle development.

How to reshape your body as depicted above:

  • develop your shoulders (deltoids) so that they are slightly wider;  
  • build your upper lats (those muscles that create the V-shape on the sides of your back). The V-shape of your upper lats makes the waist appear smaller even if the waist remains the same size; and
  • perform bicep and triceps exercises to add shape to the arms.

The chest-sculpting depicted in the image is for women who have little or no cleavage and men who want fuller, cut pecs.

To achieve this, build your pectoral muscles with dumbbell flies and presses at varying angles to create a “cut” (defined area) that looks a lot like cleavage. You can make that cut begin higher than in the image by changing the angle of the movement.

This really works! And there's nothing like a great set of pecs on the guys. 

Muscle Sculpting Takes Time

Muscles adapt to demand by growing. They atrophy because of a lack of demand.  

Knowing how to reshape your body is the beginning of a long process.  It takes about four months for muscle cells to turn over -- replaced by those new, healthy muscle cells you are building. This turn-over must be repeated to create more muscle. Be patient and persistent. You will see the changes over time.  

By building muscles and including aerobic workouts (particularly high-intensity-interval training) the fat will begin to dissipate -- revealing those ideal body proportions you have worked so hard for.

On the Subject of Fat...

There's an added bonus in the muscle-building process. Muscles need more energy to exist, and our bodies prefer fat as an energy source. Building muscle aids in the loss of body fat -- helping to carve out certain areas where we tend to store it.

If you are concerned about fatty areas, see Healthy Fat Loss.

Tip For Women

Check out my cautions for women when it comes to weight training. There are certain exercises you should avoid if you want to create better symmetry. See Weight Training for Women.

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