3 Things you have to do to change your body shape
We now live in an age in which “ideal” body shapes are thrust in front of us daily, particularly if you are an active scroller on Instagram. So, a question we often get asked is “how do I change X or Y about my body?” and often the answer is not as simple as “eat less train more blah blah diet!”
The short answer is look at your parents and blame them. It is highly likely that 70-80% your body shape is a result of genetic inheritance. Tall parents make tall children etc. etc.
The point we’re going to explore today is more in reference to the way a body shape changes to fit a lifestyle.
For example, not all old people appear hunched over with a rounded back and their head pushed forward, some are a lot worse than others.
Why do some people appear to have buts the “stick out” whilst males with big beer guts tend to have no but?
Why do all swimmers look lanky with broad shoulders and boxers hunched over with no neck?
Well, to understand this concept you need to get your head around something called tissue plasticity. We’ve mentioned it before a little while ago, but we’ll explain it simply here:
Just like your brain, our structural (and nervous) systems will change according to the environment they are exposed to.
Sit in a chair with rounded shoulders and guess what will become of the structural tissue?
So, does this mean you chair bound folk are helpless and all swimmers will never have a butt? Absolutely not but remember nothing comes for free.
Here are the rules for a manipulatable structural system that won’t get stuck in one shape.
1. Constantly Move
If you were to pick on a type of athlete with a body shape that can handle large ranges of motion, jump, land, fall and move gracefully, what comes to mind?
It better be a dancer (if not then just say that what you thought of for the sake of this piece).
Dancers are one of the few, if not the only athletes that move in just about every direction possible for the human body. They tend to have immaculate posture and their movement skills stick with them for life (trust me, just ask a dancer). The only thing they may lack is high levels of strength but that’s an easy fix if you can move well.
Now, does this mean you should go and dance? Not particularly (although it does wonders for anyone and everyone). But what we’d suggest is get out and challenge yourself to moving more. Get off the mundane machines at the gym and learn something new.
2. Train through genuine ROM.
Far too often people claim their range of motion (ROM) is limited and that they will never fix it. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. To increase you range of motion, don’t bother sitting and stretching endlessly, rather, look up eccentric exercise and start incorporating it within your training program with genuine range. You’ll be surprised how well it works.
3. Lift heave things to build muscle (weights).
If you don’t expose your body to stress it won’t change. Particularly with regards to your strength program. If you don’t put enough weight on the bar and periodise the stress that you need to put on your skeletal system, it will stay the same. If you are not sure what any of that means, don’t stress too much. That’s where we can help.
Get moving and get changing, it’s simply waiting to get done.