We all fall somewhere on the continuum among these three body types with their different advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Ectomorph – Long and lean
  2. Mesomorph – Muscular and stocky
  3. Endomorph – Plump and round

We are all varying combinations with differences in body fat ratio, ligament strength/laxity, muscle and tendon strength/endurance, and metabolism.  See the graphic below to better understand your body type:

Body types, like posture, are another clinical data point that can be used to help determine the cause of pain, as well as a patient’s propensity for certain types of injuries.  For example:

  1. Ectomorphs tend to do well with endurance sports like running, swimming, and cycling in a triathalon.  This body type doesn’t tend to have a lot of muscle bulk or body fat and so the forces encountered in endurance sports, are attenuated by their tendons and can overload them leading to tendinopathies of the:
    1. Achilles tendon
    2. Rotator cuff  tendons
    3. Patellar tendon
    4. Etc.
  2. Mesomorphs tend to do well with high intensity sports like weightlifting, hockey, and football.  Their muscular build, combined with inflexible joints, allow those who are predominantly mesomorphic to be solid yet rigid foundations for pushing weight.  This combination allows them to recruit more muscle fibers quickly; however, they are more likely to strain muscles.  The rigidity of the joints doesn’t allow them to act as shock absorbers against the ground, and can also overload bone, making mesomorphs more prone to bony injury such as fractures.  
  3. Endomorphs can be great at wrestling, rowing, and powerlifting.  They tend to have great mobility of their joints but lack stability.  They are likely to be able to get into a deep squat better than a mesomorph.  However, they lack joint stability and tend to have ligament laxity, making them prone to ligamentous sprains.  

We are all a combination of these three body types, some more predominantly one body type over another, and others somewhere in-between.  Body type analysis is somewhat subjective, but still plays an important role in the injury and pain assessment of our patients.  

Helpful Considerations:

Ectomorphs will benefit from adding more muscle mass with strength training.  

Mesomorphs will benefit from adding more mobility to their routine.

Endomorphs will benefit from adding core work, balance, and stability training to their routine.  


Daniel Yinh

Daniel Yinh


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