There are three main body types. Ectomorphs who are skinny and lanky. Think supermodels and basketball players. Mesomorphs who are more muscular and associated with a athletic body type. Athletes such as sprinters are a good example. And then there are endomorphs.

Endomorphs tend to struggle with their weight, gaining weight easily and losing weight with difficulty. Female endomorphs are soft and curvaceous, and have a very feminine body shape. Male endomorphs have soft and round bodies, but when in shape tend to look more like mesomorphs. Think gladiator Russell Crowe and the beautiful actresses of the 1950’s.

If you have trouble losing weight despite your best efforts, chances are you’re an endomorph. Below you’ll find some of the endomorph’s main characteristics.


Common characteristics of endomorphs include the following:

  • Naturally chubby
  • Round, soft physique
  • Shapely
  • Tapered limbs
  • Long trunk
  • Prominent thighs and/ or upper arms
  • High levels of body fat (may be overweight)
  • High fat-to-muscle ratio
  • Underdeveloped muscles (until exercise)
  • Poor muscle definition
  • Strong bones
  • Medium jointed/ boned
  • Maintains higher weight/ BMI range
  • Good posture
  • Prone to knee and feet problems
  • Good flexibility
  • Low center of gravity


As an endomorph, you’ve probably struggled with weight problems your whole life – being chubby or even overweight. Maybe you were called “big boned” when you were a kid – you weren’t overweight, but not slim either. But as you’ve got older it’s become harder to keep the weight at bay.

The following are some of the metabolic traits common in endomorphs:

  • Slow metabolism
  • Gain weight easily
  • Lose weight slowly
  • Good ability to gain muscle
  • Excellent digestive system
  • Slow digestion
  • Highly efficient nutrient absorption
  • Good tolerance to fasting
  • Equivalent to Kapha body type in Aryurvedic Doshas


  • Cardiovascular system is stronger than an ectomorph, but weaker that that of a mesomorph.
  • Moderate/ good cardiovascular efficiency
  • Good endurance
  • Gains muscle relatively easy.
  • Strength, flexibility and endurance are good, easily trainable and maintainable.
  • Good muscle endurance

However endomorphs have:

  • Difficulty maintaining body fat percentage within healthy range.


Endomorphs are naturally strong and have good endurance and movement, and tend to do well in middle-distance activities. Endomorphs make great swimmers and also excel in sports requiring power and body weight force. Female endomorphs are represented in tennis, badminton, netball, martial arts, judo, and field events (e.g. shot-put, discus, hammer throw).

Most endomorphs participating in sports, particularly at an elite level, are very active, fit and lean. Therefore, they often don’t look like endomorphs unless it aids their performance. Instead they appear less endomorphic and more ectomorphic and mesomorphic through nutritional and training programs.

Endomorphs lack the speed of mesomorphs and the endurance of ectomorphs, who excel in fast paced aerobic-type exercise and endurance sport respectively.


Famous examples of women who look like endomorphs include:

Jennifer Lopez



Scarlett Johansson

Marilyn Monroe

Raquel Welsh

Salma Hayek

Oprah Winfrey

Sophia Loren

Queen Latifah

Christina Hendricks

Kate Winslet

Jessica Simpson

Drew Barrymore

Serena Williams

Elizabeth Taylor

Jennifer Hudson

Anita Egberg

Jayne Mansfield

Jane Russell

Gina Lollobrigida


While in-shape female endomorphs still look like endomorphs but slimmer and toned, male endomorphs when in shape look more mesomorphic.

The first four famous examples below are all (okay pretend to be) superheroes. But at one point or another they were overweight and out of shape, whether as kids such Henry Cavill who was reportedly nicknamed “Fat Cavill” at school or chubby kid Dwayne Johnson. They went on to become Superman and “The Rock” respectively (who says success isn’t the best revenge?). And what about Chris Pratt who played the funny sidekick until he dropped the weight to unleash his abs and inner superhero and dinosaur whisperer. And then there’s gladiator Russell Crowe.

So despite what you may think, being an endomorph isn’t half bad, especially if you plan on saving the world.

Famous examples of men who are probably endomorphs include:

Chris Pratt

Russell Crowe

Dwayne Johnson – “The Rock”

Henry Cavill – “Superman”

Bruce Willis

Kevin James

Jonah Hill

Seth Rogan


The good news is that, from an evolutionarily point of view, you’re pretty awesome. Back (waaay back) when food was scarce and starvation a real threat, endomorphs were the ones most likely to survive. Think Darwin, natural selection, survival of the fittest and so on. If you were good at storing fat, you had an excellent chance of survival. The bad news is that times have changed – a lot. Mobile phones, e-mail, self-driving cars, comfy sofas, Twinkies (deep-fried too!) and 600-calorie coffee beverages mean that your body type isn’t faring so well anymore. Your thrifty genes are now an obvious disadvantage.

The problem endomorphs face is that a combination of traits has conspired against them to create a perfect storm. Firstly, endomorphs tend to gain weight easier than other body types. Secondly, endomorphs have greater difficulty losing weight than the other body types. It is this exasperating combination that has many endomorphs at their wits end and leaves many endomorphs fighting a losing battle against overweight and obesity.

Endomorphs have fantastic potential and a great ability to transform themselves, more so than any other body type. However, endomorphs tend to get poor results when following nonspecific diets that do not address and have not been adapted to their needs. What works for a friend, might not work for you. And emulating their diet or exercise regime that successfully transformed their body might do nothing for you. Endomorphs respond best to a diet and workout plan that takes their body type into consideration.


Overall Goal

  • Lose weight
  • Increase cardiovascular and muscular fitness



Works Cited

  1. Bloomfield J, Fricker PA, Fitch KD. Science and medicine in sport. Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd Edition, 1995
  2. Mendez-Villanueva A, Bishop D. Physiological aspects of surfboard riding performance. Sports Med. 2005;35(1):55-70. DOI: 10.2165/00007256-200535010-00005
  3. Ackland TR, Elliott B, Bloomfield J. Applied anatomy and biomechanics in sport. Human Kinetics, 2nd Edition, 2008

Endomorph Body Type was last modified: November 4th, 2020 by the team
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