A Workout Plan to Get an Apple-Shaped Body Fit

Christine Steuber
May 30, 2022
Do you have an apple-shaped body and want to keep it fit? Check out this customized workout routine I've developed for you!

Have you ever thought that your apple-shaped body is very frustrating and demanding to deal with? A few of my friends with this physique are tired of their tummy pooch, and they think there’s nothing they can do about it. 

Well, in honor of my dear friends and all of you who share the same opinion and problem, I decided to write this article.

First, I want to point out one thing – we all need to choose the right exercises based on our shapes because only in this way we can achieve our body goals.

However, an attractive look is not what we need to prioritize here. Your health comes first, so it’s time to act and try to do some training that your body will be thankful for. I’ll show you some of the best and most effective exercises for your figure.

Let’s dive right in!

What is an Apple-Shaped Body Type?

We can say that the apple-shaped body type is very similar to a circle since these people tend to accumulate fat in the abdomen.

Many of us often think that having a round physique means having extra pounds. But this isn’t a strict rule. Some people are not overweight, but they still have problems with accumulating fat in the tummy area.

And if you think this body type is a minority, think again. Many celebrities share the same figure as you. A lot of celebs have a round body shape, but their carefully chosen clothes and the right exercise plan perfectly hide or eliminate the flaws.

For instance, Britney Spears has always struggled with obesity. But due to consistent training, diet, and the right pieces of clothing, she shows excellent shape every time!

Britney Spears celebrity example of apple-shaped body
Credit: Pinterest

And we also have Kelly Clarkson, who used to carry a slender figure back in the early 2000s. After she became a mom, Kelly naturally gained weight. But the singer has grown to love her new body. She picks the outfits that show the best of her figure.

Kelly Clarkson celebrity example with apple-shaped body
Credit: Popsugar

In the examples of Britney and Kelly, we notice that the only important thing is to feel good in your body. But while you may not mind being overweight, don’t forget that it negatively affects your health. So, think about including exercise and healthy food in your daily routine.

Typical apple-shaped body characteristics

Okay, now that we know what an apple-shaped body actually is, it’s time to learn a little more about the characteristics of this figure. The typical features of apple-shaped women are:

  • The buttocks have an equal width to the waist.
  • Small hips.
  • A medium chest.
  • A tendency to store fat in the abdomen.

Another variation of this body type is known as the “vase”. You can recognize the vase figure by the following features:

  • No definition in the waist.
  • A tendency to store fat on the sides.
  • Same width of the chest and hips.
  • Big breasts.
  • Wide hips.

As you can see, apple bodies tend to accumulate fat in the abdomen, while the vase physique has more fat on the sides. Also, apple bodies have smaller hips, and vase physiques boast wider ones. 

Some people also confuse the apple bodies with a rectangle shape. But there is no bulging belly or a big chest in a rectangle shape. 

Finally, one thing that is also confusing for many: is the pear-shaped body the same as an apple body? Simple and straightforward – no. Pear’s physique displays narrow shoulders, a high waist, and wide hips. And we’ve just learned that apple bodies have the same volume of shoulders and hips. Plus, their buttocks are flat with a low-definition waist. 

P.S. If any pear-shaped woman is reading this, I have written a valuable guide on the right shapewear for you, so make sure to check it out.

Is it possible to transform an apple-shaped body into an hourglass figure?

It is definitely possible for an apple shape figure to convert into an attractive hourglass body. However, you can’t achieve desired results if you aren’t committed to your workout routine. Also, some other factors have an essential role in this process, like hormones and diet.

Since this physique is associated with a low metabolic rate, it takes time to lose weight. But by consuming a diet abundant in minerals and vitamins, you will be closer to your dream body. Plus, decrease your carbohydrate intake, and make the following foods your best friends:

  • Whole grain cereals.
  • Kefir and low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Raw veggies as a salad.
  • Lean meat or fish.
  • Drink milk from nuts, and avoid soy products. 

Hormones have a significant impact on your physique as well. If your hormones are imbalanced, fat will automatically distribute in the belly. With age or pregnancy, our estrogen reduces, causing faster fat buildup. Smoking can mess up your hormones, too. 

Therefore, communicate with a physician to initiate a hormonal treatment to increase your estrogen production because when your estrogen levels are low, your body begins to store fat. 

Workout Routine for an Apple-Shaped Body

Now, we’re coming to the main part of my guide. The below sections will unveil every effective exercise for the apple-shaped body. I have put a lot of effort into building this workout plan, so I hope you’ll love it, my dear apples!

Let’s get started.

Workout goals for the apple-shaped body

In order to reduce an apple-shaped body, you have to target three areas: the abdomen, legs, and upper back. I’ve put together my workout plan precisely to target all these muscles effectively. 

Plus, the compound movements will activate the prominent muscle groups. Your tummy pooch will be gone while the rest of the body will grow.

Exercise #1: Standing Torso Rotation

Let’s start our workout with the torso rotation while standing on the legs. Here are the steps on how to do this exercise right:

  1. Stand with feet wider than the width of your shoulders. 
  2. Raise your arms in front of you.
  3. Rotate your torso at 90° to your right side and stay like that for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Swing back to the original position.
  5. Instantly repeat the steps on the other side. 

To better understand this exercise, I found a great video by YST Exercises that explains everything in a quick and easy way. Check it out:

Body rotation is excellent for stretching across your torso and hips and burning calories in these areas. It is also a great exercise in warm-ups.

Exercise #2: Side Bending

Workout is not only about losing weight; it’s also about strengthening particular parts such as intercostal muscles. Side bend is the perfect exercise to reach this goal. Follow these instructions to become the master of side bending:

  1. Raise your right arm overhead.
  2. Now, bend the upper body on the left side in a reaching motion.
  3. Ensure that the upper body is facing in a straight direction. Don’t twist it to the side during bending.
  4. Muscles should stretch from the lower back to the shoulder.
  5. Continue this stretch for 20 seconds. 
  6. Repeat the same process on both sides.

If you need a visual tutorial for this exercise, watch the YouTube video by Cleveland Clinic below:

A side bend supports the spine, boosts the flexibility in the lower back, and improves posture, so try to do it at least twice a week.

Exercise #3: Hula Hoop Exercises

And here we have some super-fun exercise. Ready for hula hoop training? Wear some comfy leggings and sneakers, and follow these steps to shape up your body:

  1. Bring the hoop to your waist.
  2. Spin it in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction.
  3. Move your waist in a circular motion. Push the hoop forward and backward as it goes across the stomach and back. 
  4. Continue this motion even if the hoop falls down. Consider spinning it in another direction.
  5. Just remember to keep making the basic motion as long as possible. 

By the way, I am in love with this hula hoop training by Sarah Liegmann, so you definitely have to save it and try it!

Hula hooping is ideal for losing abdominal fat, and you can do it while listening to your favorite song to make it more enjoyable.

Exercise #4: Yoga Stretching

And if you are not a fan of intense cardio, consider trying more calming fitness options like yoga. And no, yoga is not only for meditating and relaxing. There are many yoga asanas for burning belly fat, but I’ll share my two favorites in this section.

1. Kumbhakasana

This posture is also known as the plank, a cult favorite among yoga enthusiasts. It eliminates the tummy pooch and tones the muscles as well.

Here’s how to do it properly:

  1. Lie face down.
  2. Lift up your body on straight arms.
  3. Find balance on your toes.
  4. Remain in this posture for as long as possible. 
Plank Exercise demonstration
Credit: Yogtreat

The picture above shows the perfect performance of this exercise. Keep in mind that your face has to look down, otherwise, you can hurt your neck.

2. Naukasana

Another yoga exercise for strengthening stomach muscles and losing fat is the so-called ‘Naukasana’. Let me explain what you have to do:

  1. Lie down while facing the ceiling.
  2. Place your hands on the side. Keep the legs straight.
  3. Simultaneously raise your legs and arms from the ground slowly. Hold your tummy in and above the ground throughout the pose.
  4. Achieve a 45° angle until your body makes a V-shape. Do this for one minute.

I know it looks super-easy, but trust me, your tummy will buuuurn! Besides yoga, pilates also contains similar exercises, so you can try this option as well.

Exercise #5: Dumbbell Hip Thrust

Okay, now is the time for some more serious exercises. Are you ready for a dumbbell hip thrust to burn some calories?

Do it this way:

  1. Initiate this exercise by setting your upper body on a solid platform or a bench. 
  2. Keep the feet at the distance of your shoulders width. 
  3. Place a dumbbell on your lap.
  4. Push through your buttocks and heels.
  5. Squeeze your glutes at the top for two seconds. 

You can also watch this video by J2FIT to better understand what I am talking about:

This exercise is primarily intended to strengthen the gluteus. Since narrow hips are the main characteristic of the apple shape, in this way, you will achieve balance and get attractive curves on the lower body.

Exercise #6: Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split is another exercise that is great for the lower body as it strengthens the quads, glutes, and calves. Let me guide you through the steps:

  1. Turn your back to the bench. Put one foot on top of it. Keep the distance from the bench to have a 90° bend in the front knee.
  2. Bend your front knee to push the back knee on the ground. 
  3. Try to have the front thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Push through the front foot’s heel to go back to the original position while keeping your chest upward.
  5. Repeat.

I personally adore Vicky Justiz, a fitness trainer who explains everything thoroughly and vividly in her videos. There is also an amazing video about Bulgarian split on her YouTube channel that I recommend you to watch:

Now over to our next exercise.

Exercise #7: Seated Row

I know your primary focus is tummy, and you’d rather just do sit-ups to eliminate abdominal fat, but things don’t work that way. Remember that you have to activate your whole body to achieve the goal. The seated row is a fantastic exercise that targets the upper back muscles and improves posture. 

Note: You can do this exercise only in the gym and if you are doing it for the first time, make sure to ask the professional to explain the process and help you.

Here’s how you should do it:

  1. Put your feet on the pad of a seated row machine. Hold the handles with your hands.
  2. Pull out the cable and straighten your back.
  3. With a tight core, tall chest, and extended legs, row the cable towards your body.
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades simultaneously at the end.
  5. Before doing another rep, straighten your arms. 

I’ve found one great video about this exercise that might be helpful, so click here to watch it.

Exercise #8: Stability Ball Leg Curl

And now it’s time to burn fat on the tummy and legs at the same time! Let’s activate most of your body by doing the stability ball leg curl.

  1. Lie on your back. 
  2. Put your feet on a stability ball, and elevate your buttocks off the ground.
  3. Curl the ball towards you using your heels. 
  4. Return the stability ball to the original position. 
  5. Repeat.
Stability ball leg curl exercise demonstration
Credit: Pinterest

If you’re still unsure how to do it, I think this short tutorial will make it clearer to you. Take a look!

Exercise #9: Mountain Climbers

A little cardio never killed nobody! I know most of you hate the word ‘cardio’ because it includes a lot of sweat and heavy breathing, but this exercise category will help you get the desired results, so you should not skip it. Try the mountain climbers:

  1. Pull your right knee towards your chest.
  2. Pull one knee out and bring the other knee in. 
  3. Now run your knees in and out as fast as possible. 
  4. Focus on inhaling and exhaling with each leg change.

Again, I found one video with Charlee Atkins, a fitness instructor, who perfectly describes how to perform this exercise and which mistakes to avoid:

Now, over to our next exercise.

Exercise #10: Turkish Get-Up

The next exercise I have prepared is quite demanding, but it can make impressive body transformations. It’s about Turkish Get-Up exercise that activates the whole body, tones your thighs, achieves an even distribution of body weight, and burns calories.

Let’s try it:

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Now bend your right leg and place your right foot on the floor outside your hip. 
  3. Raise your right arm straight up toward the ceiling.
  4. Make a fist with your right hand and keep your knuckles pointing straight toward the ceiling.
  5. Set your gaze on your fist, where the kettlebell will eventually be (but I recommend doing it without a kettlebell if you’re a beginner).
  6. Push through your right heel and left elbow to prop yourself up onto your left elbow.
  7. Now, place your left palm on the floor to pull your body into a seated position.
  8. Put your left knee and left ankle in a straight line and get up.

Since I am aware that this is a challenging exercise to explain in words, I have found an ideal video example from Equinox that can help you master this workout technique:

Here’s one extra tip – wear the waist trainer during the workout to speed up the fat melting results. 

Exercise #11: Swimming

If you want to get in shape but are not a fan of fitness or the gym, that’s not an excuse to just sit and do nothing about it. There are other ways to get weight loss results. One of them is swimming, specifically butterfly stroke. This is how to swim properly to activate all muscles:

  1. Stretch your arms ahead and put your face downward in the water. 
  2. Slightly bend your knees.
  3. Pull your hands first, with elbows higher than hands and palms facing out. Past your hips, push your hands down and back across the water. 
  4. Legs have two movements. While your arms are in the pull phase, move your legs upward and downward with bent knees. 
  5. In the pull-to-push transition, execute the same movement but make it bigger. 

Watch this great video from Global Triathlon Network to see what the butterfly stroke technique actually looks like:

Now, let’s go over to our last exercise.

Exercise #12: Cycling

If you aren’t ready to start the tough exercises yet, consider just cycling to tone your body. Take some time every day and enjoy riding your bike while you burn belly fat and build leg muscles at the same time.

Cycling image
Credit: Pinterest

Fun, useful, and effective – the perfect combination, isn’t it?

5 Diet Tips for the Apple-Shaped Body Type

To reverse an apple body shape, it’s essential to be conscious about the food you consume. For this purpose, I will be sharing five diet tips suitable for an apple shape.

Tip #1: Reduce your carbs

If you carry your weight mostly in the middle, keeping the glycemic index low is the best option for you. According to the National Library of Medicine, even some low glycemic carbohydrates can still result in weight gain. 

The secret is to eat more unsaturated, healthy fats, such as canola oil, avocado, and nuts.

Tip #2: Consume belly-banishing snacks

No one’s asking you to reject snacks but try to find out which ones won’t cause tummy pooch. For example, a tablespoon of cocoa in the smoothie or a piece of dark chocolate (at least 70%) is good for your health. 

Cocoa restricts an enzyme that heightens blood pressure. Different studies have revealed that cocoa inhibits obesity-related inflammation. Moreover, some studies have shown that nuts are another great snack option to reduce belly fat. 

Tip #3: Eat healthy protein

A diet consisting of high protein burns belly fat. Another study from the National Library of Medicine indicated that a low-fat and high-protein diet could help you lose 65% more weight. 

As someone with an apple-shaped body, you should eat the following foods rich in healthy protein:

  • Unsweetened yogurt.
  • Raw seeds and nuts.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Poultry.
  • Tahini.
  • Fatty fish.
  • Lean red meat.
  • Eggs

Add these foods to your daily menu, and you’ll be a step closer to your body goal.

Tip #4: Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks

Let’s admit it – we all love to enjoy our favorite fizzy juice and delicious chocolate while watching the movies in the evening. However, this habit is very unhealthy for our bodies if we practice it too often. 

Sugar is made of glucose and half fructose. When you eat a lot of added sugar, your liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat. So try to resist temptation and avoid sugars as much as you can.

Tip #5: Try to avoid stress

Stress promotes more production of cortisol, which leads to weight gain. According to the researchers at Yale University, cortisol forces weight to be accumulated around the organs, resulting in a larger waist. 

To ensure that your cortisol levels are not dangerous, consume white beans. White beans consist of phosphatidylserine that lowers cortisol and sufficient fiber that reduces sugar levels in the bloodstream.

Wrapping Up

And we came to the end, my workout buddies! This concludes my guide on apple figures. I hope you liked the exercises for the apple-shaped body that I mentioned in this article. To sum up, your workout should include:

  • Standing Torso Rotation
  • Side Bending
  • Hula Hoop
  • Yoga
  • Dumbbell Hip Thrust
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Seated Row
  • Stability Ball Leg Curl
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Turkish Get-Up
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

Remember one thing – it’s never too late to change your body. Stop delaying and start making changes!

If you have a different body shape or are just looking for outfit ideas for your figure, make sure to read other fashion articles on my blog

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