HomeCalculatorsThe 5 Body Shapes: Hourglass, Apple, Pear, Ruler & Inverted Triangle

The 5 Body Shapes: Hourglass, Apple, Pear, Ruler & Inverted Triangle

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The body comes in huge variety of different sizes, proportions, and body compositions. While size is about how much mass a person has, and body composition about what makes up that mass (fat, muscle, skeletal structure), body shape describes how muscle and fat is distributed and how the skeleton is moulded.


Your body shape is based upon the size of your physical features and the overall balance of your body. There are five body shapes:

  • Ruler: Upper body, lower body, and waist are similar in size.
  • Hourglass: Upper and lower body similar size, with significantly smaller waist.
  • Pear: Upper body more slender than lower body.
  • Apple: Upper and lower body similar size, with larger waist
  • Inverted triangle: Lower body more slender than upper body.

While there is no universal definition for each body shape, in terms of concrete numbers/ vital statistics, understanding the overall balance of your body (top heavy, bottom heavy, or balanced) can help you determine which areas of your body you may want to target more with strength training.

For example, pear-shapes are bottom heavy, having a smaller upper body compared to their lower body. People with a pear shapes may want to focus more on their upper body with strength training for greater balance in strength and shape. Cone/ apple shapes are top heavy, having a bigger upper body compared to their lower body. Therefore apple shapes have slimmer legs and struggle with belly fat.

Don’t forget to read about your body type.

Ruler Body Shape (Rectangle/ Banana Shape)

  • Shoulders, hips, waist almost same size.
  • Very little indentation at waist.
  • Tend to put on weight in stomach and bottom, while maintaining slender arms and legs.
  • E.g. 34-30-35, 36-33-37, 40-36-42.

Hourglass Body Shape

  • Well-proportioned upper and lower body.
  • Shoulders and hips (almost) same size
  • Dramatic indentation (> 6″ –  some sources stipulate an indentation greater than 8″, other 9″ and some sources even 10″) at waistline.
  • Tend to gain weight all over your body, especially hip and chest area.
  • E.g. 32-26-33, 33-27-35, 36-30-38.

Pear Body Shape (Spoon Shape)

  • Larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies.
  • Shoulders narrower than hips.
  • Tend to gain weight below the waist.
  • Small chests and flat stomachs, great abs.
  • E.g. 32-28-39, 34-30-38, 36-30-44

Apple Body Shape

  • Wider shoulders than hips.
  • Bigger on the top half of their bodies than on the bottom half.
  • Slim legs and hips.
  • Larger bust and stomach.
  • Tend to gain weight above the waist or bottom.
  • E.g. 40-36-33, 36-32-30, 34-30-29

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  1. Something that always annoys me with most sites that discuss body shapes is their default position that if you have a small waist and wide hips but your bust measurement is smaller than your hips by more than 1-2 inches you must be a pear. Not necessarily. Remember, to be a pear shape you have narrower shoulders than your hips. I’m 36-27-40. But my shoulders are 37 inches.
    So many of us a confused about how to classify our body shape. Here’s a thought, maybe it’s because 4 body shapes just don’t cover all of our different body types? People might say that you should just be happy with your body shape and not worry about classifying it. Who are they kidding, we’re women. Of course we want to know!
    I’m not sure if you have ever heard of Trinny and Susannah, they came up with 12 different body shapes. They still don’t cover everyone but I suggest you look them up if you are like me and just don’t fit into any of the above categories.

  2. Hi,Im confused with my measurements. I have 35-28-38 ratio.please help me to find out my body type and suggest proper workout if needed. 🙂

    • You’re in the “ruler” classification. Look at the sample measurements given for that body shape and you’ll note that the difference between measurements is about 4″ to 6″, which is exactly where you fall. You’re not necessarily going to match the description of your associated body type classification in every respect. The categories are great for helping individuals identifying their body type, but they certainly come with a caveat–we simply cannot obtain a system with a reasonable number of groupings that will be infallible (ie. universally applicable). Just something to think about when you’re trying to see how you weigh in on a scale designed for the use of such a diverse audience.

  3. My shoulders n hips r about the same size but looking at my measurements i seems to have a pear shape. My measurements r 36-29-40. I dont have a flat stomach or abs like said above for pear. Im 5’6..so what shape am i really?

  4. Yeah, I’m all over the place, too. I’m 41-29.5-39.5 and while that seems to be “top hourglass” by many sites, I’m also an athlete with large shoulders and a large muscular build. It’s really hard to classify anyone as someone always gets left out.

  5. ^yes the measurements are completely off mainly for hourglass shape there needs to be over 9in difference to give a dramatic waist the measurements you have are mostly bananas because theres not enough waist definition to be hourglasses. Also only the bust can be slightly bigger as proportionaly it looks smaller even with the same measurement the ideal is it must look balanced and go in at the waist. Women normally know if they are an hourglass because from the front the figure will go out at the bust the waist wont be | |(even if its small compared to bust and hips but will cinch in so will actually look like an hourglass >< with round hips and butt
    eg hourglass measurements: 42-28-41(mine:P) , 36-24-35, 35-25-35 etc…

  6. Yes the measurements for hourglass are way off more like ruler shape theres no real waist in any of those measurements! i am a hourglass i have 42 in bust 28in waist 41in hips there really needs to be 9in or more difference to bust and hips and only the bust can be slightly larger than hips.
    Why write a page on figures if your clueless!

  7. I know this is kinda late but I’m 5’11 36-29-40 33inch inseam. can you tell me what my body shape I am? thank you.

  8. My measurements are (roughly): 40-32-42. I’m just over 5’6″, a bit shy of 5’7″. I’ve always been told by friends that I’m an apple shape since I have a wide chest, large breasts, and big upper arms. I’ve sort of programmed myself to believe this, despite the fact that I also have a defined waist and saddle bags on my hips. Yet, my measurements indicate I’m closer to an hour glass? Having a hard time figuring this out.

  9. I am trying to find out my “shape” too…

    I am 5’6.5 or 168.91 cm. My Body Measurements are 31DD-28-35

    I have normal shoulders, and very thin arms, with muscular legs….I think that I am just straight up and down.

  10. So I have always known I have an hour glass figure. My husband is very adamant that I am a pear. Even though I took my measurements in front of him. Explained how it is calculated but he argues that my shoulders are too narrow and that my breast size does not matter. I have always been very small boned and have very slender shoulders but they really are not much more narrow than my hips. I have seen some places where it comments on shoulders being part of your body shape on some of the body shapes. But in general I always figured if your breast and hips measurements are fairly close with a very narrow waist that is a hour glass. Also everything I have ready describes pears as typically having a small chest I wear a D cup, I don’t think this would be considered “small”. Any comments to help with this dispute. I am a healthy weight and do not mind too much which shape I am. But find it frustrating that my husband listens to some radio show that described body shapes one day and now he thinks he is an expert! Grrrrr! I know he of anyone would know my body almost as well as I do, but I would think I know my self best, well maybe…

    • Hi Naomi,
      I know what you mean – and also where your husband is coming from. Shoulders do exaggerate a body shape, think of Halle Berry with those wide straight shoulders. They make her waist look even smaller. But generally body shape is determined by bust, waist and hip measurements. It’s also why some women are hourglass or pear shape, but don’t “look it”, as they appear to have very little hips – it’s because they have a shapely derrière.
      Also, there are hourglass shapes like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg and Diana Dors (seriously hourglass) and then there are hourglass shapes like the Original Supermodels (Cindy Crawford et al), who are small-boned and tall, making their hourglass shape more subtle. The point is they’re all hourglasseses, just like there are tall people and very tall people. Your husband probably thinks of the Marilyn Monroe body shape as the “true hourglass”. But to have that exaggerated hourglass shape you have to be shorter and have an endomorphic body type. See these examples of endomorphic hourglasses and here for female ectomorphs who are small-boned and have more subtle body shapes. Here’s hoping you win this argument! 🙂

    • You ARE a Pear. Your hips and bust must not have more than a 1 inch differene between them for you to be hourglass. Your have a 5 inch diff between bust and waist and an 8 inch between waist and hip.

  11. How do you do the measurements? I’m new to this and was wondering how exactly do you get those three measurements to determine your body shape? Help?

    • Hi Lucy,
      Check out this page on how to take your body measurements, which explains where to take your measurements. The measurements you need to determine your body shape are bust, waist and hips. These numbers traditionally are then written in the following sequence bust-waist-hips, e.g. 35-29-35, which would mean 35 inch bust, 29 inch waist and 35 inch hips.

  12. They forgot upside down triangle, or strawberry (or cone). My measurements read 34-26-39, which looks like I should be a pear…however my shoulders are very broad, they appear wider than my hips in silhouette! That-I believe- has no classification!


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