Fitness for the rectangle body type
Gwyneth Paltrow

Watch out — curves ahead!

Svelte and slim, rectangle-shaped beauties don't usually need to think about weight loss, but if your straight shape is getting you down, it's time to focus on moves that will define and sculpt some curves.

If your shape is defined by long-and-lean limbs and a boyishly-slim torso (think Kate Middleton or Gwyneth Paltrow), it's especially important for you to add strength training to your fitness routine. Make sure you're performing each exercise to exhaustion and be sure to follow up your workout routine with a protein-packed snack, like a glass of milk and a fruit-and-nut trail mix. These two tips will help you build muscle and add definition to your shape.

Kick it off with cardio

Don't think of cardio as a weight-loss mechanism, think of it as a way to stay healthy. Choose a cardio routine that's going to help you build muscle in your extremities as you get some heart-pumping action. Spin classes and kickboxing are both great options. Find a class or an exercise video and get busy with it at least three times a week.

Work it at the gym

When you hit the gym, you want to be all-in in the weight room. Start with a five to 10 minute warmup, then perform each of the following exercises. Use heavier weights (where appropriate), performing each exercise to exhaustion. Rest for a minute between sets and perform each exercise a second time before moving on.

Balance lunge with front raise

When you perform a lunge on a stability ball, not only do you challenge your core and balance, but you also work your body unilaterally, really targeting the muscles on each side of your body. Hold dumbbells in each hand and perform a forward raise as you lunge backward. This will help sculpt your shoulders as well, giving the impression of a more hourglass frame.

Balance lunge with front raise

Oblique twist with medicine ball

Most ladies with a rectangle-shaped body don't have a well-defined waist. That's why it's especially important for you to work your obliques as you tone your body to get a more nipped-in appearance. Try this oblique twist with a medicine ball to tone your sides, placing your heels on the floor for balance, if needed.

Oblique twist with medicine ball 1

One-legged assisted dip

Assisted dips can be performed on a bench, a sturdy chair or on Lebert Equalizer bars, as shown. Like the balance lunge, the one-legged assisted dip will challenge your core and balance as you work your triceps and shoulders to perform the dip movement.

One-legged assisted dip 1

Plank with a twist

Planks are one of those "dream exercises" that all trainers love! They work your entire core, quads, shoulders and chest, and they have a million variations that make them more challenging. The plank with a twist has all the benefits of a traditional plank exercise, but will target your obliques even more.

Plank with a twist 1

Hamstring curl and bridge on a ball

To make your booty "pop," you can't go wrong with a hamstring curl and bridge on a ball. This exercise will challenge your core as you tighten your hamstrings and tone your behind. If you have a hard time maintaining balance on the ball, place your arms on the ground next to your sides instead of behind your head.

Hamstring curl and bridge on ball 1

More body-sculpting workouts

Sculpt your body type: Pear-shape
Sculpt your body type: Athletic
Sculpt your body type: Curvy

Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com (Gwyneth Paltrow), Lance Williams/Girls Gone Sporty (all others)

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