This fitness program was excerpted from the book Escape Your Shape by Edward Jackowski, Ph.D.
While only 10 percent of women are Cones, the same body type describes 30 percent of all men. Cone men, especially those who exercise with weights, generally look out of proportion because they neglect their lower bodies. Cones are the polar opposite of Spoons. Their upper bodies are considerably larger and stronger than their lower bodies.
Typically, a female Cone's best asset is her legs while a male Cone's is his chest. Miniskirts are a must for Cone women because they draw the viewer's eyes away from the breasts and stomach. Usually short-waisted and long-legged, Cones benefit from abundant aerobic exercise combined with abdominal and upper-body endurance exercises, which are crucial. They strengthen and protect the back and shoulder regions. Overweight cones look even more so because most of that extra weight is concentrated on top. That, of course, creates an even greater disparity between the upper and lower bodies. Cones have a propensity for tight hamstrings (just as Rulers do) and their abdominals are usually weak because Cones don't typically work on this region. They tend to look shorter than they actually are, especially when overweight. Cone women who slim down their upper bodies, especially their abdominals, will start to look more like Hourglasses. A typical female Cone's measurements are 40-35-32. With proper exercise, that cone woman could be 36-30-32.
Problem Areas and Characteristics
Cones carry a lot of weight and mass in their upper back and chest. Their arms are usually large as well, and have excess fat, especially on the backs of the arms (triceps). Their stomachs usually protrude, an unwanted natural tendency that is especially noticeable in both men and women. As they grow older, their posture seems to worsen unless they strengthen their abdominals and increase their hamstring flexibility. Movements or sports that require upper-body power and speed -- such as racquet sports and track events including the javelin throw, discuss and shot-put -- come easily to most Cones. Any sport that requires quick and short movements and requires upper-body strength is agreeable to Cones, whereas jogging or running for long distances can be very uncomfortable. I find that most Cone women are very self-conscious of people leering at their upper bodies when they do any kind of impact sports or activities. Male Cones who frequent the gym look very out of proportion. Most need to switch from heavy weights to much lighter ones when they work out and focus more on their lower bodies. Cones who exercise rarely develop osteoporosis in their upper bodies, but because they are more susceptible to lower-body injuries, especially hip fractures, it's important to strengthen and add some mass to their lower bodies as a preventative measure. Most important to protect is the upper and lower back. This can be accomplished through weight loss on top and lots of stretching and abdominal exercises.
Best Exercises for Escaping Your Cone Shape
Leg extensions and leg curls
Stationary biking with moderate to high resistance
Full sit-ups, leg-outs, and upper and lower abdominal crunches
Jumping rope with a speed rope
Kick-boxing using lower body only
Low-impact step classes
Ski machines with light tension for upper body and moderate to high resistance for lower body
All lower-body exercises using moderate to high resistance or weights
Slow walking on an incline or on hills
Inner-outer thigh machines with moderate to heavy weights
Exercises to Avoid if You Want to Escape Your Cone Shape
Bench press with moderate to heavy weights
Triceps k-backs with moderate to heavy weights
Triceps extensions with moderate to heavy weights
All upper-body exercises with moderate to heavy resistance or weights
Aerobic and exercise classes that use Heavy Hands or weights
Kick-boxing classes using upper-body movements
Jumping rope with a weighted rope
As a Cone, the rule of thumb is high reps and low resistance or weights for the upper body and high resistance and moderate to heavy weights for the lower body. Although unusual, a few Cones may bulk down below a bit if they are overweight. Typically, Cones shy away from abdominal exercises and lower-body exercises. It's important to focus on these areas so the body becomes better proportioned. Cones, especially male Cones, have a harder time than other body types giving up the heavy weight lifting for their upper bodies. I suggest switching to more natural exercises such as push-ups, dips, chin-ups, or upper-body exercise routines with low weights and higher repetitions. You'll still possess great upper-body strength and your body will look much better proportioned.
Laura San Giacomo