Abs & Core Bodyweight TV

The Perfect Female Physique — Exercise Selection Is Crucial for Building The Ideal Female Body Shape

Written by shapeshifter

Although perceptions of physical beauty undergo slight variations, there’s an underlying ratio of ideal dimensions that spans universally across cultures and time. Whether you’re looking at an ancient Greek representation of the goddess Venus or a photo of Eva Mendes on the cover of Shape magazine, they have more in common than not.

The absolute dimensions may change with time and fashion, but the body parts as they relate to each other maintain remarkably similar ratios down the centuries. Our friend John Barban has gone to great lengths to study and understand those ideal dimensions, and he uses them to design programs which perfectly target the inherent beauty of the female form.

John discovered that the Secret of Proportion is in the contrast between the shoulders, waist and hips. They’re the focal points of the classic hourglass shape. This visual cue is so powerful that it can even make animated characters like Betty from the Flintstones look hot! But if the proportions are off, watch out…

Take a look at the video below, where John reveals the two most common mistakes women make in their training, and gives two exercises that will enhance the natural shape of the feminine physique.

We hope that this video helped you to understand that proper exercise selection and training protocols are MORE important than simply doing a huge volume of work. You can train your butt off (quite literally) — and end up looking WORSE if you throw your proportions out of whack.

Rather than train like crazy for training’s sake, concentrate on making your shoulders and hips more substantial while diminishing your waistline. In the gym that means less cardio and ab workouts, and more shoulder and glute exercises.

Give the Curtsy Lunge & Snatch and the Push Up Point and Touch a try. Work them into your program. And let us know in the comments if you have any questions for John.

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  • Ooh! Love it guys! I have noticed a definite improvement in my own proportions since starting Bodyweight Coach. More muscle on my shoulders helps to balance out my wide hips.

    Probably like many other woman, because of this imbalance (small upper body, larger lower body) I find push-ups very difficult. It has taken me months of work to get to just doing one full push-up. Any technique issues/strengthening exercises I should be focusing on to help this?? I would love to be able to do the Push Up Point and Touch one day… 🙂

  • Thanks for the video. I’ve heard about the Adonis index for a while and was wondering when a Venus index would come out. Going to include both those exercises in my workout today..thanks.

  • I know you usually recommend plain ol’ calorie reduction rather than cardio, but for someone who doesn’t want to eat a lot less, isn’t cardio the only thing that’s going to reduce the waistline?

    • Cardio is a tricky thing. If you do too much, too fast and go into “chronic cardio” mode, you can do more harm than good. It can beat your immune system down (one of the reasons so many people catch colds in gyms), and make you so hungry after that the benefits are largely lost. Longer, slower cardio (50-75% effort) is good way to avoid that trap. Really though, if you want your waistline trimmed but don’t want to eat less, try to eat smarter. Lower your grains and eat colorful organic veggies to make up for the carbs. The pounds will melt off. Good luck!

      • Believe it or not, most of your weight loss will come from what does and doesn’t go in your mouth. Eat small portions of whole foods, drink lots of water and do plenty of muscle building exercise – it’s working for me!

        I haven’t done any steady state cardio at all for well over a year (I used to be Queen of the Treadmill and wasn’t getting results). Body weight exercise, weight-training and high intensity interval training are the best options.

        Thanks to Adam and Ryan at Bodyweight Coach I am well on my way to being in great shape and already fit into my skinny jeans after only a few months of using their programs.

        Best of luck!

  • If that what Ali look likes, is your guys view of a spot on VI……then you guys are …RIGHT on the Money! Love her physique and now I have finally some sort of a marking point if you will of what I want to achieve…
    And yes my girl Eva Mendes is soooo spot on!
    Good stuff guys! 🙂

  • Nice exercises.The curtsy looks good for glute development, just need to becareful of the lateral forces on the knee.

    I am impressed by her pushup ability. Most women and many men will have a difficult time to do that style of push up initially, but it is a good goal.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for these. I can do the point part of the press up, but can’t get anywhere near touching my foot – any suggestions on how I can improve this please and is it still beneficial to just try and get as close as possible?
    I have just signed up for Venus Index so was very interested to see Ali as her VI is supposed to be spot on. Whilst I agree she looks great, I wouldn’t call that an hourglass figure though – I was expected a much smaller waist look. Is she on the lowest hip measurement in the VI range? Also I have been following a routine that includes lots of press ups and shoulder work with weights and I feel my trapezuis is enlarging (giving that sloping look to my shoulders) and making my neck look shorter – something that Ali appears to share. Is there some way of counteracting this please?

    • Are you talking about the woman who is demonstrating the exercises? She actually has a pretty nice hour glass/athletic look! In the old days hour glass meant like a Marilyn Munroe look which was somewhat of a chunky look in the butt/hips and bust with seriously contrasting waist measurement. But today its much more like the woman in the video. I would say she could use a bit more cardio and/or tweaking of her diet to get a more lean look but other than that she has the “look”. On your other point about your traps growing even though you are doing shoulder work, it most likely has to do with your form/shoulder stability. This is a common problem for people who do not stabilize their posture muscles when they work their shoulders; you end up looking like a football player. I coach my clients to “keep their shoulder blades in their back pocket” when doing any type of shoulder work. This keeps the traps out of the work and allows you to develop your delts and posture muscles. Good luck!

  • Awesome workout with sort of unconventional exercises! I strongly believe that we should be focusing on exercises that strengthen the muscles on our back side (back, glutes, hams) for functional reasons – if it just so happens that it aids in developing a more desirous shape then that;s just icing on the cake.

  • If you look at most pictures of Marilyn Monroe, she was actually quite slim. It was only during one point in her career that she got hefty. You can hardly call this shape having a chunky butt. http://www.wallpaperbase.com/wallpapers/celebs/marilynmonroe/marilyn_monroe_5.jpg

    or this one, which comes from one of the last collections of photos, so one cannot even claim that it was her youth that made her look like less than her womanly reputation.


    In any case, I guess the exercise model shows the AI in one of its genetic forms. I, too, thought her waist looked rather thicker than I imagined, which is not to say that she looks bad at all. In fact, she looks great! But not swimsuit model great, which I think many of us women think is the way to look, though it’s possible those women don’t have the VI proportions. Hmm…

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