Ideal proportions

How to make an athletic figure?

It is important to understand that a sports figure is primarily a proportionality, not a muscle size. Unnecessarily wide shoulders visually reduce the growth of a person, exactly as the "height" of the hairstyle and the presence / absence of vegetation on the face can make the body more powerful.

The secret is that according to the canonical proportions of Da Vinci, the ideal width of the shoulders of a man is ¼ of his height, equal to the distance from the crown to the line of the nipples - this is where the height of the hair on the head plays. The circumference of the biceps should be equal to the circumference of the neck and calves.

Greek statues of

It is interesting, but the ancient Greek statues depicting gods and athletes, although they observe the rules of ideal proportions, are nevertheless met with certain violations of human anatomy - for example, strained back muscles are impossible with relaxed nursing.

Ancient sculptors improved not only the proportions of the bodies of athletes who posed for it, but also changed reality, giving lightness to uncomfortable poses and creating a unique composition in the life of strained muscles. Apparently, the secret of the ideal is that it can not be achieved.

Canonical proportions Da Vinci

The figure created by Leonardo Da Vinci and depicting the figure of a naked man in two superimposed projections served as an illustration to a book about the life of the Roman architect Vitruvius, who first described the proportions of an ideal person on paper.

The pose with arms spread and legs joined together is inscribed in a square, and the pose with arms spread out and arms and legs is inscribed in a circle. The center of the circle is the navel of the figure, and the center of the square is the sex organs. Some explanations for the picture( 1):

  • the scope of human hands is equal to its growth
  • the height of a man is four cubits from the fingertips of
  • the distance from the hairline to the chin is 1/10 of its height
  • the distance from the crown to the chin is 1/8 of its height
  • distance from the vertex to the nipples is 1/4 of its height
  • maximum shoulder width is 1/4 of its height
  • arm length is 2/5 of its height

Proportions of figures for artists

Beginners are taught to draw a person correctly,ora of the size of the head. The total height of the figure must be eight heads( see 4 point of the Da Vinci rules).The next step is to inscribe the circle in the head( see the title illustration).

The height of the head with the neck should be two such circles, exactly as the distance from the navel to the lower border of the neck, while the maximum width of the shoulders is three. Waist width - no more than one and a half such circle, otherwise the proportions of the figure will be significantly distorted.

Figures of muscular people

One of the most important rules for the proportionality of a muscular person is the ratio of shoulder girth and waist width( see illustration 3).If we take the width of the waist for "a" and the shoulder circumference for "b", then the ideal ratio will be( a + b) / a = a / b = 1.618.

Increased deltas, pectoral muscles, excessively developed press - all this can destroy fragile symmetry, making the figure of a person visually disproportionate. However, understanding these rules can change the initially unsportsmanlike figure beyond recognition.

Classic proportions of bodybuilders

In the thirties of the last century, American anthropologist David P. Willoughby conducted a lot of measurements of athletes, trying to determine the ideal size of the muscles, which seem to the human eye to be the most correct. His results( 3):

  • Size of the biceps - 1.2 size of the forearm
  • Forearm from the chest width - 0.300
  • Biceps from the girth of each calyx - 1
  • Neck from the chest girth - 0.383
  • Breast - 1.33 waist size
  • Breast - 1.11 thigh size
  • Hips -1.5 sizes of calves

How to measure your proportions?

First, measure the circumference of the forearm in the widest place;then calculate the size of the bicep - 1.2 wrist size. Compare with the measurement of the biceps and each calf. Calculate the chest girth - multiply the forearm girth by 3.33;compare with the real value.

Then measure the waist( see illustration 4) and the hips. According to the ideal athletic proportions, the chest girth should be 1.33 girth of the waist and 1.11 girth of the hips. Do these measurements once a month to track the progress of your workouts.


Creating a sports figure is more to control the proportions of muscles, and not just to increase their volume. There is both a classical school of proportions, known since the times of ancient Greek statues, and modern dimensions suitable for bodybuilders.

Scientific sources:

  1. Vitruvian Man, source
  2. Golden Ratio, source
  3. The Superior Physique, source