Building A V-Shaped Back- Here’s The Plan

  

By Arun Chase

What guy wouldn’t want a V-shaped upper body? It is the ultimate showcase of strength and power, which you can see in most comic book superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Captain America and the like.v-shaped lats

That’s because unlike most other parts, the v-shape will show through whatever you’re wearing. So when those hot girls see that V-taper WITH your clothes on, they’ll know you have a ripped, muscular body underneath.

If that’s not incentive enough to build a muscular v-shape, I don’t know what is! :)

So how do you do it? Well here’s the steps you must take…

Make Your Shoulder Muscles Wider

lateral raises-v-shaped back
By building on the width of your shoulders, you will make your waist immediately look smaller. This creates the illusion of a v-shaped back!

You can achieve this by doing exercises like the military shoulder presses and lateral raises.

Build Depth And Width In Your Lats And Back Muscles

The Latissimus Dorsi, also known as “lats,” is that area of back muscle found underneath your arms. Well-developed lats are called “wings” by many bodybuilding pros, and are really the main area you need to focus on in order to get that v-shape.

There are two major type of movements you want to do -pulldown movements (that includes chin ups) and rowing movements (that includes deadlifts also). These will help to sculpt thick and wide back muscles which will give you that v-tapered back in no time.

So there are 5 main exercises I recommend for this.

Deadlifts
………………………………………………………………………dead-lift v-shaped back

1) Get a loaded barbell and put it on the floor in front of you. Whilst keeping your back as straight, bend your knees, and bend forward from the hips slightly. When you get to the bottom, grasp the bar using a shoulder width, overhand grip. This will be the starting position.
2) Now start to lift up by pushing with your legs whilst simultaneously getting your upper body into an upright position. When your legs are pretty much straight (knees shouldn’t be locked though) and you are In the upright position, stick your chest out and bringing the shoulder blades back. You should feel your lower back muscles being used.
3) Now slowly lower the bar to the starting position, remembering to keep your back straight and only moving your knees and your hips.
4) Repeat steps 2 to 3 for 6-10 reps per set. Do 3-4 sets of this (e.g. set 1- 10 reps, set 2- 8 reps. Set 3- 6 reps). Always choose the heaviest weights possible, so you can just about complete those number of reps.

Barbell Row
………………………………………………………………………barbell row v-shape

1) Grab a barbell with weights, with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang down but with a very small bend in the elbows. As you stand, bend your knees slightly, and bend forward at the waist (whilst keeping your back straight) until your back is almost parallel to the floor. As you do this keep your head up. That is your starting position
2) Now bend your elbows more, keeping them tight to your torso (your torso should not move through this movement, so keep it stable throughout) and pull the barbell upwards till it reaches around halfway between the bottom of your chest and your upper belly. Try and concentrate on using your lats through this movement, and also breathe out as you do this.
3) Now just lower the weight to the starting position as you breathe in. Remember keep your torso completely stable and don’t lock your elbows.
4) Repeat steps 2 to 3 for 6-10 reps per set. Do 3-4 sets of this (e.g. set 1- 10 reps, set 2- 8 reps. Set 3- 6 reps). Always choose the heaviest weights possible, so you can just about complete those number of reps.

Pull ups
………………………………………………………………………pull ups v-shaped

1) Use a WIDER grip than your shoulders on the pull up bars, and keep your palms facing away from you (this will build width). Hang from the bar with your legs crossed, knees bent and up in the air behind you. This is your starting position.
2) Now lift yourself up until the bar touches the top of your chest, breathing out as you do this. Make sure you don’t swing your legs through this movement.
3) Slowly lower yourself to the starting position as you breathe in.
4) Repeat steps 2 to 3 for 6-10 reps per set. Do 3-4 sets of this (e.g. set 1- 10 reps, set 2- 8 reps. Set 3- 6 reps). Add weights on a dip belt if you need to increase resistance. You want to make sure you tire out after completing the allocated number of reps.

TIPS
#1- Also do this exercise with a grip which is exactly shoulder width apart. This will add depth to your lats.
#2- If you find pull ups too hard, either use an assisted pull-up machine or the lat pull down till you are strong enough.

V-Bar Pull Ups
………………………………………………………………………v-bar v-shaped back

1) Get the v-bar attachment and place this in the center of the pull up bar. The V-Bar handles will be facing down. Now grab hold of the V-bar handles and hang down with your legs crossed, knees bent and up in the air behind you. Then push your chest out and lean back slightly. This is your starting position.
2) Now lift yourself up and tilt you head back and to the right side, so you don’t hit the pull up bar. Continue until the bar touches the top of your chest, breathing out as you do this. Make sure you don’t swing your legs through this movement.
3) Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position as you breathe in
4) Repeat steps 2 to 3 for 6-10 reps per set, alternating which way you tilt your head (one rep to the right, next to the left and so on). Do 3-4 sets of this (e.g. set 1- 10 reps, set 2- 8 reps. Set 3- 6 reps). Add weights on a dip belt if you need to increase resistance. You want to make sure you tire out after completing the allocated number of reps.

Tips: If you find v-bar pull ups too hard, use the lat pull down machine with the v-shaped attachment instead of the lat bar until you are strong enough.

Seated Cable Rows
………………………………………………………………………seated cable row v-shaped back

1) Sit on the cable row machine, with your knees slightly bent and add the v-bar attachment on. Grab the bar, and pull backwards, keeping your arms extended. Carry on going till your upper body forms a 90 degree angle with your legs and then push your chest out. This is your starting position.
2) Now pull the v-bar towards you, making sure you do not move your upper body at all (so only your arms and elbows are moving). Keep going till the v-bar touches your upper abs. Breathe out as you do this movement.
3) Slowly return to the starting position, remembering to not move your torso at all. Breathe in as you do this.
4) Repeat steps 2 to 3 for 6-10 reps per set. Do 3-4 sets of this (e.g. set 1- 10 reps, set 2- 8 reps. Set 3- 6 reps). Always choose the heaviest weights possible, so you can just about complete those number of reps.

Tip: You can replace the v-bar with a bar, and hold a wider grip to target a different part of your back.

Next…Get Your Nutrition Right…

Make sure you eat lots of protein and carbs. So eat things like grilled skinless chicken breast, tuna, wholemeal rice, wholemeal pasta, bananas etc.

Your nutrition is vital if you want results, so make sure you get it right!

So there you go, you can get that super-hero V-taper too…just follow the above and watch the results come flying in!  But before you go….

…I Want Your Input

I want you to *leave me a comment below* and answer the following:

1) What’s your favorite back exercise?
2) What routine do you use to build a bigger and better back?
3) What do you think of this article?

Look forward to hearing from you! Good Luck!

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5 Comments

  1. Jeff
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    The information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  2. Posted May 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

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  3. Sameer
    Posted June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    this article is very nice, very concise and accurate, thank you !

  4. Posted September 13, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  5. Hello
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Great article! I will definitely put most of these into my workout! In regards to your three questions you would like input on, here are your answers:
    1. My favorite back exercise would have to be either chin ups or dead lifts. They are both great strength, and mass builders.
    2. I am currently doing an upper/lower split routine. I work my back on my upper days for the most part. Although I do do dead lifts on one of my lower body days to hit my hamstrings.
    3. This was a very informative article, simple, and straight to the point! The nutritional information part could have been a tad bit better though.

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