Of all the features that bodybuilders and gym mice want to emulate, the v-taper must be one of the most in demand. This simply means having broad shoulders and narrow waist. To some extent this is due to the genetic lottery, but with the right know-how, you can do a lot to maximize your genetic potential.
And if you really have the right know-how, then you can do it quickly!
Here, therefore, let’s take a look at how you can quickly start to look more like the sexiest letter in the alphabet…
Anatomy of a V-Taper
In fact, there are three main elements that contribute to a V-back appearance. The first is the shoulders. Broad shoulders form the top of the ‘V’ and make the waist look even narrower in comparison. What’s more, broad shoulders are usually cool and will make you look a lot tougher and imposing.
Then come the latissima. Broad latissimus provides the shape for the torso itself, below the armpits and gradually narrowing as it reaches the waist.
And lastly, we have the waist itself. By lowering the body fat percentage, you can drastically reduce the waist thickness and thus develop an excellent V.
So let’s take a look at how you can get each of these elements, and then you can put it all together.
Although you cannot widen the bone that provides the ‘structure’ for your shoulders, you can add thickness to the sides by developing your medial deltoids. This is like adding tires to the sides of your shoulders, and can really help you take more space. Use side lifts to develop them quickly, and be sure to challenge yourself with sufficient weight.
The most important exercise for getting a v-taper fast is the fixed bar. This is one of the best ways to isolate the latissimus and has the added benefit of toning the abdomen.
The fixed bar, of course, means that you are using the pronada grip. Keep your arms at a distance to keep your focus on the latissis rather than the biceps, and try to use a slow, purposeful shape rather than push to cheat uphill. Kipping will not work here!
Finally, to get a narrow waist, you need to diet and add CV (cardio) to your training. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is very popular for this, but many people find that running regularly is easier to maintain (and the difference in calorie burning is minimal, contrary to what most people think). Go out for a long run once a week and you’ll notice the difference. At the same time, eat ‘lean’ and make sure you are calorie deficient when working on the definition.
Finally, try to avoid overdeveloping the obliques with movements such as lateral flexion. These actually make the waist thicker, increasing the muscle next to it!