You can’t have a truly impressive physique without developing an impressive back. And the most prominent characteristic of a greatly developed back is the manly V-taper shape. If there’s anything you should focus on to make your physique stand out, it’s building a thick, wide, 3D back that demands respect and makes heads turn as you walk by.
Although the V-taper also requires you to slim down the waist to make it smaller and build cannonball delts that will add broadness to your shoulder complex, the journey to an ideally shaped back begins with developing a pair of majestic, wing-shaped lats. Read this article to learn how to get your V-taper in top form as fast as possible!
#1. Straight-Arm Pulldown
The lats are best trained with shoulder extension movements that don’t allow the biceps to get involved and steal the spotlight, and movements that enable a constant tension throughout the range of motion. And the move which meets both of these criteria is the straight-arm pull-down. This greatly under-appreciated exercise is terrific at isolating the upper lats and the teres major, which is crucial for achieving maximum back width, so it really needs to be the go-to move for anyone looking to enhance his V-taper.
Use straight-arm pull-downs to pre-exhaust your back at the beginning of your workout. To shift emphasis to the lower lats, keep your torso upright. To better target the upper lats and teres major, lean forward a bit. Experiment with torso angles to hit different portions of the targeted muscles, but keep your grip style pronated.
#2. Dumbbell Pullover
The dumbbell pull-over is considered to be an isolation chest exercise, but in reality it’s much more than that. It’s actually a very unique exercise because it effectively works two opposing muscle groups simultaneously: the chest and the back. In addition, the main advantages of the dumbbell pull-over over the straight-arm pull-down is that it offers a greater stretch at midpoint and can be used to recruit more muscle fibers.
To reap these benefits, make sure to perform it slowly and with strict form, and keep the volume high. Lock your elbows into a slight bend and don’t move them during the exercise to avoid engaging the triceps more than required.
#3. Wide-Grip Pull-Up
While any pull-up or chin-up variation trains your lats to a certain extent, going as wide as possible ensures maximum lat development, and multiple studies have confirmed this. In fact, the wide-grip pull-up makes you forcefully spread the scapulae and pull out your lats nice and wide so that your body forms a Y shape like no other exercise could do.
Furthermore, this exercise will also powerfully train your core muscles. Although your midsection doesn’t move during the movement, your anterior core gets stronger by having to work overtime to maintain balance and stability.
So, the wider your hand position, the greater the emphasis on your outer lats. To ensure maximum effectiveness, aim to complete a full range of motion and focus on consciously engaging your lats as you bring your body toward the bar.
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