You may not want to go as wide as this!

How to get a v-shaped torso

So you’ve seen these ripped actors and would like to get an upper body like them, especially the V-shape. How do you get started?

you need to fulfill 2 conditions in order to end up with this very desirable V-shape: wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. So you need to develop wide lats that stick out like wings below your arms (OK, not to that extent, you’re not asking to fly), and a narrow waist. You can’t have that V-shape without a narrow waist.

Wide lats

You may not want to go as wide as this!

When doing your back exercises, you will need to focus your form, technique and exercises to develop wide lats. For a start, choose exercises that place more emphasis on working the lats. The pull-up is a great exercise. If you can’t do it, opt for the pulldown machine. The bent-over barbell row will pack a lot of muscles to your back. The one-arm dumbell row is a good all-rounder – it doesn’t place particular emphasis on the lats but works the whole back area and allows you to go very heavy, one arm at a time.

When trying to focus on developing your lats, use a wide grip, especially for pull-ups and pulldowns. narrow grips work the centre of your back instead.

I also like doing a lot of pullovers and find that they put particular emphasis on the lats. You’ll feel it yourself if you try. Go for the dumbell pullover across the bench as it gives you an excellent stretch and also helps to develop and expand your ribcage, just what you need to achieve this v-shape effect.

Narrow waist

This is perhaps the hardest part to achieve if you’ve got a pot belly. There is no other way to put it, you’ll have to lose weight. There is plenty of advice all over the place on how to lose weight from people more or less qualified. No point in repeating all this here.

Bear in mind that slim people may not necessarily have a narrow waist and overweight people or those with a saggy belly may have a narrow waist seen from the other words, they don’t have love handles, these bags of fat that stick out over the waist on the sides.

So what do you do if you are skinny but not blessed with a narrow waist?

That’s where the wide top comes in. You try to end up with a tapered waist – your wide torso narrows down to your waist. After all, your waist cannot be as wide as your chest! To maximise the effect of a wide back and tapered waist, try to work on your shoulders to make them wider. You’ll specifically want to focus on adding mass to your exterior deltoid for this purpose. There is no point in focussing on the anterior or posterior deltoids which are in front of and at the back of your shoulders respectively – they won’t make you look any wider. Lateral raises will work your exterior deltoids but you won’t be able to go heavy. Go for pressing movements for that – military presses or dumbell shoulder presses.

That said, do remember that it is not advisable to overtrain one area of your body at the expense of others. An unbalanced body will only bring you injuries.

Some people are blessed with an athletic figure, others can only try to get close to it.


Picture credit: musclz

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