Arnold, Bill Pearl, Frank Zane, and the bodybuilders of the 1960s and 1970s didn’t invent the V-taper physique, although that its true that the first images you probably saw of that physical ideal were from this Golden Era of bodybuilding. Actually this shape (wide shoulders, narrow waist and flaring back lat muscles) dates back to thousands of years ago, the Greek ideal for how a man’s body should appear. Let’s check out how you can build up your V-taper!
First, you need to focus upon the width. Wide grip pullups, chins, wide-grip cable rows, and of course, lots of lat pulldowns will help with this effort. Remember that you want to flex and feel every repetition as much as possible – in particular the outer lats. Only then can you build up that back in the manner it needs built! Stick with rep ranges of 8 to 12 per set, and use 10 to 14 total sets of back movements for best results.
Next, you will need to get that waistline as small as possible. Very high repetition crunches and leg raises will hit the upper and lower abdominals, respectively. But you’ll need to go one step further and hit the side abdominals, known as the obliques, as well. Use broomstick twists as your primary exercise for this area, opting for sets of 10 to 20 MINUTES at a time as you watch television or enjoy the outdoors. Don’t worry about using heavy weights at all – high reps are all you need here!
Finally, there are some little things that you can do to help build up the V-taper. Practice walking with your stomach sucked in, until this kind of posture becomes normal habit for you. Keep the back flared and your chin up, and while you don’t want to walk around with ILS, or “imaginary lat syndrome”, you do want to look your best at all times. Add some fiber to your diet. Removing waste from your intestines means you will remove an inch from the waistline as well. And above all, stay patient. Changing your body type and appearance takes plenty of time!
Much of your ability to build up a V-taper will be determined by genetics. You may be forced to enjoy a limited V-taper if you have a naturally wide waist, but the tools & tricks listed above will lead you to a better shape, no matter where your starting line!