It's 2021, and it's New Year's resolutions time. And a few months after that (if not weeks), it's going to be forgetting about your New Year resolutions time, again, like always. This article will help you with that, and we will try to make sure that forgetting one of your resolutions doesn't happen again! If you always dreamed of having a V-shaped body, this article will tell you what to do. By the time 2022 starts, you will have a new V body shape that you will be proud of, if you put in the work. Let's roll!
What Is A V-Shaped Body?
The V-shaped body frame is pretty much self-explanatory. When you look at the upper body, especially from the backside, it should look like a letter V:
This is a classic masculine physique, and all professional bodybuilders and fitness models have this look. But, you will notice that many celebrities that are known for their figure have the famous V-tapper, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Notice that we have highlighted the word "masculine" in the paragraph above. That doesn't mean that women can't achieve a V-shaped body or that it looks unappealing. Nowadays, with more girls into fitness than ever, strong, broad shoulders are no longer reserved for men. But, most women tend to have broader hips and narrower shoulders compared to most men, which is why you won't see the V body shape in that many female lifters.
Why Is The V-Shaped Body Hard To Achieve - Genetics
When trying to build any type of look, genetics play a huge role, and this factor is undeniable. Some people are just born with broad shoulders, others with narrow hips. Some people are fortunate enough to have both, while others have genetically narrower shoulders and wider hips and waist.
That means building a V body shape will be much easier for some and maybe even impossible for others. Your skeleton predominantly determines hips and shoulder width, and you can only go to your genetic limits when it comes to muscle size.
However, every single person reading this article can improve their physique. The only exception being those of you who have reached their genetic potential. However, because we will rarely have Mr. Olympias reading an article about how to have a V-shaped body, it is safe to say that most readers fall into the beginner category.
But don't get discouraged! Being a beginner is incredible when it comes to increasing muscle size and gaining strength. Beginners build size and increase strength rapidly while being able to burn fat at the same time, and with the right determination (and a few tips from this article), you will notice results fast.
How To Get A V Shape Body - A Simple Breakdown
OK, genetics play a role, and for some people reaching a V-taper is next to impossible. But, even people with wide hips and narrow shoulders can work on their body and improve proportions, which will lead them closer to that V tapper.
The premise is simple - as we said, a V body shape consists of a narrow waist, wide back, and broad shoulders. So, to get a V-shaped body, you need to work on:
Broadening your shoulders
Widening your back
Narrowing your waist
The beauty of this is that as soon as your shoulders start growing, your waist will seem narrower, even if you don't work on trimming it down! The same will go for working on your back - once it gets wider, it will draw attention away from your wide hips or narrow shoulders.
But, if you work on all three things simultaneously, you will speed up the process, and you can expect great results much sooner. This article will be all about that, and we will focus on each section, giving you tips and ideas on what to work on and a V shape exercise for each muscle group so you can start building that V tapper you always wanted.
Part 1: How To Build Broader Shoulders
Having broad shoulders is one of the most appealing body parts any man can have. Not only that you will look better on the beach, but your clothes will fit much better, which will be especially visible when wearing suits and shirts.
Shoulder muscles, also known as deltoids, consist of three groups: front, side, and rear delts. As you can expect, side delts will influence shoulder width the most, which is why it makes sense to pay attention to them when doing isolations. But, to build broad shoulders, the best approach is to focus on compound movements that target multiple muscle groups at once first, and focus on the isolations after that.
Shoulder Exercise #1: Overhead Press
Barbell overhead press, also known as the military press, is the fundamental shoulder exercise and will do the most for your shoulder development. If you can only do one exercise, do the OHP, and you will notice results.
What makes it great is the fact that it activates a large portion of your shoulders and allows you to lift more weight than any other shoulder exercise. That means you will be able to continually push yourself, overloading your muscles with a lot of weight, which will keep them growing. Besides your delts, your triceps get worked too, which will help your arms grow and increase your bench press.
Shoulder Exercise #2: Cable Lateral Raise
You can do lateral raises with dumbbells and bands too, but we chose the cable lateral raise as it allows you to fully control both the lowering and the lifting portions of the movement, as well as go through the full range of motion.
Lateral raises are a great addition to the OHP as they specifically target side delts, which will give the most width to your frame, helping those shoulders look broad. And they also don't get worked as much when performing the overhead press, so hitting them separately does help.
Shoulder Exercise #3: Cable Rear Lateral Raise
We chose the cable version of the rear lateral raise again, as it gives you a bigger range of motion and constant tension both ways, but you can do this exercise with dumbbells and bands.
Although this exercise won't contribute to shoulder width that much, you should still devote some time to it. It is very important to have strong rear delts too, as it will improve your posture, but also shoulder health. If the back of your shoulder is neglected (which is often the case), you are risking injuries, so make sure you work rear delts too.
Part 2: How To Build Wider Back
The second portion of your V body workout is getting big lats. Doing exercises for big lats from below will help you widen your back significantly, which is vital for the V tapper look.
Because lats are quite big, you will get many benefits if you focus your efforts on these exercises. Having a wider back will help you fill up your suits better, which will mean you will have a presence that looks great even without taking your jacket off.
Back Exercise #1: Pullups
Pullups are the best way to build lats, period. This time-tested movement is one of the cornerstones of any workout designed to develop back, and there's a good reason for that - pullups are effective. There is just nothing like doing pullups when it comes to back training, and they are still the best way to get big lats.
However, pullups are hard, and if you can't perform them, look for alternatives, such as the lat pulldown instead. The lat pulldown will help you build strength and size, which will enable you to do more pullups.
One more note - the wider your grip is, the more you involve your lats. But, don't go too broad, as it makes the exercise much harder, and it might cause joint issues.
Back Exercise #2: Barbell Rows
Barbell bent-over rows are another great back builder that will work your upper back musculature too, and not only the lats. Having a thicker upper back will help with your posture too, and although it won't directly affect your shoulder width, it will help you stand up taller, and look better, which will all contribute to that V-tapper look you strive for.
But, rows will hit lats too, make no mistake about it. They will also activate your biceps, giving you a balanced physique.
Back Exercise #3: Pullover
If you are wondering how to get massive lats, the barbell pullover might just be the answer. You don't see this old-school exercise in gyms nowadays, but that doesn't mean it is ineffective, on the contrary, it is one of the best exercises for big lats.
Pullovers hit your lats hard, making them an excellent choice if you are wondering how to get a V shape body. But, pullovers also target your chest, which makes the mone of the rare exercises that allows you to train the front and the back of your body with just a slight technique variation.
Part #3: How To Make Your Waist Narrower
Most men are not blessed with a narrow waist, and the width of this body part is predominantly genetically determined. This is amplified by the fact that men usually store the majority of their fat around their midsection, which will have a negative effect on proportions, at least when it comes to building that V-shaped body you want.
So, what can you do? Well, you can work on losing that fat you carry around your waistline. That isn't easy, but it is doable with the right approach.
Focus Area #1: Reducing The Amount Of Calories You Consume
While increasing your muscle mass will speed up your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories, it is a good idea to reduce your caloric intake too, but only slightly. This will trigger the fat loss process, and you will start trimming down your waistline too.
Unfortunately, you can't target fat loss. But, we have put the "waist narrowing" part last for a reason - if you are working on increasing your muscle mass by exercising shoulders and back, you will not lose muscle if you reduce your calories slightly. Just make sure not to overdo it, as entering a too drastic deficit will lead to muscle loss too.
The best way to enter a deficit is to cut junk food. If you drink soda and eat sweets daily, cutting those will reduce your total caloric intake, and the pounds will start dropping. Of course, if you want to reveal your 6pack, you will need much more than that. But, working on your lats and shoulders while also controlling what you eat will get you closer to that V-shaped body, even if your abs are not visible.
Also, to support muscle growth, consume protein in every meal. Proteins are important for muscles, but they also help your fat loss efforts, as they are incredibly satiating and will keep you full for long.
Focus Area #2: Cardio
Cardio can help your fat loss efforts, but if your nutrition is off, it won't do much on its own. However, cardio will help you burn even more calories if you are in a slight caloric deficit. Furthermore, cardio has many health benefits, and building a V-shaped body shouldn't be the only reason why you should consider doing it.
While we can go about steady-state vs. HIIT cardio and which one is better, the truth is that it doesn't really matter that much - just pick the form of cardio that suits you the most. If you are busy and don't want to spend 45 minutes on a stationary bike, then doing some Tabata HIIT sessions might be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you like spending time outdoors, jogging at your local park is a good option.
Remember, whichever option you pick, make sure to do it regularly, 2-3 times per week. The goal is to steadily lose fat while enjoying health benefits and building up your conditioning, so no rush.
Focus Area #3: Working Out Your Abs
We won't lie to you - unless you trim down your stomach fat by dieting (and doing cardio), you won't be able to reveal your abs, no matter how much you train them. But that doesn't mean you should neglect abs. They are an important muscle group too, and they deserve attention.
The first exercise you should incorporate is the classic plank. Nice and straightforward, but effective, planks will help to stabilize your spine, which will translate to other activities as well. They work your abs without hurting your back, which is a plus for many people with back issues.
The next exercise that will hammer your abs is hanging leg raises. This exercise is very hard, and you will feel your abs burning even after a few reps.
Lastly, we have heel touches. While it seems like nothing fancy, heel touches are a great way to target your obliques, which are muscles on the side of your abdomen. Once you trim down, those obliques will contribute to that V body shape you crave. But, until then, they help with stabilization when you perform rotations.
Bonus Level: Upgrade To The X-Frame
While the V-tapper is awesome, it has one downside - it only focuses on the torso. Sure, having broad shoulders, wide lats, and narrow waist is appealing, something is missing - legs.
While training legs is not something many beginners look forward to, the truth is that you can't have a balanced-looking physique if you have chicken legs. You will look awkward and asymmetrical.
But, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we are not here to convince you that having slim legs isn't appealing - that is up to you. Still, there are other reasons why you should consider training legs.
Leg muscles are a huge muscle group. When you look at the size (and strength) of glutes, hamstrings, and quads, you will quickly realize that ignoring these muscles means ignoring a huge portion of your total musculature.
Having stronger and bigger legs will mean that your muscles will burn more calories, which will help your fat loss efforts even further.
Plus, leg-dominant exercises burn a ton of calories, and because they are challenging, they activate your CNS and hormones too, which will all trigger growth.
Lastly, training your legs will translate to other areas of your life, especially sports. It will positively impact your sprint speed, vertical jump, and having strong leg and hip muscles can prevent injuries.
Bottom Line: V Shape Body Is Obtainable, If You Know What You're Doing
Building a V-shaped body isn't easy, but as you can see, there are steps you can take that will help you reach that desired physique.
Working on broadening your shoulders, widening back, and shedding some fat off your midsection will transform your looks, even if the end result isn't a perfect V-tapper Arnold had. Not everyone can be Mr. Olympia, but anyone can do their best and work on improving health through exercise and nutrition, and looks will follow. Therefore, no excuses - take what you have, and give your best effort - if you do that, results will come, and you will be proud of your new V-tapper sooner rather than later!