Have you ever opened a women’s magazine and read some of those “surveys” naming the body part of a man women consider sexy? You will typically find the usual answers: sexy chest, strong arms, abs, etc. But one body part that gets high marks yet is often cast aside is a “V Shaped Back.” So if it is considered sexy why aren’t more men trying to get a muscular back? But did you know that having a well developed back is key to developing a V shaped body, a symbol of a dominant individual?
A typical day at any gym consists of seeing guys doing workouts that focus on the chest and biceps. In fact, often times you will see the same guys doing bench presses several times a week and sadly neglecting the rest of the upper body. Heck, the lower body is often ignored entirely by gym rats…
Attract Attention With A V Shape Body
It is easy for someone to want to focus on the chest and the arms. The ego boost we get from adding more weight to a bench press is undeniable and curling heavier every month is as well. So often we end up showing off how much we bench press but rarely does anyone ask, “hey, how many pull ups did you do?”
As much as we want to think that the chest is what defines a masculine physique, it is actually a combination of factors which make for a strong and masculine looking torso. A torso is composed of not only the chest but also the back and shoulders. If you neglect one part of the equation the entire torso will look out of balance. In order to have balanced torso it is necessary to work on all the three parts of the body just mentioned.
It is easy to forget about our backs when, after all, any time we look in the mirror we look at what stands in front of us. However, ask any lady if they notice a man’s back as he is walking away and you can bet she is definitely looking.
Look Good And Feel Better With A Strong Back
Having a strong back is not only about looks. A strong back is also beneficial as it helps develop good posture. It is impossible to look dominant walking around with a slouch. A straight posture exudes confidence and makes you look taller. A taller appearance helps the rest of the torso like the chest and the shoulders stand out.
Another important reason to work on back muscles is to prevent nagging back pain caused by age and by wear and tear. These days most of us lead sedentary lives as we sit on the couch watching our favorite show or sitting at a desk for the majority of the day. After years of this we eventually develop back problems.
In order to develop a V shaped body or torso we need to do 3 things:
- Develop wider shoulders
- Develop the lats
- Have a slim waist
In order to develop wider shoulders we need to do exercises that will develop the medial delts or side delts as they are more commonly referred. The following exercises are great for developing this area of the shoulders:
- Military Presses
- Lateral Raises
These two exercises are quite common and are necessary in any strength training program. Perform between 3-4 sets of each exercise for 8 to 10 reps in order to build mass in the shoulders.
Other exercises which are excellent at developing the shoulders are Hang Clean & Press and the second exercise is the Clean & Press. Both exercises are not only excellent shoulder exercises but total body exercises when done right.
The Best Back Exercises For An Awesome Back
I have come across many guys who only do one back exercise and expect to achieve a wider back. However, the back muscles are not just one solid piece of tissue. Back muscles are very complex and require working on them from different angles to target the lats, upper back, middle back and lower back.
There are various exercises that will help in developing lower back muscles and upper back muscles but our goal here is to maximize our efforts to develop a wider back and maximize a V-shaped body. Here are the best exercises that will develop the lats:
- Pull Ups: This exercise is hands down the best at developing the back muscles. This is a must have exercise in your back repertoire if you want a muscular back with great lat development. For best results use a slightly wider than shoulder grip.
- Chin Ups: These are great for developing the upper and middle back. Chin ups are performed using palms in grip.
- One Arm Dumbbell Row: This is one of the best exercises for developing the lats and thickness in the middle part of the back.
- Bent Over Barbell Row: This is another exercise that is a must have if you want to develop those lats. Along with the back you will also develop biceps strength especially if you use a palms up grip.
- Deadlifts: Although this exercise is not often considered a back exercise it will guarantee that you will develop a stronger and wider back if you go heavy and perform it with proper form. Deadlifts also work the hamstrings and lower back.
Although these exercises are great at developing back strength and mass they should be done with proper form and allow sufficient rest between workouts. Even though you may have seen bodybuilder workouts laying out 4 to 5 sets per exercise on days you are working on your back, I have found that performing less is ideal.
Here is an example of a great mass building back workout:
Pull Ups: 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
Chin Ups: 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps
Allow at least 60 to 90 seconds rest between sets.
You can eliminate either the chin ups or one arm dumbbell rows if you feel it is too much to handle. In fact, a beginner should only stick to 3 of these exercises and work up after several months of training.
Deadlifts should be included but rather than doing these with a back workout, include them on days you are doing leg workouts. Deadlifts can be 3 to 4 sets of 6-8 reps.
Increase the weight of these exercises once it is easier to complete 8 reps per set .
So now you have the exercises necessary to develop a wider back but is this enough? Although having a wide back will give a V shape and will also make your waist look smaller it is important to have as small a waist as possible. Now, I am not talking about having a waist that would make a lady envy you, but rather a waist that does not have the dreaded spare tire.
Avoid A Spare Tire By Burning Fat The Right Way
You should ideally do some form of cardio along with following a healthy eating plan. Eliminate foods that are high in sugar and high in fat.
Cardio is often avoided because of a false belief that it will cause a decrease in muscle mass or muscle definition. This is true if you perform long steady state cardio as is the case with marathon runners but your goal is not to train for a marathon but rather for explosiveness.
Try to copy a sprinters cardio training which is broken up in to intervals. Interval training is more effective when performed in short, brief and explosive sequences for fat burning purposes and for muscle building.
An ideal way of doing interval training is by doing cardio intervals of one minute of high intensity, like sprinting or any other cardio exercise, followed by one minute at a slow relaxed pace or total rest. Follow this series of intervals for a period of 15 to 20 minutes and then finish off with slow cardio for 10 to 15 minutes.
This type of cardio training will help burn fat and help you avoid the dreaded spare tire and achieve an awesome physique complete with a “V shaped body.”