Subj: Create a V Taper Torso with this back workout routine.
The V Taper, or V shape torso requires a slim waist and wide upper back.
A big back is a key component for a strong and nice looking physique.
A well balanced and strong body will undoubtedly have a well developed back that is wide and thick.
Building a big back is the most important factor when trying to achieve the ‘V’ shape upper body.
A well built back is also very important for spine and skeletal health.
A properly developed back will ensure you have healthy shoulder, spine and hips.
Strong back muscles make you stand tall straight and improve your posture making you appear better looking and more confident.
Health and Aesthetic Benefits of Back Training
A strong back is necessary for a health physique. A weak back leads to poor posture and hunched shoulders and muscle imbalances which make you susceptible to injury.
The benefits of back training are numerous:
- Greater overall strength gains
- Greater overall muscle gains
- Better looking chest, arms, shoulder and abs
- Improved Posture
- Better Breathing
- A nice, well developed and defined back that all woman find sexy.
1. Back muscles will force your chest up and out, resulting in better posture and better breathing.
Both of these things are vitally important for overall health and quality of life. This will also pull your shoulders back and down, where they should be – not up hunched up your neck and rolled forward. This puts unnecessary strain on your neck and joints which could result in pain and discomfort and in serious cases, numbness and tingling sensations in the arms. Having your chest out and shoulders back will stretch out and flatten your stomach, making you look slimmer and in better shape.
2. The second benefit of training back is not only will you have an great looking feature that women love but the nature of back training exercises will train your arms, shoulders and core at the same time.
Thus, improving the appearance of those muscles and making them stronger as well (with no added work. Awesome).
Back Training, The Golden Ratio and the Coveted ‘V-Shape’ Torso
The V-shape torso was popularized in the 1970’s when bodybuilding began to take off as a sport. The bodybuilders of this era had amazing physiques and a notable feature was their V-shape torso – wide shoulders gradually slimming down to a tight waist which resulted in their torso looking like the letter ‘V’.
This is impressive for several reasons most obviously because their physique is lean and strong. But there’s something else – There’s something called The Golden Ratio which makes a ‘V’ taper look good – The Golden Ratio is a size/dimension comparison between two related things.
In terms of physique a good example of this is shoulder to waist ratio – That’s your shoulder width, from the outside of your shoulders, compared to the width of your waist, from one side to the other (not all the way around).
This ratio is found in nature and is very pleasing to the eye. We are programed to find harmony and delight in things that possess this Golden Ratio.
The Golden Ratio equals roughly 1.61. So to achieve the Golden Ratio your shoulders would need to be a little over 1.5 times wider than your waist.
There’s two things you need to do if you want to achieve The Golden Ratio. The first thing is be lean. If you can’t see your abs you will have trouble reaching this ratio.
The second thing is you need to widen your lat muscles in your back. You do this with wide grip chin ups and pull ups. This is only part of the formula – remember, we want complete muscular development to build the best back we possibly can and I explain how to do the below.
How to Train the Back Muscles
The back is made of four main muscles. Each muscle has a particular function and all four must be trained to create a fully developed back. Understanding what each muscle does is important for proper back training.
Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)
The largest muscles on your torso, spanning from your spine, across your rib cage, from your hip up to under your shoulders.
Your lats are like ‘wings’, and must be trained to create a wide upper back. Lats pull your arms back and down. Lats are trained with rows, pull ups and chin ups, and deadlifts.
The muscles above your shoulder blades connecting to the neck.
Traps are activated in every lift were you pull your shoulders back. Shrugs and deadlifts are best for trap training.
Upper/middle back muscles between the shoulder blades. The muscles are important for proper posture and shoulder health. Rhomboids are used to retract your shoulder blades. Rhomboids are best trained with bent over rows (torso parallel with the ground) and chin ups while contracting your shoulders before starting each rep.
Think of these as the muscles in your middle/lower back that run along either side of your spine. They are used for stabilizing your spine when performing lifts. These muscles are trained with deadlifts and all back workouts
Each of these muscles have their own specific form and function and are therefore trained in a different way in order to target them effectively.
All of these muscles are equally important and should be trained to ensure a healthy, balanced physique. However there are a few exercises that are hands down he best at overall back development – that means they target all these back muscles.
The back is often overlooked because you literally can’t see it without a mirror, and even then you don’t get a great look at it compared to your front side. Also most guys with impressive physiques are almost always shown from the front so beginners or aspiring training assume that all effort should be focused into these ‘show’ muscles.
As a result many guys focus on building their chest, arms and abs almost exclusively – especially in the beginning stages of ‘training’. Training in this way however can lead to problems down the road such as muscle imbalances, joint problems and rolled shoulders. Not to mention training this way is severely undercutting your full bodybuilding potential.
The 3 Best Back Exercises
There are a lot of exercises you can do to target your back muscles. This section we explore the best three exercises. These exercises were selected based on their ability to build the most muscle across every part of your back.
Out of all the back exercises the best is by far the deadlift. Nothing compares in terms of complete back development. I prefer a narrow stance with my deadlifts (feet 6-8 inches apart).
I feel this hit my lower back and lats more. You can also do wide (sumo) stance or somewhere in between. Do the version that works for you.
Better yet, do them all for complete development and added benefit of introducing a dynamic element into your workout. This will keep you muscles stimulated in news ways causing them to grow.
Although the deadlift is the undisputed champ when it comes to adding size and strength to your frame the pull is a close second. The pull up is a simple to execute exercise and can be done in a number of ways. Each different version of the pull up will target you back differently.
There are wide grip pull ups, Neutral, and close grip. You can do overhand, underhand or alternating grip. wide over-hand grip, full hang and pull your neck bone up to the bar.
These are the best for building wide lats. I like to do bring my grip in and do under-hand weighted pull ups too. Hang some weight from a belt around your waist and do heavy triples. These are perfect for building a big storg back.
#3. T-Bar or Barbell Rows
The third best lift for building a big back is the T-bar row. These target your middle back between the shoulder blades and lats really well.
It also works your legs, core and lower back to hold your body in a bent position. T Bar rows will add some good thickness and width to your back.
As an added bonus this exercises will also work your shoulders and biceps due to the pulling motion. The objective for this lift is to get a really good squeeze in your upper back and lats.
Keep your lays flexed the entire range of motion and bring your arms up with our elbows close to your torso. Lifting this way will give you the most benefit.
If you only did these three lifts religiously you would build a big back. Deadlifts hit the whole back, adding width and depth to your torso. Weighed pull ups work your lats and middle back and rows work your lats, middle back and rear delts.
When performing back lifts, it’s important you keep a tight upper back and lats. To achieve this imagine you are squeezing an grape between your shoulder blades. This will ensure you’re getting the most contraction in your muscles and therefore the most benefit from each rep. This will naturally pop your chest out and your head up into a neutral position (perfect).
In addition to the main three back lifts mentioned above there are three other lifts that target the back very well. Secondary doesn’t mean negligible. These lifts are mandatory and great for building a big back. The lifts are:
Cable Rows, Bent Over Rows and Pull Downs. These three lifts are what I use to round out my back workouts. One or two of these exercises done for 3 or 4 sets is a great way to end a good back day.
Big Back Workout Routine
If you want your back to grow you have to make it grow. If your back is a weak point then you have to target it aggressively. Train your back twice a week with the following workouts.
As far as timing goes, spread these workouts out by 3 or 4 days. So if you train back on Monday trading it again on Thursday. This will give you enough time to recover and be fresh enough for another great back workout.
Big Back Workout A:
- Deadlift 7 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 2
- Weighted pull ups 5 sets of 3-5+ reps per set
- T-Bar Rows 5 sets 6-10 reps per set
Big Back Workout B:
- Bent Over Rows 5 sets of 5-10 reps
- Cable Rows 5 sets of 5-10 reps
- Pull Downs 5 sets of 8-12 reps
Alternate between Day 1 and Day 2 workouts. Do them 3-4 days apart and make sure you do each workout within the same week. Go to failure on at least one set for each lift. If you have the time and energy, go ahead and do some arm or shoulder work and your all set.
Do this for 8 weeks straight without missing a workout. Get a gram of quality protein per pound of body weight each day. With some hard work and dedication I guarantee you will put on some noticeable size with this program.
Go ahead and try it out. Take a picture of your back just before you start the program, then take another picture of your back 8 weeks later after completing it. If you’re not impressed by the results I’ll go vegan for a month (seriously).