BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Bodybuilding Articles Developing a V-Taper
Stressing the 'V' in
When you were little, girls and boys, it would usually get you an
afternoon in your room or a day of doing household chores.
Now, as you close in on your bodybuilding and fitness endeavors, it
is an imperative aspect of achieving your goals. The firm lat
muscles that provide that V-shape are particularly important for
bodybuilding competitors. Often overlooked, your back can either
make you or break you up on a posing stage.
Try some of these lat-blasting exercises and make sure that the
‘V’ your back forms stands for
PULL-UPS: Take a wide grip on the bar, maybe six to eight
inches wider than your shoulders on each side. Bend your knees. You
may even want to cross your ankles underneath you. Arch your back
slightly and pull your torso up toward the bar. When your chin
reaches the bar, squeeze your lat muscles for a moment, before
allowing yourself back down to the starting position. Try to
maintain a steady, flowing motion, avoiding all rocking movements.
Try doing 3 sets of 10.
FRONT PULL-DOWNS: Grasp the handle bar firmly with a wide
grip. Slowly bring the weight down toward your torso, pushing your
chest a little forward while slightly arching your back. The key
here is to pull the weight downward with your elbows, not your
biceps. Bringing the handle down to your chin, tightly squeeze for
a two-count before slowly releasing. Remaining seated through the
repetition, allow the weight to pull your arms upward and finish
off with a lengthy stretch. Repeat this motion for 10-12 reps over
BENT-OVER ROWS: Bend at the waist so your upper torso is
parallel with the floor, forming a 90-degree angle with your legs.
Facing forward, take the barbell at a wide grip, a little wider
than shoulder width. Hold the weight so it is roughly six inches
off the floor. Then, slowly pull the barbell in toward your chest,
squeezing the back muscles upon slight contact. Hold for a moment,
then slowly release the weight back to the staring position, about
six inches off the floor. Try not to move your torso during the
movement, while you concentrate on working the lat muscles. Do 10
repetitions for a total of three sets.
Remember when doing these exercises that form is everything. Back
exercises are perhaps among the toughest when it comes to
maintaining proper form. And with lat exercises, improper form
carries a high risk of sustaining nagging injuries.
Make sure all the motions are smooth, continuous ones, and that
your back muscles – not your biceps – are doing the
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