I received this question from a chap named Adam:
Sounds like you’re aiming for more of a ‘V-shape’. Obviously the two components in this are having:
1) A small waist
2) Big everything else.
1) Reduce your waist
Consider your bodyfat level, sometimes dropping bodyfat will be all you need to add more of a V-taper. Take Propane Athlete Farbod as an example:
Also, don’t make things worse for yourself by doing direct oblique work! This will thicken your waist and reduce your V-taper.
2) Training your upper back
Adding size everywhere apart from your waist will make it look smaller.
Benefits of training your upper back and delts
– Looking like an absolute winner
– Improved pressing strength from increased stability
– Improved posture. Ever seen guys in the gym who you only ever see bench pressing? Notice their posture, and have a bucket handy.
Specifically, adding mass to your upper back and delts (shoulders) will give a pronounced V-taper. The exercises I’d recommend to focus on are:
– This will add mass to your lats – ‘wings’. Work up to using 10 reps with bodyweight, then start to add weight like a boss.
– Increase your press, and increase your delt size. These will add width to your shoulders, also making your waist appear smaller.
Solid technique is very important for injury prevention – but this is the ultimate mass builder.
Keep the reps low, keep your abs and lower back tight, and aim for incremental milestones. A good way to do it to make an additional 20kg plate to each side into your next goal: e.g. 60kg, 100kg, 140kg, 180kg, 220kg etc.
Another great lats, traps and biceps builder. Do these for high reps, and go heavy.
I’ve seen fully grown men using 20kg for these year-in-year-out. They might as well just be using the weight of your own arm. All of our female Propane Athletes are using at LEAST 30kg for 10+ reps.
Is that not enough for you?
– Add in some lateral raises as a finisher to your overhead press.
– Do chest supported dumbell rows (I’m a big fan of these) for high reps.
– Add some rear delt movements like band pull-aparts for shoulder health and shoulder thickness.
That’s a lot to get on with. Add these movements to your program for at least 6 weeks, train hard, and reap the V-taper.
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