Continuing to part 2 of our series of how to develop the perfect “V-Taper”
Building a strong muscular back
If you haven’t been giving your back the same amount of gym time and effort as other muscle groups, odds are it’s lagging miles behind them. To help it catch up, focus on building pure, raw mass. Aside from a general lack of back development, the most common complaint is “two dimensional” back: Your back has decent width, but it’s flat like a pancake. You need to beef it up your lats and make it thicker so that eventually it becomes 3D.
A wide back is all about having the most pronounced V-taper possible. In this routine, you’ll be focusing on the top of the V, meaning the upper back. Various chin-ups and pull-downs will serve our purpose.
For the best V-taper shape, you need to be lean. The more body fat you’re carrying, the less detail and definition will show in all your muscle groups. Being lean will allow you to display greater back detail, but there are some decades-old techniques to develop enhanced muscle detail separate from your body fat levels.
Beginners are best served by hard work on just a handful of productive exercises. Avoid the temptation to go heavier and sacrifice form in a misguided attempt to accelerate progress. If you jump the gun and increase the weight too soon, you may be able to move the weight, but you won’t be recruiting the target muscles properly.
Anabolic Back Workouts
Get your back muscles in an anaboic state to build big muscles and intense strength gains. Below are four different workouts you can choose from. Switching it up keeps your muscles growing. Adding muscle building supplements helps your muscles grow and recovery quick so you can lift more and go heavy.
- Workout 1
- Chins (only as a warm up-four sets of 10-12 reps or more if you can, may use various grips)
- Barbell Rowing
- Reverse-grip Pulldowns
- Machine Rowing
- Do six sets of each exercise. Trying to use weights that allow you to reach failure at these rep ranges. 16, 8, 12, 6, 10, 5. Use the muscle confusion principle. Muscle confusion involves doing a different rep range for every set of an exercise. Not pyramiding up or down in a steady manner. Instead, go back and forth between heavy and more moderate weight from set to set. This really stimulates the muscle in a way that’s totally unaccustomed to. It may sound silly, but give it a try and you’ll change your mind.
- Set 1: 15 reps – Set 2: 6 reps – Set 3: 12 reps – Set 4: 8 reps – Set 5: 10 reps – Set 6: 5 reps.
- Chins to front- four sets to failure
- Pullover Machine- four sets of 20 reps, if there is no machine, use a dumbbell
- Cable Machine Rowing- three sets of 12 reps.
- High Rows- three sets of 25 reps. Pull from a high pulley to your chest using either a shore straight bar or a rope attachment.
- Machine Rows- five sets of six reps
- Reverse-grip Barbell Rows- three sets of 12 rep
- Dumbbell Rows- one drop set for each arm. Eight reps then drop, eight more then drop, and eight more.
- If you’ve never had a lower back injury and don’t deal with at least occasional lower back pain, count yourself very lucky. Few things are as painful to deal with as lower back issues. For those of us who strive to improve our physiques, these issues can have a very negative and limiting effect on our training.
- This rings especially true when it comes to leg or back training. When your lower back is in pain, you simply can’t do everything you’d like to do—exercises you see everyone else around you doing. This doesn’t mean you have to halt your back development until your lower back has recovered, it just means you need to have a plan and be mindful of what to avoid.
- Wide-grip Pulldowns- three sets of nine reps
- Reverse-grip Pulldowns- three sets of nine reps
- High Rows-three sets of nine reps
- If you can do this whole workout at once, that s fine. You may be able to do it better if you split it up into a morning and evening workout, time permitting.
- Reverse-grip Pulldowns- four sets of 15-16 reps (pyramid up in weight)
- T-bar Rowing- same sets and reps
- Pulldowns to Front- same sets and reps
- Barbell Rows- same sets and reps-Superset with Pullovers-four sets of 20
“Lats” but not least
Wide-Grip Chins Make Your Lats Flare.
How to get your lats to flare as much as possible under armpits.
Wide-grip chin ups, the best exercise to flare the upper lat. Better than lat pulldowns, because hanging in the air from a bar and not locked under a pad. Making it much tougher to cheat, so your lat and to an extent, biceps, doing the work.
Barbell rows, an excellent choice for lat thickness. Some prefer to do with an underhand grip. Finding you pull the bar closer to the body with a reverse grip, targeting the lower lat more. Always keep back slightly arched and head up when doing barbell rows. Focus on getting a deep contraction in the lat.
Another exercise for building muscle for the back is the pullover. Either with a dumbbell or machine. The pullover gives you a great stretch at the start of every rep. Also a way to work the back hard without worrying about biceps being “weak links”. Failing before the bigger, more powerful lats do.
The back muscle mass can be a tough area to develop. Because it’s not easy to feel it working, as the case with some other muscle groups. Needing to work back from a few different angles to stimulate different areas. In addition to chins, barbell rows and pullovers. Adding low cable rows, dumbbell rows and T-bar rows. Keep your reps in the eight to 12 range. Most importantly, make a conscious effort to feel your lats contracting every rep.