Of all the features that bodybuilders and gym rats want to emulate, the v-taper has to be one of the most in-demand. Quite simply, this means having broad shoulders and a narrow waist. To an extent this is down to the genetic lottery but with the right know-how, you can do a lot here to maximize your genetic potential.
And if you really have the right know-how, then you can actually do this pretty quickly!
Here then, we’ll look at how you can very quickly start looking more like the sexiest letter in the alphabet…
Anatomy of a V-Taper
Really, there are three main elements that contribute to the look of a v-taper. The first is the shoulders. A wide set of shoulders provide the top of the ‘V’ and will make the waist look that much narrower in comparison. What’s more, broad shoulders are just generally cool and will make you look a lot tougher and more imposing.
Next come the lats. Wide lats provide the shape for the torso itself, filling out under the armpits and then gradually getting thinner as they taper down to the waist.
And last of all is the waist itself. By lowering your body fat percentage, you can drastically decrease the width of your waist and thereby build an excellent taper.
So let’s look at how you achieve each of these elements, then you can put the whole thing together.
While you can’t widen the bone that provides the ‘framework’ for your shoulders, you can add width to either side by growing your medial deltoids. This is like adding tires to the sides of your shoulders and can really help you to take up more space. Use lateral raises to build these up quickly and make sure you’re challenging yourself with enough weight.
The single most important exercise for getting a v-taper fast is to do pull ups. This is one of the best ways to isolate the lats and it has the added benefit of toning the abs.
A pull up of course means you’re using an overhand grip. Keep your arms nicely wide apart to keep the focus on your lats rather than your biceps and try to use a slow, deliberate form rather than using momentum to cheat your way up. Kipping pull ups don’t cut it here!
Finally, to get a narrow waist you need to diet and add CV to your training. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is very popular for this but many people will find that running regularly is easier to keep up (and the difference in calories burned is more minimal than most people thing). Go for one long run a week and you’ll notice a difference. At the same time, keep eating lean and make sure you are in a calorie deficit when cutting.
Finally, try to avoid building your obliques up too thick with moves like side bends. These actually make your waist wider by growing the muscle attached to it!