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Developing a V-Taper


BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Bodybuilding Articles Developing a V-Taper

Stressing the 'V' in Victory.

Back talk.

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 “Victory”.

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 3-4 sets.

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 work.


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Matt Canning
webmaster@bodybuildingpro.com

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