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How To Get A V-Taper – The 3 Muscle Groups To Train

v-taper
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When it comes to bodybuilding achieving the V-Taper is probably one of the main goals for most people. This is because having a V-Taper shape will make skinnier guys appear much broader and create better symmetry for folks on the heavier side. Here’s a full definition of the V-Taper: The “V” taper is where the torso forms a shape of the letter “V” due to having broad shoulders, wide lats and a narrow waist.

v-taper

Getting the V-Taper is all about proportions. There are 3 main muscle groups that will help you develop the V-Taper shape; the lats, deltoids and abdominals. Of course genetics play a role when it comes to getting a V-Taper because if you have narrow hips it’s a lot easier to achieve a V-Taper than if you have really wide hips. The reason for this is because the smaller your waist is the broader your shoulders will look and the wider your lats will appear to be.

Let’s take a deeper look at these 3 muscle groups and how to effectively train them:

The Lats

Building a V-taper begins with building the lats (also known as the latissimus dorsi). To effectively train your lats you will need to do two kinds of exercises, the first is a pull-down type exercise that builds width and the second is a rowing type exercise that builds thickness.

Here’s a routine that will accomplish both:

Pull-ups

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

pullups

Bent Over Barbell Row

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

2 Minutes Rest Inbetween Each Set

bent over barbell row

Dumbbell Pull-overs

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

2 Minutes Rest Inbetween Each Set

dumbbell pullovers

T-Bar Row (Close Grip)

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

2 Minutes Rest Inbetween Each Set

t-bar row

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

4 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

wide grip lat pulldown

The Deltoids

Having bigger deltoids will make your waist seem smaller and that is one of the keys to getting a V-Taper. In fact having broad shoulders/deltoids alone is the fastest way to achieve the V shape, but it is very important to remember that the shoulders are easily injured with bad form so you must take your time and be careful when training them.

There are 3 heads that make up the deltoids, the posterior (rear) head, middle (side) head and anterior (front) head. Here’s a routine that will get you those cannonball delts:

Seated Barbell Over Head Press (OHP)

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

2 Minute Rest Inbetween Each Set

over head press

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

Rear Delt Fly

Dumbbell Front Raise

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

dumbbell front raise

 

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

dumbbell side raise

The Abdominals

Even if your goal wasn’t to get a V-Taper having a chiselled set of abs is admired by just about everyone. However, when it comes to getting a smaller waist ab training is important, but lowering your body fat percentage (down to about 8%) should be the top priority because no matter how much or hard you train your abs the only thing that will make them appear is by losing the fat covering it. Furthermore, the more body fat you lose the smaller your waist will become making the V shape appear more and more obvious to others.

Here’s a ab routine that works the 6 pack abs and obliques:

Seated Cable Crunch

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

cable crunch

Alternating Floor Oblique Twist (Russian Twist)

3 Sets 12-15 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

russian twist

Hanging Leg Raise

3 Sets 10-12 Reps

1 Minute 30 Second Rest Inbetween Each Set

hanging leg raise

The V-Taper is all about proportions and won’t come to you overnight, it takes time and dedication to develop a proper V-Taper. Remember training really hard in the gym isn’t enough to build muscle, you must still have a balanced diet with high protein and enough rest to allow the muscles to repair/recover to grow bigger.

If you have anymore questions about the V-Taper then please leave a comment about it down below.

10 thoughts on “How To Get A V-Taper – The 3 Muscle Groups To Train

  1. Thanks for this, reading it has been very useful. I thought you achieved the V-shape from mainly ab routines lol, in particular, a twist or mountain climbers. Luckily I train regular so the Lats and Deltoids are always worked on anyways, but it’s good to know.

    Thanks for the diagrams too, diagrams are always helpful, I’m still getting used to all the routine names.

  2. Good advice. I have found that heavy upper back work has greatly improved my V-taper over the years. Width and thickness of the lats are critical and I have found that chin-ups give me the most bang for my buck !

    Do you also recommend seated cable rows ? I love this exercise as well.

  3. Getting this “V-shape” is to me really the ultimate for a male physique. The waist to shoulder ratio (narrow waist wide shoulders) is really what gives a “male shape” just like a narrow waist and wide hips will give a great “female shape”. I am currently doing some pull-ups, push-ups and dips and I run to try to burn fat, but my biggest problem is trying to lose my “love handles”. Do you have any tips on how to loose belly fat ? I weigh around 72 kilos and would need to loose about 6 to 7 kilos to get the shape I desire. My age of 45 years makes it a bit of a challenge, but I am sure this can be done with a little more effort.

    Thank you for a great and inspiring post Andrew and looking forward to your reply.

  4. I really really like your site. It is full of valuable information for weight loss/weight training and I would love to get a V-Taper, but I have a question though… What are the side affects to doing weights when you are younger ? I have heard that you shouldn’t do too much of it, is that true ?

    Thank you so much for the info !

  5. Hey Andrew, thanks once again for this great and very informative article.

    I never knew that these 3 muscle groups were so important for the iconic V-shape. I always just thought you need big lats through many pull-ups, but it all makes sense now. Abs and shoulders are just as important.

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