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How to build a wide, strong back?The Visual Impact of a V-Taper

Your back is the utmost important factor that creates the visual impact of a V-shaped body, not the shoulders (although they’re nearly as important) we call this the V-taper.

To get the foundation of a V-taper right, you need to build yourself a ‘cobra back’…

And to build a wide cobra back, you need to build yourself some extremely wide and protruding lattimus dorsi muscles (lats as the bodybuilders call them), and that’s simply because the outer line of the lattimus dorsi, is the line that creates the actual visual impact of a V .. Known as the V taper.

Back Training Frequency and Optimal Set/Rep Patterns

 Machine training and high-rep “pump” work will never allow a natural trainee to build that thick wide back, as it is a fact that the main muscles of the back are multi-sided large bundles of muscle fibers which respond best to heavy pulling work.

Also the fact that the back has so many isolated muscles, makes isolation work for back not only ineffective, but also incredibly time consuming. It’s much more effective if you pick 1-2 “main movements” that you lift with a rep range of 2-6 per set and 2-3 “assistance movements” which you work with 8-12 reps per set to expand the muscle glycogen stores and add some mass.

When it comes to the amount of sets, anything between 2-4 is good, more than that and you’re just going to overtax the central nervous system (CNS).

Here’s the cobra back workout template;

Main exercise 4×3
Another main exercise 6×2
Assistance exercise 8×3
Another assistance exercise 10×3
Yet another assistance exercise 12×3

So what are the best exercises for the muscles mentioned above to create this?

1) Wide grip pull-ups (preferably weighted) are the one and only movement you need to get your lats growing with incredible speed. It’s superior to any isolation exercise and will build the muscles in your back in a wonderful symmetry.

2) Chin-ups (preferably weighted) are the only movement that you need to really grow your teres minor, teres major, and rhomboid muscles. Not to mention that they will also widen the lats and build the other back muscles in a great symmetry too.

3) Straight arm push downs are also a great movement as they also involve the teres major – a good thing since it completes the look of the lats and increases the width of your back as well as the posterior deltoid.

4) Deadlifting is also important, as it’s easily the number 1 exercise that adds some serious mass into your back. Deadlifts literally work the whole back, every single muscle you have there. And even though some people claim that it’ll also make your lower back wider, that really doesn’t happen, at least not to any noticeable degree as your upper back will grow simultaneously with it.