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October 20, 2023

v taper back - what a v taper looks like

You wanna know how to get a v-taper, right?

The good news is:

This article gives you everything you need to start building your v-taper physique and create the perfect workout routine to reach your goals.

By the end of this article, you'll know:

  • What is a v-taper?
  • How to build a v-taper physique in 3 steps
  • The best exercises to build your v-taper body
  • The muscle groups that create a v-taper shape

What is a V-Taper?

steven cao bodybuilder extreme back v taper

Great genetics and low body fat creates an epic v-taper. But - you can still build a v-taper without great genetics or being shredded like this king.

A V-taper is when your upper body is shaped like a v, an upside-down triangle or a dorito.

This results in a masculine, aesthetic and impressive physique.

Some people (like the gentleman in the picture above) have insane genetics that gives them an amazing v-taper.

However, it's not all over for the rest of us:

Following my free workout plans will give you the v-taper physique you're after.

But this post will give you more insight into which exercises and muscles lead to the sought-after v-taper physique you want.

Work on these muscle groups for the best V-taper physique:

The main muscle groups that give you the V-taper physique you're after are listed below. 

Your genetics determine which muscle groups are naturally dominant or larger.

But, don't worry, training your undeveloped or harder-to-grow muscles more frequently will give you the balanced v-shaped upper body you want.

All muscle groups should be trained for at least 10 sets per week if you want them to grow. Training muscle groups at least 2 times a week helps you gain more muscle mass faster.

You can also add more sets to muscle groups that are lagging behind or slow to grow.

Click here for in-depth information on how many sets you need per week and how much time you should spend in the gym for muscle growth.

Lats (latissimus dorsi)

back lats - lat muscles for v taper

The lat muscles make your back appear bigger and wider. Your lats are one of the most important back muscles to focus on for building a killer v-taper physique.

Best back exercises for building bigger lats

  • Pull-ups (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Lat pulldowns (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Dumbbell pullover (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Underhand grip barbell or dumbbell rows (this targets the lats more than an overhand grip) (3 sets, 6 - 12 reps)

Underhand grip rows and wide grip pull-ups are no-brainer classics for building your lats and creating a wider back for your v-taper shape.

Shoulders (Lateral and rear delts)

Increasing your shoulder width by building bigger lateral delts and rear delts creates a wider frame at the top of your v-taper.

Broad shoulders = wider V.

Best exercises for building bigger shoulders

  • Barbell or dumbbell overhead presses (3 sets, 8 - 12 reps)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets, 12 - 20 reps)
  • Reverse flyes (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Lu raises (3 sets, 12 - 20 reps)

Overhead presses and lateral or lu raises are my 2 go-to exercises for building shoulders.

Traps (Trapezius)

trap muscles from the back - v taper physique

Growing your traps makes your shoulder width and back muscles appear larger and helps you create the v-taper body you're aiming for.

Best exercises for building bigger traps

  • Shrugs (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Upright rows (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)
  • Bent-over y raises (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)

I use shrugs, bent-over y raises and upright rows in my workout plans.

The bent-over y raises and upright rows hit your shoulder muscles too - making it easy to hit your shoulders a 2nd time in the week while hitting your traps.

Abs/waist (Core)

A smaller waist accentuates the impressive v-taper shape.

Best exercises for a smaller waist and better core

  • Fork put downs (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Walking 6 - 15k steps per day

Good nutrition and low body fat leads to a smaller waist.

The best exercises for achieving this is - putting the fork down (eating less calories) and walking.

Instead of doing countless crunches and situps - focus on fat loss by adjusting your nutrition.

How to Build a V-Taper Physique in 3 steps

Step 1 – Build Bigger Shoulders and traps

trap muscles from the back

Building bigger shoulders and increasing your shoulder width gives you the wide shape you need at the top of your V-taper physique.

Growing your traps enhances the appearance of your shoulder width so it's important to train both muscle groups.

Some exercises work both the traps and shoulders - so it's best to focus on each muscle group in different training sessions for full effectiveness.

My recommendations:

Use heavier weights and a rep range of 8-12 for overhead press.

Use heavier weights and a rep range of 10-15 for shrugs.

Go with lighter weights and a rep range of 10 - 15 for lateral and lu raises, bent over y raises and upright rows.

Step 2 – Build a wider back

The key to building a wider back is training your lats.

If your shoulders create width at the top of your upper body, your lats create width at the upper-middle of your upper body.

Wide grip pull-ups and rows get the job done well.

My recommendations:

Use lighter weights or no weights and a rep range of 8 - 15 for pull ups.

Use medium weights and a rep range of 8 - 12 for rows.

Use medium weights and a rep range of 8 - 15 for dumbbell pullovers.

Step 3 – Lose body fat and build a slimmer waist

front double biceps pose

Holding a bunch of fat around your midsection will give you a H shaped physique instead of the V-taper body you're going for.

If you're over 10% body fat - it's time for a fat-loss phase.

Aim for a 500 average daily calorie deficit for a max of 12 weeks.

Don't try to lose weight too fast - this leads to binging and/or muscle loss.

Click here for an in-depth guide on how to set up your nutrition for fat loss while building muscle.

Basic nutrition for fat loss:

  • Calorie deficit of 500 calories
  • A high protein diet - 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight
  • Aim to lose 10% max of your body weight per week (1lb a week is a good target for most)

Here's an example v-taper workout plan:

statue with back muscles

This example workout plan gives you a good starting point for building your v-taper.

An actual workout plan hits all major muscle groups and hits each muscle group twice a week - like in my free Trap God workout plan.

I'm giving you 2 workout variations - one focuses on shoulders + lats, the other focuses on traps and lats.

I advise against training shoulders + traps in the same session as their exercises have some spillover. You'll get more out of your training if you split these muscle groups between different sessions.

V-taper workout 1: Shoulders + lats

  • Overhead press (3 sets, 8 - 12 reps)
  • Pull-ups (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Lu raises (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Bent over y raises (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Dumbbell pullovers (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)
  • Barbell rows (3 sets, 8 - 12 reps)

V-taper workout 2: Traps + lats

  • Shrugs (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Pull-ups (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Barbell rows (3 sets, 8 - 12 reps)
  • Bent over y raises (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Upright rows (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)
  • Dumbbell pullovers (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)

Remember - this is an example workout plan that only focuses on building your v-taper physique.

A full workout plan needs to hit your triceps, biceps and legs too.

For a full. well-balanced workout plan that builds the dream body you're thinking of - download my 2 free workout plans by clicking here.

FAQ

Is the V taper genetic?

Yes and no. Some people will have an easier time building their v-taper because of their genetics. The good news is - anyone can build a v taper using a proper training program and nutrition.

Can everyone get a V taper?

Yes - everyone can get a V-taper. Some people can create the v-taper appearance easier because of their genetics - but a good workout routine + consistency will get you the results you're looking for.

What is the V taper body type?

The V-taper body type is characterized by broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and a wide back, creating the appearance of a "V" shape.

This physique is often associated with strength and athleticism. The V-taper look can be achieved through targeted training and proper nutrition.

By focusing on building bigger shoulders, increasing the width of your back, and trimming body fat around the waist, you can create a V-taper body type that's both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

What exercises get the V taper?

There are a variety of exercises that can help you achieve the V-taper look.

Some examples of back-dominant exercises include:

  • Pull-ups (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Lat pulldowns (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Dumbbell pullover (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Underhand grip barbell or dumbbell rows (this targets the lats more than an overhand grip) (3 sets, 6 - 12 reps)

Shoulder exercises:

  • Barbell or dumbbell overhead presses (3 sets, 8 - 12 reps)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets, 12 - 20 reps)
  • Reverse flyes (3 sets, 8 - 15 reps)
  • Lu raises (3 sets, 12 - 20 reps)

Trap exercises:

  • Shrugs (3 sets, 10 - 15 reps)
  • Upright rows (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)
  • Bent-over y raises (3 sets, 12 - 15 reps)

For a slimmer waist - eat less and move more. Put the fork down and walk more steps.

Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results - aim for at least 3-4 workouts per week including these exercises to see progress towards your V-taper goals.

Do you need low body fat for V taper?

Yes - having a lower body fat percentage helps accentuate the V-taper appearance. Higher body fat will change the shape of your upper body to be more shaped like a fridge and less shaped like a V.

This doesn't mean you need to be ripped to create a v-taper - but being fat will hurt your chances of achieving the v-shape you want.

How long does it take to build a V taper?

It will take a few months at least to see a big difference in your body shape. The amount of time it takes to build a V-taper depends on your starting point, fitness level, and genetics.

However, by staying committed to your workout routine and maintaining a healthy diet, you can start to see progress towards your V-taper goals within a month or 2.

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