T Nation

V Shape


What is the best exercise for developing the V taper? I always thought it was wide grip pullups but just read somewhere the wide grips are useless and I should do shoulder or closer grip pull ups.


Collarbone extension surgery along with liposuction around the hips.

Seriously though, wide grip pullups do work, but close grip/supine grip pullups work also. And don't say "read somewhere". Give specifics so we can check it out too.


I read some research a while bach which I DID post on this forum (however At this point I forget the location/name of the research work)

The conclusion was, out of all grips for pull-ups (supine, neutral, pronated), the one which used your lats the most was the wide frip pull-ups. Supine pull-ups used much more bis and shoulders, thus reducing the degree to which the lats were involved.

Since the lats are the mucle which gives you that V shape, it comes to reason that if you put more stress on them with wide pronated wide grip pull-ups, that you will get better results.


Two things:

A fat waist with big lats isn't going to give you a V-shape. I would imagine this is pretty obvious though.

Also, if you have an A-frame you're not going to get much of a V-shape.


And bigger delts will do more for your overall shoulder-to-hip ratio than any amount of lat work.




What char said, bigger delts will add more to the v-taper than bigger lats.


Y'all sure the best exercise wouldn't be one arm wide-grip pullups? :slight_smile:


I was thinking about this last week: I believe that developing the Teres Major does more for your V-Taper than your Lats. And the exercise that seems to work the Teres Major best is a Pullover movement. Any thoughts?


I love Nautilus pullovers! Great stuff! Works your back and your abs at the same time. Hard to beat. I agree with most here. I've got an A frame and widening my shoulers has helped the most with my appearance. Anything much wider than shoulder width on pulldowns and chins is just added stress on the shoulders in my personal experience.


i'd go with pullups. the wider the better i'd assume since you take the biceps out of the movement a bit more.

i guess i'd mention checking out some protraction/retraction work for the serratus. one of those littler muscle groups that the average joe kinda overlooks. straight arm pushups, shit like that.

hope that helps.


Diesel I think I read that post and was looking for it a while back ...I thought it was an article and I was researching a new back routine prior to posting the question here. I believe it also made a comparison between pulldowns to the front and behind the neck ...does anyone remember what the bottom line was on the behind the neck issue?


Wow we are over thinking. Wider shoulders and larger lats combined with a smaller waist will give you a better V taper.


"Train For Your Frame" by Don Alessi.


I like neutral grip pullups myself.


Goldberg answered the question.

But, my two cents to further along your project: I say rows before pullups--barbells, t bars, dumbells, cables...row row row your...you get it.


apb04, with regards to the straight arm pulldown. i always found this to work a lot lower on the back. wouldn't think this would be the best exercise for lat width.

again just my opinion, please feel free to show me the light if i'm wrong



Diesel-If I remember correctly, Poliquin wrote in one of his chinning articles that the supinated grip actually recruited more of the lats, and the wide pronated grip would wind up recruiting the teres minor muscles. That being said, I agree that wide grip pronated pullups would help develop the V shape, simply by developing the upper back. By the way, aren't you leaving for boot camp soon? How is your training program to prepare for all the running coming along?


mr. peacock

re-read :slight_smile:

straight or stiff arm pushups
not pulldowns. should help to
develop the serratus.

hope that clarifies.


my fault, read too late in the evening!