Redbull doesnt give you wings but Lat pull-downs do
The V-taper physique is generally the ideal body type for men, and it looks sizzling hot on the lasdies too. To achieve this physique, you’ll need a back about as wide as a truck, and to achieve this width, you have to build yourself a freaky set of wings.
The Latissimus Dorsi. or lats for short, is the broadest muscle group of the back and creates the visual impact of the V.
Developing the V-taper will make skinny persons appear broader, and create better symmetry for those on the heavier side.
Of course, the lats aren’t the only muscles involved in building a thicker, wider back. The shoulders, traps, rhomboids, teres minor and -major also play a role in achieving this ideal, but for the purpose of this blog, we’ll concentrate on those wings.
Ideally you should stick to rep ranges of 6-12 reps for 3-6 sets. Add weight or adjust your rep range to lower as you get stronger. Not one program works for everyone, play around and see what works best for you.
Wide-grip Lat Pull-down
Pull the bar down to the top of your chest by recruiting your lats—not your biceps. Pull your elbows down to your sides, squeezing your back as if grabbing a pen between your shoulder blades. Pause a moment, then return to starting position.
To create a back with thickness, you need to perform rowing movements. Pull-ups are valuable, but it’s the row that keeps your back thick and mighty from every angle. To row properly, you will need to solidly lock the upper and lower back in place, with a slight arch in the lumbar spine, and ensuring that the muscle contracts at the peak of the movement.
One Arm Dumbbell Row
Place one knee and the hand from the same side on a flat bench, using your other leg as a stabilizer on the floor. With your chest out and lower back flat, grab a dumbbell and, without bending it, pull your elbow up by retracting your back muscles. The key here is to maintain your elbow at a 45-degree angle and raise the dumbbell toward your hip bone, not your armpit. Lower the dumbbell slowly and repeat.
Various grips – Close and Wide Pull ups are a must to building a solid back, especially when concentrating on the lats. Grab the bar from a dead hanging position, tuck and cross your legs behind you if needed. Pull yourself up until your chin reaches the bar and slowly return back to the start position.
For the first 2 sets use a wide grip for as many reps as you can push out. For the 3rd set use a closer grip. .
Pull-ups are superior to any isolation exercise and will build your back in a wonderful symmetry.
Lying on a flat bench, feet on the floor, take the dumbbell with both hands and hold it over your head. With a slight bend in your arm, lower the weight as far behind your head as possible, without bending your elbows. You need to get a good stretch. Using your lats, pull the dumbbell back over to a point just over your head.
Of course, no back program would be complete without one of the major lifts, the deadlift, or rack pull. The deadlift is one of the best movements for building overall back thickness and traps. It is king of recruiting multiple muscle groups, thus forcing total-body growth.
Grasp a bar using an overhand grip (palms facing down). You may need some wrist wraps if using a significant amount of weight. Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. Knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to over the top of your feet by bending at the hips while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Inhale as you perform this movement.
Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips until you are back at the starting position. Exhale as you perform this movement.
Caution: This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems. Also, it needs to be treated with the utmost respect paying special attention not to round the back forward as you move the torso down; the back should always be straight. Finally, jerking motions or doing too much weight can injure your back.
Variations: The exercise can also be performed with a dumbbell as described above.
Enjoy the workout!
By Letitia Kleynhans