Any serious trainer aspires to build an aesthetically tapered physique, to create the illusion of sculpted shoulders and wide slats down to a tight waist.
The truth is that this v-cone is largely based on genetics. So, if you’re not lucky enough to possess these traits, you need to focus on the muscular features that can visually enhance the hourglass effect. Creating a narrow waist, to the extent determined by your body composition, will strongly depend on overall fat loss methodologies.
We can attack this aesthetic objective from different angles. Putting a special emphasis on the development of broad lats will visually improve the perceived disparity. The latissimus dorsi represents the largest muscle in your back, with a wing resembling a structure from the humerus to the posterior iliac crest. Developing this monster creates a productive cycle of growth and contraction in size, each continuing to perpetuate the other in opposite directions.
Although we often seek coaching advice from those who already embody the physical traits sought, it is wise to listen to the advice of someone who has developed a relatively impressive physique despite genetic limitations. For years my lats were nonexistent.
Here are four exercises that I do every day without fail. Remember that I have trained at least three days a week in the last two years. As always, you want to start with the minimum volume required to always achieve adaptation benchmarks.
1: Triple Pull-Up Superset
Work Sequence: Wide socket x 10 reps, neutral socket x 10 reps, supined / reverse socket x 10 reps. You should approach chess on each hold, as you will naturally be stronger with each subsequent variation.
Tip Use a self-supporting lifting device or, if necessary, an assisted lifting device. The assisted traction machine will help you keep performing full repetitions if you start to fail. Always select the appropriate support for the maximum.
2: Seat Elevated Neutral Grip Cable Row
Work Sequence: 4 x 8/15 dropset. In most cases, when load modification simply requires the movement of a pin, we will be able to include some technical intensity (ie dropsets) in an effort to capture stimulation across fiber types and metabolic demand.
Tip: Use a close-grip row attachment (V-handle), place a stepper (or any flat stationary apparatus) approximately 6 – 10 inches in height on the top of the bench. This will be your modified seat height, creating a natural plane of movement with your cage rib, finishing with hands touching each oblique.
3: One-Arm Cable Row
Work Sequence: 4 x 15 representatives
Tip: Use a single-arm cable with the mobile docking station locked at the top of the cable column. Descend on one knee (on the same side as the action arm, this will hold the hip in place to avoid excessive rotary compensation). Initiate movement with your elbow on a trajectory with your hip (not your ribs), emphasizing shoulder and scapular depression. Emphasize biceps engagement.
4: Straight Arm Lat Pull Down/Over
Work Sequence: 4 x 20 representatives
Tip: Change the attachment and equipment at each workout: straight bar, cable, cable, dumbbell and cable. For each variation, you must maintain the angle of the elbow (flexible elbow, almost straight) throughout the movement, isolating the contraction of the slats during the concentric and eccentric phases of each repetition.
If you simply incorporate these exercises and the corresponding workflow into your existing back routine, I can assure you that the results will result. These four exercises involve a number of critical factors: stimulating lats from different angles, managing limiting factors, incorporating compound and isolated movements while increasing volume.