Want to build v-taper physique? Try these five best exercises. (Image via Unsplash /Anastase Maragos)

5 Best V-Taper Exercises For Your Back

If you want to build a v-taper physique, focus your exercises on developing your shoulders and lats.

Wide shoulders create the illusion of having a smaller waist. The shoulders are comprised of three sets of distinct fibers — the anterior (front), lateral/medial (side/middle), and posterior (rear) deltoid. Generally, we want to work with all three heads of the shoulders for the overall shoulder size. However, when trying to maximize shoulder width, focus on side head development.


Shoulders can be trained through both pushing and pulling. Doing so will allow you to use sets of higher reps, which are optimal for hypertrophy, while also giving you the benefit of lower reps which are great for strength gains. The best way to train your shoulders is twice a week with 15–20 total sets each time.

Here Are 5 of the Best V-taper Exercises for Your Back


1) Barbell Overhead Press

The barbell overhead press is the number one exercise for building v-taper shoulders. It activates several muscle groups such as the pectorals (chest) and triceps. As a result, it's an excellent exercise for developing our overall V-taper physique and improving athletic performance.


How to do the barbell overhead press?

  • Stand up straight, step back from the rack and take a couple of steps away from it.
  • Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, pointing your toes slightly out.
  • To lift weights overhead, you need a stable foundation, so engage your core muscles to generate a stabilising force.
  • Rotate your shoulders externally so that your elbows point slightly outwards.
  • Keep your knees, hips, and shoulders still, to minimize momentum.
  • To lower the weight back down, lower your elbows at a 45-degree angle to come to a complete stop at the top of your chest. After taking a full breath, perform the next rep.
Barbell overhead press is a great shoulder exercise. (Photo via Pexels/Leon Ardho)


2) Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Although heavy presses are beneficial for overall shoulder development, they do not isolate the lateral deltoids. This is because the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint and it has several functions. The main function of the side deltoid is abduction — lifting our arms to the sides.

The best exercise to target your lateral delts to build a v-taper physique is the dumbbell lateral raise.

How to do the dumbbell lateral raise?

  • Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your pinky finger closer to the middle of the dumbbell.
  • Stand with your feet slightly closer than shoulder-width apart and with your knees bent.
  • Bend forward slightly at the hips so that the dumbbells create an angle between your upper arm and torso, but don’t round over completely.
  • Lift your pinky higher than your thumb to target the side delts.

3) Pull-ups

Pull-ups are an excellent exercise for building a bigger, stronger v-taper back—they target several muscle groups, and you can easily add more resistance to provide a powerful overloading stimulus. The assistance of the biceps and forearms is required to pull yourself up to the bar, so you'll also build your arms.


How to do pull-ups?

  • To do a pull-up, start by hanging from an overhead bar with your palms facing away and a pronated grip.
  • Squeeze the bar as hard as possible.
  • Then engage your lats and imagine pulling them outwards while you do the movement.
  • Keep your abs tight and butt engaged (tight), then pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar and your chest almost touching.
  • Control your descent to slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Pull-ups help build a v-taper physique. (Photo via Pexels/RODNAE Productions)

4) Lat Pull Down

The lat pulldown is an essential exercise for building a wide v-taper back, but isolation exercises also have their benefits. Isolation exercises target a single muscle group and don’t work as many other muscle groups. Unlike compound movements, which can be very fatiguing, isolation exercises don’t cause fatigue and can therefore be performed more frequently.

How to do the lat pull down?

  • Start in an upper back extension and hold the bar with your shoulder blades tucked down.
  • Pull down to start the movement, letting your elbows move down and in towards your sides.
  • Pause at the bottom of the movement, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then reverse the motion.
  • Resist on the way up to feel a stretch in your lats on the way up. Pause at full elbow extension at the top of the movement. That's one rep.

5) Seated Cable Row

To build your lats, try the seated cable row. It activates more back muscles than the lat pulldown and is another great pulling exercise that activates your lats through shoulder extension.


How to do the seated cable row?

  • Use a shoulder extension handle attachment with a close-grip (v-grip if possible).
  • Plant your feet firmly on the footrest, keep your core tight throughout, and chest up.
  • Keep your core strong, and pull the cable straight towards your belly button.
  • Drive your elbows down and in at the end of a pull.
  • Your shoulder blades should be squeezed together, and you should be upright at 90 degrees to your legs, not bending back.


There you have it, five of the best v-taper exercises that give great results whether performed on training days or not. You now have no excuses!

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