The fastest way to get a wider v-taper back is to focus your attention on the muscles in the back that contribute the most to width. In this video, I’m going to show you the best back exercises you can do to build up your lats, teres major and teres minor in order to get the widest back possible. We are breaking out the science here to get you the best results you can from your workouts.
First, it always helps to look a bit at the anatomy of the muscles you are trying to develop. In the case of back width, the three that have the greatest impact are the latissimus dorsi, teres major and teres minor. Odds are, you may have been focusing a pretty good amount of attention at developing your lats but have you ever stopped to think what you should be doing for those other two muscles.
The truth is, if you want to build a great v-taper back then you need to look at the best ways to train all of these muscles. The good news is, all it takes a few small tweaks to exercises you may already be doing to shift the focus of the workload onto either of these three muscles. When you see just how easy this is to do you won’t feel overwhelmed at all and will be excited to go try some of these small exercise tweaks right away.
First, let’s talk about the lat pulldown machine. Actually, this machine is a little misnamed since you can preferentially train more than just the lats here. That said, if you want to hit the lats the most you want to be sure to perform an underhand pulldown or a rocking pulldown. The key here is that you want to get the elbows out in front of your body as far as possible to place a greater stretch on the lats. Also, as you pull down, each of these exercises will give you the best chance to keep your arm tightly adducted to your side to maximally activate the lats.
If you wanted to shift the focus to the teres major all you have to do is take a much wider, overhand grip on the bar and do a pulldown. This takes away some of the lat favorability of the exercise and shifts the load more to the muscle you are trying to develop.
By attaching a rope to the pulldown machine you can incorporate external rotation at the shoulder and do a better job of recruiting the teres minor (a rotator cuff muscle) to perform the exercise. The name of this exercise is the face pulldown, and it’s a fantastic exercise for building up the complete va taper of your back.
Keep in mind, all of these variations can help you develop a wider back and all of them can be performed on a pullup bar if you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine.
Additionally, you can target the teres major with a landmine setup as shown in the video. Once again, remember to keep your elbow out wide away from your torso and position yourself perpendicular to the landmine olympic bar setup. Want more lats? Just step to the side of the bar and pull it up parallel and tight to your body and you’ll shift the focus instantly.
Finally, the one arm hi pulley row is a great way to place the lats on tremendous stretch and take them through their full range of motion. This may be one of my favorite ways to build a wider back. Shift the attachment to a rope handle and perform the tried and true face pulls and you’ve just added another exercise to your teres minor building arsenal.
The key to building a wider back is to understand which muscles you want to focus your efforts on and which back exercises to the best job at getting the job done. Here I’ve just shown you quite a few options to do that. If you’re looking for a complete program that will help you to put the science back in all of your workouts, be sure to head to the link below and check out the athlean-x training system best suited to your current goals.
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