Strength training: Getting an athletic body


A so-called ‘v-shape’ is a well-known term in the world of bodybuilding. It means that you have an athletic-looking v-shape in the upper body and that can give a very nice look to your entire body. Three muscle groups can ensure that you get a v-shape and that is your shoulders, back and hips.

The v-shape

Muscular arms and a large torso will probably be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bodybuilders. However, these are not the main targets when they hang from the weights. A goal of many bodybuilders in strength training is to get a ‘v-shape’ in the upper body.

Your shoulders

It all starts at the top of your shoulders . This is probably the most important muscle group of all three. Wide shoulders can give a whole different dimension to your upper body. After all, your shoulders determine how broad you really look. One is born with some broader shoulders than the other, but everyone can have well-trained shoulders. Two exercises that can help you:
Shoulder press
Side lateral raise

The side lateral raise

The most popular shoulder exercise is the shoulder press. But is that right? The shoulder press is without doubt an excellent exercise for more muscle mass, but if you want to have wider shoulders then you should shift your attention to the side lateral raise. In this exercise you grab two dumbells that you then raise sideways. This activates the lateral deltoids , or the sides of your shoulders. This is certainly an exercise that you must add to your training schedule.

The shoulder press

The lateral raise thus creates broader shoulders, but the front deltoids , or the fronts of your shoulders, are not emphatically activated with this exercise. And that happens with the dumbell shoulder press. You exercise this exercise by sitting on a fitness bench and placing your back against the handrail. Then you raise the dumbells to shoulder height and press them all the way up. Well-trained front and sides of the shoulders give you a totally balanced look, so this exercise is also very important.

Your back

When we go down a little in the upper body, we reach your back , or your wings. The term wings in bodybuilding comes down to the two wings under your armpits when you stick out your arms. A muscle group that generally receives less attention. And that is unjustified. Having wide wings that fit well with broad shoulders can give a whole athletic look to your body. After all, your wings are just below your shoulders. It is important that you can distinguish between the exercises that provide more width and thickness in your back. In this case, the exercises that help you are more important.
Lat pulldown

The pull-up

Many beginners have not included the pull-up in their training schedule because they simply can not perform this exercise. And that is a shame, because the pull-up is perhaps the best exercise to get those wide wings. Just as it took a lot of time and effort to do your first ten perfect push-ups, it will also be difficult to be able to pull up for the first time.

You perform the pull-up with your own body weight. You therefore do not need access to a gym with weights to do a pull-up. The only thing you need is something you can pull yourself up to. And that can be anything. It is just how creative you can be. Think for example of a climbing frame at your local playground.

The lat pulldown

When you can not yet perform a pull-up, the lat pulldown is an excellent exercise. Every gym has a lat pulldown machine. Make sure that a barbell is attached to this machine so that you can perform the exercise. Then grab the barbell overhand, lean slightly backwards and raise the barbell to chest height. Making swing movements and having no control over the barbell is common in this exercise. If you experience this yourself, lower the weight.

Your hips

Eventually we arrived at the last of the three muscle groups: the hips . To get a v-shape in the upper body, narrow hips are of crucial importance. When you have broad shoulders and wings and are completed with narrow hips, the perfect v-shape is created in the upper body. But the hips are a complex muscle group. Why? You can not make your hips narrower. The bone structure of your hips is genetically determined and therefore you can not do anything about it.