Getting a broad back and a narrow waist, or what is the same, a “V” shape, is the goal of many people in the gym, and this denotes a broad muscle development with very low body fat rates.
Although this is a relatively complicated objective, especially for those who have difficulty losing fat, designing logical training to achieve it is not so complex.
Designing a wide back
The two most important muscle groups to increase the amplitude of our torso are the shoulders and back, and although obviously, we will not stop working the rest of the muscle groups, we must give some priority to the first.
Increasing shoulder size
Increasing the size of our shoulders is quite expensive, but certainly not impossible. Three exercises that will help us to correctly activate the three portions of the deltoid are the military press, the lateral elevations, and the face-pull.
The military press will be the exercise that will most affect the anterior deltoid, which is the front portion of the deltoid and is also very involved in the bench press.
It is relatively easy to progress in this exercise and it is the one that will provide us with the largest size in a global way, so it is the option to prioritize.
The lateral elevations will be carried out preferably with a pulley, since this will allow us to work with constant tension throughout the entire travel range, unlike what happens when we use dumbbells.
The face-pull is an exercise that we can work with more frequently than the other two, because the recruitment of motor units that it produces is not very high (it is a fairly analytical exercise).
Even so, we should not underestimate it as it can greatly help us to strengthen external rotators, and in this way, we would reduce the tendency to hyperlordosis.
The back is a muscle group with a greater potential for hypertrophy, and it is also relatively easy to progress in the back exercises, so in this case, it will be somewhat easier to gain size.
To structure our training we have to understand that there are two main types of back exercises; those with vertical pull and those with horizontal pull.
Those of vertical pull is mainly the dominated ones and the pulls to the chest. These exercises will be the priority since they mainly affect the wide dorsal, which is the muscle that will provide us with the breadth we are looking for.
In the horizontal pull exercises, we find the oars (at 90º, seal, pointed, unilateral, in pulley …). These will activate more other portions of the back, rather affecting what is commonly called “back density.”
My advice, in this case, is that we work on both types of exercise but focus mainly on the vertical pull. A ratio of 3/1 may be adequate.
Reducing waist circumference
Reducing waist circumference is a somewhat more complicated goal for several reasons.
In the first place, because many people may have reached the point of generating adipocyte hyperplasia (increase in the number of adipose tissue cells), with which the loss of fat can be somewhat more complex and slow, and in general it will cause worse results.
Secondly, because this process involves generating a caloric deficit, which is a continuous process and is more difficult to achieve than simply performing proper shoulder and back training.
This caloric deficit that allows fat loss can be achieved through exercise or through diet (in which case it becomes somewhat simpler), but of course something is clear that it makes no sense that we become obsessed with food if the good Habits last us two days.
Fat loss is a process that we have to look at in the long term. Our diet should be based on real food and nutritious foods, but it doesn’t just work with that; We also have to prolong these good habits over time, and we have to ensure that the caloric balance is negative in any case.
In addition, exercise should accompany this diet. Training based on multiarticular strength exercises (squats, chin-ups, bench press, deadlifts …) with some cardio will be the smartest strategy in the long term.
The final summary if you want to build a wide back and a narrow waist is that you enjoy the road because this process can last for years.
Train heavy and feed well throughout the stage, and always prioritize health and long term over aesthetic results and short-term. With hard work, everything comes.