Poundstone Power: Eat Clean, Get Jacked

Nutrition tips from the strongest man with a six-pack Derek Poundstone

Bent-Over Barbell Row vs. Old Fashioned T-Bar Row

Both moves work the back, but which move is better at targeting the lower lats

7 Tips From a World Class Squatter

Inflate your wheels with these strategies from a man who specializes in squatting bar-bending loads

6 Tips for a Ripped Six-Pack

Stop neglecting your abs training. These six strategies will help you retool your training to get the midsection you want

4 Moves to Bring Your Biceps to New Heights

Add some elevation to your cannons with these targeted bicep exercises

The Top 4 Leg-Day Machine Exercises

Free-weight exercises are important. But you can get more out of your leg session by adding machine exercises that will help you meet your physique goals

It's possible to complete a leg workout without a machine movement, but it's pretty darn hard. If you're working your leg muscles hard, you can get so tired you can hardly stand up. So as you're finishing up leg day, throw in a couple of machine exercises that put your leg muscles under additional stress without you having to worry so much about form or balance

Here are my top four leg-day machine exercises

Squat Machine

About the Move: Few machines simulate the movement of an actual free-weight squat as well as the squat machine. The squat is one of the best thigh-and-glute builders and should be a staple of every leg routine. If you have a tendency to round your back with the barbell, the squat machine can help you learn proper form. So it's a good way to learn squats, as well as a good, safe way to the end your leg day when your legs are screaming at you to stop

Why We Like It: Standard squat machines have an inherent advantage over the Smith machine because the pathway isn't strictly limited to the vertical plane; with the squat machine, you can achieve additional horizontal movement. The shoulder padding also comes in handy, spreading the contact across a larger surface area than a Smith can

The larger footplate on the squat machine gives you room to use a number of foot positions to easily shift emphasis from the quads to the glutes and hamstrings. The machine is also good for intensity-boosting techniques. For example

Paused reps at the bottom of the movement
One-and-a-halfs when you go only halfway down every other rep to get 20 peak contractions for each 10-rep set
Rest-pauses, allowing you to go quickly into and out of the start position
Eccentric/isometric machine pause squats

Hack Squat

About the Move: The hack-squat machine positions your body about halfway between a standing squat machine and a lying squat machine, supporting your body to protect your lower back. EMG analysis shows that, similar to squats, the hack machine hits your vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. But the hack does a better job of hitting the inner thigh adductor brevis and magnus.[1] It also provides a greater range of motion around the knee joint

Why We Like It: Like the squat machine, the hack squat's large footplate offers a wide range of foot positions. This allows you to shift the emphasis from inner to outer thighs, and from the quads to glutes and hamstrings—though the depth of the squat affects emphasis as well

To complement your full-range training, use 1.25 times your 1RM do half squats over just the top portion of the ROM sets. Do this for 3 sets of 6 to challenge your quads

Leg Press

About the Move: The leg-press machine is a quad machine. By creating almost a right angle between your torso and legs, the leg press decreases the ROM around your hips, diminishing hamstrings and glute activation and putting the load right on your quads. Using a lower foot placement will increase your quad workout even more

Why We Like It: Once again, the machine's large footplate allows you to reposition your feet to adjust muscle-group stimulation. One of my favorite leg-press techniques is best saved for the end of the workout. Your goal is to do 4 dropsets. Start with your 10RM, do 10 reps, then remove about 20 percent of the weight (10 percent if you're more advanced) and do another 10. Keep repeating this until only a single plate remains on each side

As with all exercises, make sure you do the leg press with the proper form

Butt Blaster

About the Move: For some lame reason, the butt-blaster machine has been pigeonholed as a "woman's exercise." But men who fall for this miss out on the opportunity to do some major glute work. Unlike the leg press, the butt-blaster machine works through a wide ROM around the hip joint while keeping your knee relatively stable. This helps to focus the movement on your glutes and upper hamstrings

Why We Like It: It's easy to overload your glutes on the butt blaster, and since you don't have to balance a load, you can push hard to failure. In fact, post-failure techniques like dropsets are super simple to implement on a butt blaster. Try alternating legs without stopping to rest between sets. It'll add intensity and make you happy leg day is almost done

3 Bench-Press Errors And How To Fix Them

Seasoned lifters know it's not "how much you bench" that matters, but just "how." If you want to watch your numbers—and your upper body—grow for years, rather than flaming out in pain and disappointment, you need to be ruthless about your technique

You're Flaring Your Elbows At The Wrong Time

Some amount of elbow flare is inevitable in a powerlifting-style bench press. The issue is when it happens. If you start the press with your elbows flared, your lift is doomed from the start. It's also a very inefficient way to move weight. If your elbows flare at the end of the lift, that's a sign that your shoulders are losing their stable position in the joint, which is just as bad

What to do instead: Both Mike and Alan are insistent that correct elbow position starts with your upper back

"We want to keep our sternum high, shoulders tucked behind us," Mike says. "This is not only going to stabilize your shoulder, but it's going to allow for proper pressing using the proper muscles: our chest, shoulders, and triceps, while keeping the bar in the perfect path"

How to nail it: Drilling that technique is part of the answer. So is doing a lot of band pull-aparts

"Start from a width the same as your bench press," Alan says. "Pull until it touches your chest. This should give you the sensation of pulling your shoulder blades together and keeping a tight upper back to support you while you bench. You can also do this with a cable machine"

Your Leg Drive Is Driving In The Wrong Direction

Mike says leg drives can be a bit "overrated," and you only need to watch a few online PR videos to see why. Plenty of lifters act like the legs are lifting the bar, when it's more like they're just pushing you into a position where your real pressing muscles can take over

If your butt is coming off the bench on max-effort reps—or any reps at all—then you're guilty here

"This is incorrect, inefficient, and if you're a powerlifter, it's a red light," Alan says

What to do instead: The goal with a leg drive is to push you onto your traps and the solid foundation of your upper back. This requires a more horizontal angle. Rather than driving your feet into the ground and keeping your butt up, drive your feet into the front of your shoe, and drive your toes into the ground as if you were doing a leg extension out in front of you

How to nail it: Mike gleaned this tip from all-time bench great Eric Spoto, and says it worked wonders for him and countless others

"Once you unrack the weight, flex your legs about 80 percent. You're forcing toes through the front of your shoe, knees out, flexing those quads," he says. "Once you're on your way up, after the bar leaves your chest, flex that extra 20 percent and drive your legs 100 percent as hard as you can to keep that stability and keep yourself driving back onto your traps"

You're Pressing In A Straight Line

Powerlifting is all about efficiency, right? So why not pick the shortest and straightest route from chest to lockout? Because, unlike the squat and deadlift, that isn't actually the way to get the most out of your "main movers" of the lift: the chest, shoulders, and upper back

What to do instead: To make the most of your strength and avoid anatomical vulnerabilities, you'll need to press with a slight arc. After the bar touches on your chest, press back over your face and toward the rack. If you've got your back locked down tight and leg drive dialed in, this should happen naturally

The workout to build bigger arms

The main way we know to build muscle is by lifting heavy weights, but we assume you’ve done enough of that already; and if your arms are still skinny, you need to try another method

One of these is focusing on the eccentric (lowering) portion of a rep, which causes more damage to the muscle (a necessary component of making it grow) and is associated with greater rebuilding of that muscle. Another is isometric holds—stopping at the hardest point in a rep’s range of motion. Finally, there’s volume: Lots of sets and reps have been shown to exhaust the muscles like nothing else and force them to grow. Hey, we can’t explain exactly why it works, but at least we know it doesIt doesn’t get any more old school than this, a bar above you and you pulling yourself up until you can’t pull yourself up anymore. Pull-ups are great for back, shoulders, arms and chest. You can make a giant set consisting of lat pulldowns followed by pull-ups. That’ll hit your upper body like crazy. Basically, combine pull-ups with any kind of upper body exercise for more bang for your workout buck

Complete the workout once per week, resting at least a day before and after any other upper-body training. Perform the pairs (marked “A” and “B”) as supersets: You’ll do one set of A, then a set of B, rest, then repeat until all the prescribed sets are done. Perform exercises 3 and 4 as conventional straight sets

Dumbbell Crush-Grip Preacher Curl

Sets: 4 Reps: 10–12 Rest: 0 sec
Sit at a preacher bench with a dumbbell in each hand. The top of the pad should come up to your armpits. Push the ends of the dumbbells together hard so you feel tension in your arms, shoulders, and chest. Curl the weights while maintaining this tension

Close-Grip Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 20 Rest: 2 min
Lie on a flat bench and grasp the bar with hands shoulder-width apart. Take the bar out of the rack and lower it to your chest before pressing it back up

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Sets: 4 Reps: 5 reps/5-second hold Rest: 0 sec
Set an adjustable bench to a 45- to 60-degree incline and sit back against it with a very light dumbbell in each hand. Allow your arms to hang. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights. After each rep, lower the weights until your arms are bent 90 degrees. Hold this position for five seconds. Repeat the process for five total reps and five holds— that’s one set

Lying Triceps Extension

Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 2 min
Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and press the weights over your chest. With palms facing each other, bend your elbows and lower the weights to the sides of your face. Keep your elbows pointing toward the ceiling

Barbell Curl

Sets: 1 Reps: 100 Rest: As little as possible
Hold an empty bar with hands shoulder-width apart. Perform 10 curls, taking three seconds to lower each rep. Immediately afterward, perform 10 more reps, taking only one second to lower the bar. Alternate this pattern—slow and fast negatives—until you reach 100 reps

Band Pushdown

Sets: 1 Reps: 150 Rest: As little as possible
Attach a light band to a sturdy overhead object and grasp an end with both hands. Brace your upper arms at your sides and extend your elbows to lockout

6 of The Best Old School Bodybuilding Exercises

When talking about modern bodybuilding the conversation quickly tends to steer in the “yeah, but Arnold and those 70’s Gold’s Gym guys were the REAL deal” direction of endless “Pumping Iron” nostalgia

It’s not that there’s something wrong with today’s bodybuilding it’s just that seeing guys like Phil Heath working on various fancy isolation machines, we tend to have fond memories of the old school exercises — before everybody had a 4-in-1 exercise machine collecting dust in a corner of their living room

So for this occasion, let’s look at some of the old school exercises that got Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mr. Olympia and Lou Ferrigno to Incredible Hulk


Let’s continue this “feel good” vibe with some good old-fashioned curls. Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, concentration curls — the secret to Gold’s gym era guns was a simple one. They just picked up heavy things and curled. Barbell variations work both of your arms at the same time, dumbbell ones work each arm individually, but the real trick is in the concentration curls. They really put an emphasis on pumping your muscle. The best way to do this is to sit on a bench and place your elbow on the inner side of your knee and start curling

Arnold Press

No point in stating the obvious, but as you already know the Governator himself used this exercise to pump his shoulders. It’s a great exercise because as you rotate the dumbbells you work all three heads of your shoulder. The anterior, posterior, and the medial heads. Don’t force heavy weight on this one, instead use medium resistance and go for a high rep range instead

Bar Row

Do you want a cobra head-like back? T-bar rows are the solution you need. If you don’t have a rowing station, take a standard barbell and stick one end somewhere in a corner and load the other with the desired weight. Now grab a handlebar from a triceps extension cable and start rowing. This will add to the overall thickness of your back


Sometimes the easiest solution is the best one. Why do fancy stuff when dropping down and banging out some push-up reps is just as an effective. Now, it should be clear that even though push-ups are great for developing your chest, they won’t build you a bodybuilder’s chest all on their own. Do a set of a dumbbell flat bench chest flys and superset it with elevated push-ups. Now that’s a killer exercise that will give you a barrel chest


Time to finally hit the legs. Old school guys kept it simple, barbell squats, hack squats and leg extensions. Not much to say about the squat, it’s one of the basics in lower body strength and muscle building. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it until you can squat 405lbs while maintaining a casual smirk on your face, like Franco Columbu in the picture above


It doesn’t get any more old school than this, a bar above you and you pulling yourself up until you can’t pull yourself up anymore. Pull-ups are great for back, shoulders, arms and chest. You can make a giant set consisting of lat pulldowns followed by pull-ups. That’ll hit your upper body like crazy. Basically, combine pull-ups with any kind of upper body exercise for more bang for your workout buck

Arnold’s Classic Chest Workout

Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Conan, Terminator, Governor…does he really need an introduction? Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most well-known bodybuilder of all time, an honor he will no doubt still hold a century from now. Arnold’s two best body parts were pecs and biceps, these are the two tank top showboats, the muscles that everyone compares with a bodybuilder’s physique. Arnold’s chest has inspired awe and infamy in the heart of many men, widely considered the best ever

But how did he get his chest bulging from every angle along with a solid aesthetically pleasing look down to science? Well follow us, let’s let Arnold describe how he built it with a classic quote and a
Arnold About His Favorite Chest Workout

“I always like to start my chest routine with barbell bench presses. I’ll use the pyramid principle, starting with a lighter weight and going to a heavy weight for six reps. After that, I’ll do barbell presses on an incline to hit the upper chest. These I like to do for 10 to 15 reps and get a good pump. After that, I do dumbbell flyes on a flat bench to stretch out my pecs and hit the inner part. And finally I’ll end my routine with dips, and I lean into these a lot. This also stretches out my pecs and get a lot of blood in there. Dips also focus more on my lower pecs

Arnold trained chest 2-3 times a week, and he always workout Back & Chest on the same day. Here is a list of the chest exercises Arnold used to become the King

Arnold Chest Workout

Bench Presses: SET 5 // REPS 20-6

Arnold starts with a proper warm up and then proceed to add weights and decrease repetitions over 5 sets. He consistently kept his elbows well back and touched the bar high on the chest, this is called the Schwarzenegger twist

Incline Barbell Presses: SET 5 // REPS 10-15

For incline barbell, press Arnold would do much like he did in the bench press: kept his elbows well back and touched the bar very high on his chest. Arnold would do 10-152 reps for 5 sets. Concentrating more on form rather than how much the weight he lifted. He claimed most of his upper chest mass was from his movement

Dumbbell Flyes: SET 5 // REPS 10-15

In the opening scenes of “Pumping Iron” you can see Arnold performing this exercise. Arnold prefers dumbbells that would allow him 5 sets of 10-15 reps. He always assumed that he is hugging a large tree and the dumbbells never touched each other. Preferably they’d remain 8-10 cm’s apart at the end of each rep

Weighted Dips: SET 5 // REPS 15

Dips are the exercise many people don’t seem to use for chest, most use it as a triceps move. But Arnold always felt that Dips actually flush the whole pectoral area and are perfect for building the lower pecs to give you that impressive, deep muscular ridge that separates the pecs from the abs

To build excellent size, you should go with weighted dips (Arnold used to hang an 80-pound dumbbell from his weight belt and do sets of 15 reps). Make sure you go all the way down until you feel a good stretch in your chest for each rep, leaning your torso forward and keeping your knees back, and don’t feel as though you have to lock out your elbows at the top

The Best Non- Bench Chest Exercises

You know that the bench press isn’t the only exercise for massive chest development, right? In fact, there are plenty of other great exercises when it comes to building award-winning pecs, and they all come with their unique set of benefits, so adding some versatility to your chest routine will make sure your muscle fibers are getting hit from all possible corners, thus stimulating amazing growth

These are our favorite non-bench chest exercises


Well, of course. The pushup is the king of bodyweight exercises with lots to offer to any fitness-oriented person. Besides helping you develop strength in the entire body and improving your core stability, pushups target the chest muscles rather effectively. Increase the challenge with advanced versions of the exercise for maximum chest involvement


Many fans of this exercise will tell you that dips are the greatest chest exercise there is. And regardless of your personal view on that statement, the fact remains that not a single person who’s strong on dips has average pecs, while plenty of guys with a killer bench press lack great chest development. Dips are great basics that can activate every part of your pecs – when performing them, make sure you’re tilting your body downwards to fully engage the targeted muscles

Landmine press

An unpopular yet highly effective exercise, the landmine press mainly targets the upper portion of the pecs, while improving core stability and strengthening the abs as well. It can be performed unilaterally (one arm at a time) or bilaterally (with both arms) with different results. Add an adequate amount of weight on one end of a standard Olympic barbell, grab it and push upwards

Floor press

The floor press is an excellent movement for overcoming a training plateau in the chest area, and it allows you to press massive weights without risking shoulder injury. To perform it, lie with your back on the floor underneath a bar and perform a standard pressing movement with one difference: the repetition ends when the triceps touch the floor. This limited range of motion will help you improve your bench press lockout

Cable crossover

The cable crossover is an amazing chest exercise because it allows plenty of different positions which target different parts of your pecs from different angles. Setting the pulleys in the highest position will emphasize the lower pecs, the lowest position will focus on the upper pecs, while the middle shoulder-height position works best for hitting the middle pecs. Bring the arms towards each other at the end of each rep for greater activation of the inner portion of the chest

Svend press

The svend press is an original exercise that involves pushing a plate away from your body in a standing position, enabling powerful isometric contractions of the pecs. To perform it, stand straight with your chest out and shoulders back, press a pair of light-weight plates against each other at shoulder height. Start pushing the weight outwards by extending the arms directly in front of you and squeezing the chest muscles. Bring the plates back toward your chest and repeat. Performed at the end of your chest day routine, this exercise will further stimulate huge pecs growth

The 7 Best Triceps Exercises

Build coveted “horseshoe” triceps with these killer moves

Endless curls won’t build you sleeve-busting arms. For super-sized arms, you need to spend less time on your biceps, and devote more time on your triceps

“Your triceps comprise more than two-thirds of your upper-arm mass,” says BJ Gaddour, Men’s Health Fitness Advisor. So building thicker, more developed triceps muscles makes your entire arms look more like shotguns than pistols

What’s more, says Gaddour, triceps also play a huge role in some of the most effective and popular exercises, like the pushup and bench press. “Triceps strength is usually the limiting factor in pressing movements,” he says. “So your bench, pushup, and other presses only go as far as your triceps take them

That’s why you need to throw the following seven exercises into your routine. There’s no better way to build gigantic arms
and a bigger bench

Lowering the bar to the top of the foam roller cuts your range of motion in half. Pressing from the midpoint of the lift emphasizes the “lockout,” or the ending push of the bench press

“The lockout is all triceps, and you can use a big weight on the bar” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. It also allows you to train hard for the bench press, with minimal strain on your shoulders

DO THIS: Lie down on a bench and place a foam roller length-wise on your chest. Secure it with a resistance band, if need be. Grab the barbell overhead and hold it directly above your chest. Lower the bar to touch the foam roller, and then press it back up

Because you’re lifting your entire bodyweight, your triceps have to work against a much heavier load than they would in a triceps-isolating exercise, according to Ian King, owner of King Sports International

DO THIS: Hoist yourself up on parallel bars with your torso perpendicular to the floor; you'll maintain this posture throughout the exercise. (Leaning forward will shift emphasis to your chest and shoulders

Bend your knees and cross your ankles. Slowly lower your body until your shoulder joints are below your elbows. (Most guys stop short of this position

Push back up until your elbows are nearly straight but not locked. If you have shoulder issues, skip this move

The bench press is a great exercise to work your chest and core. But a change in grip can help expand your arms

“Placing your hands closer together makes it so your triceps have to work harder,” says Craig Ballantyne, Owner of Turbulence Training. “That can lead to new growth and more strength

DO THIS: Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip that’s shoulder-width apart, and hold it above your sternum with arms completely straight. Lower the bar straight down, pause, and then press the bar back up to the starting position

This method of the triceps extension gives your triceps short pauses between each rep. “This allows you to rest more so you can bang out more reps and really pump up the muscle,” says Gentilcore

DO THIS: Lie with your back flat on the ground, a loaded EZ-bar laying on the floor above your head. Grasp the bar, roll it towards your head until your upper arms are vertical. Now press the weight so that your arms are straight and vertical

Reverse the move, placing the weight back on the floor and “rolling” the bar back. Repeat. Do as many reps as you can

This variation of a classic bench press favors the lockout portion of the lift, which recruits your triceps to an extreme degree, says Gentilcore

And since the load is distributed differently with a kettlebell than a barbell, your stabilizing muscles have to work harder to keep the weight positioned correctly

DO THIS: Grab a kettlebell with each hand and lie with your back on the ground. Hold the kettlebells overhead, the bell hanging on the outside of your wrists

Bend your arm to lower the kettlebells. Touch your elbows to the ground, pause, then press them back up

This exercise nails your triceps, and doing high reps of it results in a serious rush of blood to the muscle and gives you a great pump, says David Jack, MH Fitness Advisor

A review in the Strength and Conditioning Journal found that the pump”—cellular swelling that occurs from blood pooling to the muscle—can actually speed muscle repair and growth after your workout

DO THIS: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie faceup on the ground. Hold the dumbbells over your head with straight arms, your palms facing each other

Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells until your forearms are beyond parallel to the floor. Pause, then lift the weights back to the starting position by straightening your arms

This move zones in on your triceps—but only if you do it right, says Mike Mejia, C.S.C.S. If you use too much weight, you’ll involve your back and shoulder muscles, defeating the purpose

The trick: Imagine that you’re wearing tight suspenders that hold down your shoulders as you do the exercise. If you can’t keep your shoulders down, lighten the load

DO THIS: Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Bend your arms and grab the bar with an overhand grip, your hands shoulder-width apart. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides

Without moving your upper arms, push the bar down until your elbows are locked. Slowly return to the starting position

Developing a V-Taper: 7 Must-Do Moves for Getting Wide on the Sides

You can’t have a truly impressive physique without developing an impressive back. And the most prominent characteristic of a greatly developed back is the manly V-taper shape. If there’s anything you should focus on to make your physique stand out, it’s building a thick, wide, 3D back that demands respect and makes heads turn as you walk by

Although the V-taper also requires you to slim down the waist to make it smaller and build cannonball delts that will add broadness to your shoulder complex, the journey to an ideally shaped back begins with developing a pair of majestic, wing-shaped lats. Read this article to learn how to get your V-taper in top form as fast as possible!

Straight-Arm Pulldown

The lats are best trained with shoulder extension movements that don’t allow the biceps to get involved and steal the spotlight, and movements that enable a constant tension throughout the range of motion. And the move which meets both of these criteria is the straight-arm pull-down. This greatly under-appreciated exercise is terrific at isolating the upper lats and the teres major, which is crucial for achieving maximum back width, so it really needs to be the go-to move for anyone looking to enhance his V-taper

Use straight-arm pull-downs to pre-exhaust your back at the beginning of your workout. To shift emphasis to the lower lats, keep your torso upright. To better target the upper lats and teres major, lean forward a bit. Experiment with torso angles to hit different portions of the targeted muscles, but keep your grip style pronated

Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pull-over is considered to be an isolation chest exercise, but in reality it’s much more than that. It’s actually a very unique exercise because it effectively works two opposing muscle groups simultaneously: the chest and the back. In addition, the main advantages of the dumbbell pull-over over the straight-arm pull-down is that it offers a greater stretch at midpoint and can be used to recruit more muscle fibers

To reap these benefits, make sure to perform it slowly and with strict form, and keep the volume high. Lock your elbows into a slight bend and don’t move them during the exercise to avoid engaging the triceps more than required

Wide-Grip Pull-Up

While any pull-up or chin-up variation trains your lats to a certain extent, going as wide as possible ensures maximum lat development, and multiple studies have confirmed this. In fact, the wide-grip pull-up makes you forcefully spread the scapulae and pull out your lats nice and wide so that your body forms a Y shape like no other exercise could do.

Furthermore, this exercise will also powerfully train your core muscles. Although your midsection doesn’t move during the movement, your anterior core gets stronger by having to work overtime to maintain balance and stability

So, the wider your hand position, the greater the emphasis on your outer lats. To ensure maximum effectiveness, aim to complete a full range of motion and focus on consciously engaging your lats as you bring your body toward the bar

Seated Cable Rows

The seated cable row exercises multiple muscle groups and major joints in the body, and what’s most important for us, it effectively works the entire back by training the erector spinae in the lower and middle back, the trapezius in the upper back, the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi in the middle and the teres major in the outer back

That’s a lot of benefits from one single move, so you better take full advantage of it

Here are some form tips for getting optimal results. First, employ an underhand grip to force your elbows to stay close to the body during the contraction which delivers a direct hit to the outer back muscles. Also, focus on getting a full stretch on every rep and make sure to pull the bar into the lower stomach to maximally engage the lats. Finally, keep your torso upright with a raised chest and maintain a slight arch in the lower back all through the movement

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Performing single-arm dumbbell rows after the compound exercises is a smart way to achieve better isolation of the upper back. Also, rowing patterns can build serious thickness by allowing you to work one side at a time and really upgrade the firing power of muscle fibers on both sides of the body

When done properly, dumbbell rows will help you build mass in the lower and center back, so strict form is crucial. Also, choose a relatively lighter weight than what you’re used to. You should be able to bring the weight up towards the abdomen by engaging the target muscles, not by rotating the torso or driving the hips. Avoid swinging and using momentum to help you move the weights and aim to get a full stretch at the bottom and a maximum contraction at the top at every rep

Side Lateral Raise

The side lateral raise is one of the best builders of the medial deltoid head, which is responsible for boosting the width of the side of the shoulders, so you really shouldn’t be missing out on this move

On a side note, most of the guys who find this exercise to be useless are guilty of lifting via momentum and using too much weight. In that context, any exercise is useless if you don’t lift the weight via muscular action. To target your muscles with side lateral raises the way the exercise is designed to do, don’t allow any swinging of the torso and maintain a strict form at all times

Barbell Upright Row

Lastly, don’t forget about the upright row, which in our opinion is the second best exercise for polishing up your V-taper after the side laterals. Upright rows primarily target the upper traps, all three deltoid heads and biceps

To get best results, make sure your grip is at least shoulder width or even a couple of inches wider. A wider grip will automatically recruit all three delt heads more intensely. At peak contraction, the bar should only reach nipple level and your elbows should be higher than your hands. Do not use your knees, hips or back to jerk the weight up – that will only minimize the effectiveness of the exercise

Building an impressive V-taper isn’t really rocket science, and anyone can develop a much better-looking, wider back. All you have to do is to train the right muscles with the right intensity. Start with these 7 moves and bring your physique to a new level of manliness