The upper part of the V Shape is one of the most desirable areas for a man to develop – from a woman’s perspective, of course. And let’s be honest, what else with regards to aesthetics do we really care about?
The top part of the “V” consists of the traps and deltoids, with a little help from the upper lats (I’ll explain this in a bit). Guys can try for years to build broader shoulders and traps yet see limited progress, all because of a few errors that we’ll discuss further in a bit as well.
But back to the importance of this area of your physique.
Whether you wear a suit, a t-shirt, or prefer to walk around shirtless, the upper aspect of the V gives your body the desired effect of looking athletic, commanding, strong, and more like an alpha male. Ladies place a great deal of importance on a man’s shoulders, and I’d argue it’s not necessarily because of how they look, but because of what they symbolize.
A woman wants support from a man, primarily emotional support, but other kinds as well. She wants a man who can take her worries, burdens, as well as his own – in essence “their world” – and secure them firmly on his shoulders without complaint, fear, or doubt.
Shoulders, from a woman’s perspective, can signify reliance and strength, both in the physical and emotional sense.
A broad set of shoulders are the part of your physique that will set the tone for the rest of your persona. In a suit, shoulders help accentuate the V appearance that every tailor would love to work with. In casual wear broad shoulders will make you look fit and commanding in how you carry yourself.
They’ll make you at least appear confident. And confidence is the magnet that women are often drawn to with or without looking for it.
So with this part of the body being so important, but few having developed it to the degree that they’d like to, what mistakes are being made and what are some possible fixes to these problems?
1. Not training the shoulders optimally (more on this in a second).
2. Not training the outermost point of the traps.
3. Focusing too much on pushes while neglecting your pulls.
We’ll cover the fixes to these problems below, starting with the top and working our way down.
The traps are a far bigger muscle than we realize. There’s the top, middle, and lower portion of the muscle, as well as the inner aspect that connects to your next, and the outer/upper portion that connects to the edge of your collar bone. The lower portion of the trap is probably the most under-trained and neglected, but for the purposes of the V Shape, the outer trap with be given this distinction.
Grips usually work from shoulder width, in, when performing exercises like shrugs and upright rows. Which is great, but you’re neglecting to work the full angle of the muscle you’re trying to develop. And although its not a bodybuilding exercise, the snatch serves as one of the best exercises for wide trap and deltoid development because of the extremely wide grip rarely seen in any other exercises.
You’ll see it used as the last part of this superset, but you can add the snatch grip to both your rows and your shrugs, and I encourage you to do so.
Use the following set to develop the entire upper trap. You can also use the make up of this set with shrugs. Have at it…
How do you build broad, bowling ball-esque shoulders?
They’re rarely seen in the gym and usually the result of incredible genetics or steroid use. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For one, if you want bowling ball shoulders you have to focus on the lateral and anterior aspects of your deltoids.
Why? Because you’re working the anterior deltoid with any push during the rest of your training week (i.e. bench press, inclined press, dips etc…). So when you’re in the gym training shoulders, focus on lateral raises and rear delt raises.A1. Lateral raise (4 second eccentric contraction) 8 reps A2. Rear deltoid raise (full, controlled motion) 25 reps 5 sets, 45 rest seconds after each exercise.
Does that mean that you never isolate the anterior portion of the shoulder? Of course not. Just include it in your training every second week. And when you do include it in your training, over train it.
For example, your second week of shoulder training can look like this: Continue to Page 2>>>