A V-tapered physique has long been celebrated as the pinnacle of physical perfection.

From ancient Greecian statues to the modern bodybuilding stage, a body comprising broad shoulders and a wide back tapering to a trim waist has symbolized athleticism, strength, and physical attractiveness.

And that’s why the pursuit of a V-shaped body remains a popular goal.

However, many of those keen on getting a V-taper make mistakes that prevent them from achieving the look they want.

For instance, they focus on developing the wrong muscles, do ineffective exercises, and follow unproductive workout routines. Moreover, they typically miss a crucial piece of the puzzle: diet. 

In this article, you’ll learn what it really takes to get a V-taper body.

We’ll explore what a V-taper physique is, why it’s important, how to get a V-taper through diet and exercise, and more. 

What Is a V-Taper Physique?

A V-taper physique is a body shape characterized by a wide upper back and broad shoulders that narrows to a slim waist, forming a “V” shape when viewed from the front or behind.

Here are some example of how an aesthetic V-taper build might look from the front and back:

V-Taper Physique

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Why Is a V-Shaped Body Important?

A V-shaped body is highly sought after for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a sign of a strong, athletic body since broad shoulders and a strong back contribute to better leverage, stability, and power in various sports and physical activities.
  2. A V-shaped torso is emblematic of symmetry and proportion, which are two of the main judging criteria in bodybuilding.
  3. Research shows a V-shaped male body is more attractive to females than other body shapes, likely because high muscularity and low body fat percentage are signs of health and, by extension, good reproductive health.

How to Get a V-Tapered Body

Getting a V-taper primarily comes down to doing exercises and workouts that develop the muscles responsible for broadening your upper body and getting leaner. 

Let’s discuss these points in more detail. 

V-Taper Exercises

Most people think that the best exercises for a V-taper are those that develop your shoulders. While broadening your shoulders is crucial, there’s more to it than that.

To get the balanced, 360-degree thickness required to have a standout V-taper, you need to develop your upper back, lats, and upper chest muscles, too. Here are all the best V-taper exercises:

Learn more about how to get broader shoulders in this article:

How to Grow Broader and Wider Shoulders

For more of the best upper back exercises, check out this article:

The Best Upper Back Exercises for Mass and Strength

For more effective exercises for targeting the lats, check out this article:

Lat-Focused Workouts: The 11 Best Lat Exercises for Muscular Lats

Discover more tips about how to grow your upper chest in this article:

Build a Strong Upper Chest With These Ultimate Upper-Pec Exercises

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V-Taper Workout Routine

The following V-taper workout routine contains all the best V-taper exercises and the perfect amount of volume and intensity to help you develop your shoulders, upper back, lats, and upper chest without wearing yourself to a frazzle. 

If the 5-day V-taper workout program doesn’t fit your schedule, you can shorten it to a 4-day routine by skipping Day 5. And if you’d prefer to do a 3-day routine, skip Days 3 and 5.

V-Taper Workout Routine

V-Taper Diet

To develop your “V-taper muscles,” you must eat in a way that drives muscle growth.

Exactly how this looks depends on your previous strength training experience:

  • New weightlifters: When new to strength training, your body is hyper-responsive to its effects, allowing you to build muscle even when you’re in a calorie deficit. Thus, if you’re a beginner weightlifter looking to build a V-taper body while losing fat, aim to eat 20-to-25% fewer calories than you burn every day. Or, if you’re already lean but still want to develop a V-shaped body, aim to eat approximately the same number of calories as you burn daily.
  • Experienced weightlifters: After 6 months or more of consistent training, you must eat more calories than you burn to build muscle effectively. Aim for 110% of your total daily energy expenditure to maximize muscle growth while minimizing fat gain.

In both scenarios, you also need to eat the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat. Here are some good guidelines:

  • Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
  • Get 20-to-30% of daily calories from fat.
  • Get the remainder of your calories from carbs.

Once you’ve built your V-taper muscles, the next step is to get leaner. This will cinch your waist and make your front and back V-taper more pronounced.

The key to this is following a fat-loss diet that has you eating fewer calories than you burn daily. 

For guidance on creating an effective weight loss diet, check out this article:

The Absolute Best Diet for Weight Loss

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V-Taper FAQs

FAQ #1: Can everyone get a V-taper?

Although most people associate a V-taper with men, anyone can achieve a V-taper body. That said, men typically have broader shoulders and more upper body muscle than women, so a V-shaped male body is often more noticeable than a V-shaped torso on a woman.

FAQ #2: Why is a V-taper attractive?

Evolutionary theory states that women perceive muscular and lean men (i.e., those with a V-taper) as healthier and thus more likely to produce healthy, robust children. 

These traits are also signs of “physical formidability” (perceived strength and fighting ability).

While most modern humans don’t need to hunt, fight, and kill for food, resources, and protection, we did for thousands of years, and this genetic programming doesn’t disappear after a few decades of peaceful living.

In other words, women perceive men with a V-tapered physique as better able to defend them and their children and secure resources than men with other body shapes.

FAQ #3: How do you create a V-taper?

Creating a V-taper physique largely comes down to developing the upper body muscle groups most responsible for adding width to your torso. Then, once you’re happy with your upper body muscle mass, dieting to lose fat and narrow your waist

Contrary to what some say, developing your core muscles (especially your obliques), doesn’t always help you achieve a V-taper. While building and strengthening these muscles is vital for both aesthetics and performance, it also adds bulk to your midriff, which can detract from your tapered physique.