Some people are born with fantastic genetics and a naturally wide frame. If you are like me though your natural physique is incredibly narrow as the genes you were born into were not the greatest for athleticism. This means that in order to achieve that desired wide frame you are going to have to hit the gym and stick to a meal plan. Having a wider frame is a more attractive look as it signifies strength and power. Just look at the top body builders in the world and you will notice the commonality of the V-shape in their physiques. I personally strive to have such a frame because to me it shows you are carrying lean muscle by having a large upper body while maintaining a slim waistline. Here are the areas of the body that you should build if you want a wider physique, and the exercises that will help you achieve that:
Exercises such as the bench press and the decline bench press work more of your middle and lower pectoralis major. To achieve a wider physique it is best to hit the upper part of your chest more as this area gives your chest more of a broad look.
Exercises: Incline bench press (barbell or dumbbell)
Reverse grip bench (barbell or dumbbell)
Incline flies (cables or dumbbells)
Your latissimus dorsi’s are the largest spread muscle on your body. They stretch from your lower back all the way to your shoulders in the shape of a fan (smaller part is on your lower back). Developing this muscle is a key part to getting wider physique as the bigger your lats get the wider your back will get. Developing your lats will also give your back a nice defined muscular look and will reduce your chances of back-related injuries.
Exercises: Chin-ups (wide grip, reverse grip)
Rows (single arm dumbbell, bent over barbell, or cable)
Pull downs (wide grip, close grip, or reverse grip)
Straight-arm pull downs
The deltoid muscle is located on top of your shoulder. It is round and in the shape of a triangle. Having bowling ball-like shoulders is aesthetically pleasing as it signifies strength and power.
Exercises: Shoulder press (dumbbell or barbell)
Lateral raises (one or two arm dumbbells or cables)
Front raises (barbell, dumbbells, or cable)
Having a smaller waist will help you achieve that V-shape that comes with a wider physique. The smaller that your waist is the bigger your upper body will appear. This is because the proportionality of your upper body size to your waist size will be greater even if your upper body has not increased in size. This does not mean try to drop as much weight as possible as doing so may take away from your muscle mass. What I really mean is that being big and bulky may not make you appear as wide as if you were to be a little bit leaner. Reference my past article Cutting Tips to get tips on how to get to the weight that makes your V-shape the most prominent.
Sticking to Your Diet
Your diet is a very underrated part of how you build muscle. How much you are putting in your body and what you are putting in your body are very important for building muscle. Not getting the proper amount of macronutrients into your body can greatly hinder your gains. Thus if you are to build these muscles that are to make you appear wider it is equally as important if not more important that you put the right nutrients in your body so that these muscles can grow properly.
Building your desired physique is not an overnight process. It is going to take hard work and discipline. All the bodybuilders that you see with your dream physique took years of working out and eating right in order to achieve that physique. So if your V-shaped physique is not coming in as fast as you would like then do some research on how to improve your workouts and diet, then keep on pushing.
In order to build a wider frame you should work these particular muscle groups more often. Make sure that you are still working out the other parts of your body still as neglecting them will result in you building a disproportionate physique. Trust me I neglected leg workouts for a full year a while ago and the results were really quite ugly. Incorporate back and shoulders into your workouts twice a week as these two particular muscle groups contribute the most to building a wider frame. This way you will be working them more often but you will still have plenty of other days to rest them and work other muscle groups. An alternative to doing this is to incorporate a ‘weak points’ day into your workout routine. A weak points day is one in which you work the muscles or perform exercises that you believe to be the weakest of your physique. Here you do not have to focus on one or two particular muscle groups or workout routines. Instead a weak-points day allows you to put together a set of exercises that work those parts of your physique that you wish to develop further (IE your upper chest, delts, and lats). It is very important that you still incorporate a rest day into your workout plan. Neglecting rest days can be counterproductive as they may lead to overtraining. Remember be patient with the process, Rome was not built in a day and neither will your desired physique be.