The V shape, desired by both men and women for the look of a strong, muscular physique, begins with shoulder exercises. The best exercises for creating a V shape build mass in your detoids -- at the top of your shoulders -- and strengthen your back muscles known as your latissimus dorsi and rhomboids, collectively called your lats.
Prevent injury while sculpting your V shape by doing internal and external rotation exercises before you begin mass-building and strengthening exercises. Do 10 repetitions with each arm for preparatory exercise. Lie on a bench for rotations. Keep your arms close by your sides. Lying on your left side, hold a dumbbell in your left hand, with your elbow bent, forming a 90-degree angle. Pull the dumbbell toward your stomach and back out to the starting position for internal rotations. For external rotations, repeat the exercise, holding the dumbbell in the top arm.
Pre-Exercise Shoulder Raises
Perform front and lateral shoulder raises from a standing position with dumbbells in each hand and your arms by your sides. Do 10 repetitions of each shoulder raise exercise. For front raises, bring your arms straight out in front of you, palms down. For lateral raises, lift your arms to shoulder height, slowly rotating your thumbs down. Perform rear deltoid raises by bending your knees and leaning forward from your waist, keeping your back flat. With dumbbells in your hands, raise your arms until they are perpendicular to the floor. Lead the upward movement with your little finger to maintain the proper elbow position. Keep proper form and make smooth movements with each exercise.
The best exercises for building shoulder mass are presses, such as the hang-clean and press and the military barbell press. Press exercises build your deltoid muscles to give your shoulders width. Do not bend your legs while performing the military barbell press for optimal shoulder work. Dumbbell presses are also effective shoulder-muscle-building exercises. Holding a dumbbell on each shoulder, alternate lifting one dumbbell to full extension, and then as you slowly lower that dumbbell, raise the other dumbbell to full extension. Alternate for 10 repetitions on each side.
Exercises for Definition
Target the front and sides of your deltoids to make your V shape pop. One of the best exercises to sculpt your delts is the dumbbell Arnold press. From a seated position, hold dumbbells in front of you at chest height with your little fingers parallel to each other. Move your arms out and up, until your arms are straight and your thumbs are parallel above your head. Do 10 repetitions. Define your latissimus dorsi and rhomboids with one of the best exercises for this effect -- barbell bent-arm pullover exercises. Lie with your upper shoulders perpendicular to a bench. Grasp a barbell located on the floor behind your head. With your elbows bent at 90 degrees, pull the barbell up and over to chest level and back to chest level behind you. Repeat pullovers for 10 repetitions.
- Fitness B&W: Best Shoulder Exercises for Mass Definition and Strength
- Lake Folsum College: Major Muscle Groups
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise
- Muscle and Strength: The Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Shoulder Mass
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Arnold Press
- ExRx.net: Barbell Bent Arm Pullover