You can create the illusion of a smaller waist by adding muscle to your back and shoulders. A little additional width to the upper body goes a long way in adding curves and shape to your frame.

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

4 sets, 10-12 reps
Position yourself on the lat pulldown machine and grab the bar using an overhand grip, hands a little wider than shoulder width. Slowly pull the bar straight down in front of you until it is about even with the middle of your chest, engaging back muscles. Pause for a brief moment at the bottom, then slowly return the weight back up to the starting position.

Wide Grip Standing Row

4 sets, 10-12 reps

Stand behind the lat pulldown seat and position one foot on its edge for support. Grasp the long bar with a wide overhand grip. Keeping your chest high, pull the bar to your chest. Slowly release and fully extend your arms, you’ll want to feel a stretch in your middle back and rear deltoids.

Straight Bar Lat Pushdown

4 sets, 10-12 reps

Stand facing the weight stack at a lat pulldown station with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach up and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder width apart, arms straight. Start with the bar at shoulder level, arms extended and parallel to the floor. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your head straight and lower back in a natural arch. Lean forward a bit and inhale deeply. Keeping your arms straight, pull the bar down toward your thighs in a wide, sweeping arc, focusing on using just your lats as you pull. Exhale as you pass the midpoint of the move, and squeeze your lats hard once the bar reaches your thighs. Return to the starting position in a smooth, controlled motion, stopping once your arms are parallel to the floor.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

4 sets, 10-12 reps

On a flat bench, place a dumbbell on either side. Place one leg on top of the end of the bench. Bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support. Use the other hand to pick up the dumbbell and hold the weight, keeping your lower back straight. The palm of your hand should be facing your torso. Pull the dumbbell straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step. Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The forearms should do no work except for holding the dumbbell. Lower the dumbbell straight down to the starting position. Breathe in as you perform this step.

Chin-ups (assisted/unassisted)

4 sets, 10-12 reps (or as many as possible)

Grab the pull-up bar with palms facing your torso, a little closer than the shoulder width apart. Keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out; this is your starting position. Keeping the torso as straight as possible maximises bicep stimulation while minimising back involvement. As you breathe out, pull your torso up until your head is around the level of the pull-up bar. Concentrate on using your biceps in order to perform the movement. Keep your elbows close to your body. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space, only your arms should move. The forearms should do no work other than to hold the bar. Slowly lower your torso back to the starting position, with arms fully extended. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.

Reverse Grip Bent Barbell Row

4 sets, 10-12 reps

Stand erect whilst holding a barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up). Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist, keeping your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you, your arms hanging perpendicular to the floor and your torso. Keep the torso stationary and lift the barbell as you breathe out, keeping your elbows close to the body. Once at the top contracted position, squeeze your back muscles and hold for a second. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale.

Backwards Close Grip Pulldowns

4 sets, 10-12 reps

Using the close grip triangle attachment, sit backwards on the lat pulldown seat. Lean back slightly so your lower back is resting on the knee pad. Bring hands to bottom of your chest, keeping the elbows close. Slowly release and fully extend arms. You’ll want to feel a stretch in your lower lats.

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