How To Get A V-Shaped Body For Skinny Guys (The Process Made Simple!)

Are you a skinny guy trying get improve your physique? Then you have come to the right place. Because today, I will be teaching you how to get a V-shaped body for skinny guys!

Getting a V-shaped body requires you to gain muscle mass in the upper body. This can be achieved by performing high-intensity resistance training exercises which target the chest, back, shoulders, and arms. You will also need to consume a 10% caloric surplus to gain muscle with minimal fat.

Throughout most of my years, I also had a scrawny physique. But now I have a 160 pound, V-shaped body.

And I know you can do it too!

Simply follow the same steps I took to build your own V-shaped body!

Are you ready to find out how?

Let’s go!

my personal experience with getting a v-shaped body

If I can do it, you can too!

infographic showing how to get a v shaped body for skinny guys

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What Are The Characteristics Of A V-Shaped Body?

The V-shaped body is characterised by a slim waist to upper body ratio. In other words, the upper body is broad and the the waist is narrow. And this is why the V-shaped body is also called the “V-taper”.

So why is the V-shaped body highly coveted?

Well for most (if not all) of us, the desire for a V-shaped is usually for superficial reasons. To put it simply, it’s for the ladies!

diagram showing v shaped body dimensions

In fact, this classic study showed that women have the highest attraction to men whose shoulder measurements are 1.6 times larger than the their waist measurements.

Furthermore, another study has shown that women tend to favour male physiques where the chest is wider than the waist, rather than physiques where the chest and waist are a similar size.

More specifically, this study concluded that women prefer a chest that is 1.4 times larger than the waist.

Additionally, both of these measurements are characteristic of the V-shaped body.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that we men want to get a V-shaped body!

Training 4 Muscle Groups Will Get You A V-Shaped Body

If you are a skinny dude wondering how to get a V-shaped body, then you need to know which muscles to train. 4 muscle groups contribute to the V-shaped body. And these muscle groups are:

  • Chest- pectoralis major and pectoralis minor
  • Back- trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Shoulders- anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids, posterior deltoids.
  • Arms- biceps and triceps.
train the chest, back, shoulders, and arms to get a v shaped body

Although this may be obvious to some, many also fail to realise that all 4 muscle groups are important for the V-shaped.

Instead of training all 4 muscle groups, many focus on the chest, shoulders, and/or arms. All the while, neglecting the back.

And this is why many people fail to develop the tapered physique.

6 Of The Best Exercises To Get A V-Shaped Body For Skinny Guys

Now that you know which muscles to focus your efforts on, I will share my favourite exercises to target those muscles!

By including these exercises in your training programme, you can expect to gain muscle in the upper body. And this will help you sculpt a skinny frame into a V-shaped frame!

Chest Exercises To Build A V-Shaped Body

The chest consists of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles

When you train both of these muscles, your chest will expand upwards and outwards.

And this will contribute to the V-shaped.

1. Flat Bench Press

How to Perform Bench Press - Tutorial & Proper Form

The flat bench press will work the pectoralis major and minor muscles. This exercise is most commonly performed using barbells or dumbbells.

For skinny beginners who have under-developed strength, I would highly recommend first starting with light dumbbells presses. Then you can progress to the barbell bench press as you get stronger.

Alternatively, the flat bench press movement can also be replicated with resistance bands, weight machines, and even your own body weight (i.e. push ups or press-ups on dumbbells!). And these are a more beginner-friendly way to build a chest.

2. Incline Bench Press

Incline Barbell Press | Upper Chest | How-To Exercise Tutorial

The incline bench press is a slightly different variation to the flat bench press. Instead of working the entire chest, it will focus specifically on the upper pectoralis major muscle. And this will help to fill out your upper chest.

Just like the flat bench press, the incline bench press can be performed using barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, weight machines, and body weight.

To perform the incline bench press movement using your body weight, simply do an incline press up.

Back Exercises To Build A V-Shaped Body

The back consists of 3 main muscles- the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids.

When you train these 3 muscles, your back will flare outwards and become much broader.

Therefore, training the back is a must if you want to develop a strong V-shaped!

3. Overhand Wide-Grip Pull Up

The Best Way To Do Pull Ups For A Wide Back (Optimal Training Technique)

The overhand wide-grip pull up is my favourite back builder! This exercise will work the all the back muscles.

Additionally, it shifts emphasis onto the lats. And the lats are one of the most important muscles to develop a V-shaped body!

This is because the lats are located on the sides of the back. And as they grow, they will flare out and become visible, even from the front of the body!

As a skinny guy, your lats will likely not yet be pronounced. This makes lat training essential to get a V-shaped as a skinny guy.

Now, not everyone can do pull ups.

But if you have gym membership, assisted pull up machines are a great way to work your way up to proper pull ups. Additionally, lat pull down machines will also help you to build strength in the pull up movement.

Alternatively, you could also use resistance bands to replicate the pull up movement!

4. Bent-Over Barbell Row

How To: Bent Over Barbell Row

The bent over row will also work all the muscles in your back.

But unlike the pull up, it will shift emphasis on the upper back muscles (the trapezius and rhomboids).

The barbell row is a great exercise for beginners to build up your back. This is because it is relatively easy to perform, compared to the pull up.

The barbell row can also be performed using dumbbells, weight machines, resistance bands, and body weight (flat bar pull ups).

Shoulder Exercises To Build A V-Shaped body

The shoulders also consist of 3 main muscles- the anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids, and posterior deltoids.

Similarly to the back muscles, training the shoulders is absolutely essential to develop a pronounced V-shaped.

And this is because the shoulders add a lot of visual width to the upper body. Additionally, the shoulders are one of the most visually striking body parts when viewed from the front.

5. Overhead Press

How to Perform Overhead Press - Proper Technique & Form

The overhead press is a fantastic way to build up your overall shoulder volume!

This exercise will work all 3 deltoid muscles, with particular emphasis on the anterior deltoids.

And just like the bench press, the overhead press can be performed using different equipment types. The most popular equipment types for this exercise are barbells and dumbbells.

However, the same movement can also be replicated using resistance bands, weight machines, and body weight (hand stand push ups).

As a skinny guy, you will most have little to no visible volume in your shoulders. And this is also why you lack any form of V-shaped.

Therefore, this makes the overhead press an essential exercise to include in your training programme!

6. Lateral Raise

Lateral Raises | Shoulders | How-To Exercise Tutorial

In comparison to the overhead press, the lateral raise will shift focus on growing your lateral deltoids. And this can be a great way to add visual volume to the side of of your shoulders.

This exercise is most commonly performed using dumbbells and weight machines. But the same movement can also be replicated using resistance bands.

With lateral raises, I would recommend starting light. The lateral raise is deceivingly difficult. So don’t worry if you struggle with even just a few kilograms of weight!

Do I Need To Do Arm Workouts To Get A V-Shaped Body?

The upper arms consist of the biceps and triceps. And when you train the biceps and triceps, your upper arms will grow and add width to the upper body.

But do you need to spend time specifically working your biceps and triceps?

In my opinion, no.

perform compound lifts to get a v shaped body

You will notice that many of the exercises above also involve the arm. And this is because many of them are compound exercises.

This means they will work multiple muscle groups in one movement.

Therefore you will find that your arms will naturally become larger as a result of focusing your time and energy on the exercises above!

As a bonus, this also means you can spend less time working out, and more time doing other things!

However, if you would like to learn how to train your arms, you can check out my guide!

How Often Do You Need To Train To Get A V-Shaped Body?

So how often should you be training to develop a V-shaped body?

example workout to get a v shaped body

Ideally, I would recommend completing 10 to 18 sets for each muscle group per week. So for example, complete 10 to 18 sets of chest exercises per week, 10 to 18 sets of back exercises per week, and so forth.

If you are new to weight lifting, then stay on the lower end of the spectrum. And when you get stronger, you can increase the number of weekly sets. This will ensure you keep gaining muscle.

Additionally, you should spread the sets over 3 or 4 non-consecutive training days. And this will give your muscles sufficient time to recuperate and grow!

If you would like to learn more, you can check out my gaining muscle guide!

Make Diet Changes To Get A V-Shaped Body As A Skinny Guy

Did you know that resistance training is just half the battle if you want to get a V-shaped body?

As a skinny guy, your priority should be to gain muscle mass. And to do so, requires you to follow a nutritious diet plan.

Otherwise, you will find your training efforts to be fruitless. Just like treading water, you won’t progress!

Go On A Bulk To Gain Muscle Quickly

Bulking is a term which describes being in a caloric surplus. And studies have shown this to facilitate training-induced muscle growth.

As a skinny guy, you will need to go on either a lean bulk or a dirty bulk. And this will provide your body with the energy to build muscle.

go on a caloric surplus to gain muscle

A lean bulk refers to being in a 5-20% caloric surplus. This will allow you to gradually build muscle, whilst preventing fat from being stored.

In contrast, a dirty bulk refers to being in a 20+% caloric surplus. This will allow you to quickly gain muscle, but you are also more likely to store fat.

So which bulk should you choose?

As a beginner, I would always recommend starting with a lean bulk before trying a dirty bulk.

Consume 1.2g To 1.6g Protein Per Pound Of Lean Bodyweight

In addition to a caloric surplus, you will also need to be consuming a high protein diet.

In fact, studies have shown consuming a high protein diet is required for maximal muscle development.

So how much protein should you be consuming?

consume a high protein diet to get a v shape body

Jeff Nippard recommends a sliding model for protein intake. This model basically recommends that you should consume anywhere between 1.2g to 1.6g of protein per pound of lean body weight.

The more muscle you have, the closer to 1.6g protein you should consume.

That being said, over consuming protein is never a bad idea if you want to gain muscle. So I would always recommend you aim to consume 1.6g protein per pound of lean bodyweight every day.

Consume 2.8g To 4.5g Complex Carbs Per Pound Of Bodyweight

If you want to gain muscle quickly, then don’t forget your carbs!

Eating complex carbs will fuel your workouts and allow you to work your muscles harder. And this means you will also gain muscle faster!

So how much carbohydrates should you consume?

consume enough carbs to fuel your workout

The ACSM recommends athletes to consume 2.8g to 4.5g complex carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day.

And although many people associate carb intake with gaining fat, you should not be sucked into this myth.

In fact, as a skinny guy who has very little body fat anyway, you have a lot of room to increase your carb intake! And this will allow you to keep on building muscle whilst keeping your waistline slim!


And those are all the steps!

Today, I have shown you how to get a V-shaped body for skinny guys.

You will need to design a resistance training programme which engages the chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Furthermore, you will need to consume a caloric surplus, a high protein intake, and enough carbs to fuel your workouts.

This may sound simple, and it is!

But more importantly, it works. And I know this because these are the same exact steps which I took to get my V-shaped!

So what training and diet changes do you need to make to start building your own V-shaped body?

Please let me know in the comments! It would be great if I can help you to add muscle onto your frame!

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Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,


(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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