In my opinion bodybuilding is all about wide shoulders and small waists which highlights that classic V taper. The most difficult part of this is keeping your waist line tight whilst eating enough food and lifting heavy weights. Their are a few things you want to avoid to increase your waist line and a few techniques you can incorporate to make it smaller. In this article I’ll highlight the best way to keep your waist line under control and help you create that classic V shape.



  • Heavy low rep deadlifts and squats. Although these are both great exercises they do thicken the core muscles and give your physique a blockier look. Id still recommend doing them but working in the hypertrophy rep range of 8-15 rather than 1-3 rep strength range.
  • Too much oblique work. I see people doing lots of side bends and other oblique work in the gym but very few that need a thicker waistline. Limit any oblique work to once a week and don’t over do it.
  • Over eating. Stuffing your face at meals to the point where you have to unbutton the top button of your trousers to allow your gut room. This is a sure way to expand your waistline as well as putting on unwanted bodyfat. The key is to eat slowly and eat smaller meals, this should help keep that waist tight.


  • The vacuum pose which became a hallmark from the golden era of bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do to tighten the waist. Hitting a vacuum pose involves simultaneously expanding your rib cage while blowing out all of the air from your lungs. The effect is a hollow below your ribs, where your stomach used to be. It does take practice to nail this exercise but be persistent and sure enough your waist will decrease.
  • Another useful exercise is the plank if done correctly.  By doing it correctly I mean pulling your belly button up towards your spine and holding it in that position. When we do this we activate our transverse abdominals which is not only the body’s natural weight belt, but it will also keep your midsection flat and tight.

In todays world of bodybuilding everyone is obsessed with size at the expense of aesthetics and a small waist. For me being big and blocky is not a nice look and isn’t what bodybuilding was intended to be. I do believe a change is on the way back to age of the Arnie’s and frank Zanes and I also believe its the look that most people prefer. So if you want to create a more classical looking physique then try some of these tips!