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How To Look Better In Your T-shirt

To get 3D shoulders and a V-taper, you have to work the smaller, sometimes-neglected, muscles of the upper body.

While attacking the large muscle groups in your upper body—your back, chest, shoulders—is obviously important, the key to looking great in a t-shirt is in the finer details. In other words, it’s all about targeting the little muscles within the bigger muscles. For instance, your biceps are comprised of two parts—the biceps brachii (at the top of your shoulder) and the brachialis—which starts a bit lower down and helps you bend your elbow.) Many people only focus on the former, but targeting the smaller component of the bicepsthe brachialis—adds the extra level of detail. That’s why we included the Hammer Curl in this routine. Turning your palms to face each other makes your brachialis muscle do more work.

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Triceps actually take up a larger percent of your arm than your biceps. They’re composed of three parts (hence it’s name): the lateral, medial, and long heads. So, that means you want to up the volume a little bit higher than you would for your biceps. That’s why we increased the sets for the Dips and Dumbbell Skull Crushers in workout B.

And when you’re training your shoulders it can’t just be all about pressing (which targets your front and middle delts). Many guys neglect rear delt development, but you need to find ways to work your them to give yourself 3-D symmetry. How you do that though actually is in the form of upper back exercises, which comes as a surprise to many. That’s why we incorporated the Rear Delt Fly into workout B.

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Speaking of your back, training it can’t just be all about deadlifting and rowing. You want exercises that accentuate that V-taper that fills you out. What's more: there are so many smaller-yet-important muscles in your back. If you’re a rower, you may not think you need a wide-grip pull-up, but you do. Rowing works your traps, but wide-grip pull-ups also get your latimus dorsi and the much smaller rhomboids to a greater degree.

Finally, on chest day, you want to make sure you do exercises that hit the muscle fibers that make up the clavicular part of your upper chest to fill out your neckline and give the illusion of a bigger chest. And even though Pectoralis Major sounds more important, hitting the Pectoralis Minor with moves like those dips are important too. 

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We just threw a lot of physiology at you, but you don’t have to remember any of it because we did the hard part and crafted a workout that takes it all in to account—helping you sculpt not only those big, major muscles, but also the smaller, sometimes-neglected ones. The bottom line and all you need to remember? You’ll look better in a t-shirt.

Perform workout A & B once a week with at least one day off in between (you can focus on lower-body that day). Then, check out The 10 Best T-Shirts for a Muscular Body and buy one (or 10).

Workout courtesy of Alyssa Ages, Athlete with PowerNYC Training and Trainer at Uplift Studios, EPIC Hybrid Training, and Global Strongman Gym, who created these workouts.

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