How to Grow Wings or Get a Wide Back

The ultimate goal for many men is the V-Shape. The V-Shape is created with broad shoulders and a small waist. You learned how to build broad shoulders with this post. To get a small waist, you simply need to follow some of the great weight loss advice here at Fat Man Unleashed. However, what is often forgotten in the quest for the V-Shape is the wide back that connects the shoulders to the waist.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi (Lats) is a large, fan-shaped muscle that starts out wide at the level of the shoulders and ends medially at the level of the pelvis. Your Lats are the biggest muscle of your back and your upper body. We often forget about Lats because they are difficult to see in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind.

The Lats are often called “wings” because when they are very wide, they actually look like wings. However, they look more like bat’s wings and less like bird’s. Your Lats perform many actions, but their main function is to bring your arms closer to your body.

Weight Loss

Along with giving you a V-Shape, training your Lats will also help you lose weight. Building these large muscles will boost your metabolism and turn you into a 24-hours-a-day fat burning machine.

Other Benefits


Larger, wider and stronger Lats can also help you:

  • Throw harder
  • Punch harder
  • Pull harder
  • Swim faster
  • Climb faster

They can also help improve your posture and make your waist appear thinner.

Growing Wings

The two main ingredients to bigger and stronger muscles are diet and exercise. They are equally as important. Exercise breaks the muscle down and diet build them back up. To build larger or stronger muscles, you must eat enough calories and enough quality protein.

A wider back is a larger back. To build large muscles you should do 3 sets of an exercise with rep goals of 10 -12. The best exercises for a wide back are:

  • Wide Grip Pull Ups
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs
  • Wide Grip Bent Over Rows
  • Wide Grip Seated Rows

Along with diet and exercise, you will need to sleep 7- 9 hours every night and drink plenty of fluids. You cannot grow wings over night, so be patient. With perseverance you will get there.

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

About the Author

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a physician, weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

Community Thoughts (16)

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  1. dipNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there, nice post, well worth the read. The only concern I have is 7-9hrs of sleep. I barely make it to 7hrs, work full time go to evening classes, do some household stuff and then exercise. Is sleep really that important? I thought of sleep beeing important to construction workers and the like, but for the average office worker, keeping a healthy posture and relaxing a bit while in an office chair should give the muscles enough time to build up/recover. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Dr. KalNo Gravatar says:


      I don’t get 7 hours of sleep a day, so it is possibly to build muscle and lose fat without it. However, it is much harder. When I do get 8 hours of sleep a night, I see the results in my waist, muscles, and workouts.

      The hormones and chemicals released when you get an adequate amount of sleep are very important, such as growth hormone. Cheap and legal human growth hormone. LOL.

      I am currently at 6 hours a night and will hopefully be at 7 hours very soon. It simply requires organization and prioritization.

      Good luck!

      • sohail khanNo Gravatar says:

        sir can you please tell me how can i balance my wings? because my right wing has grown up more than the left one? thanks

  2. MizFitNo Gravatar says:

    Ive been struggling to grow tiny woman sans steroid wings for decades 🙂

    thanks for the piece.


  3. Hi Dr.

    In my opinion the pull up is the king of back exercises and will develop your latissimus dorsi muscles no end. It is imperative that you balance any lat workout with an overhead press workout simply to balance the hypertrophy and minimise the chances of muscular imbalance.

    @MizFit – you should try assisted pull ups when next at the gym coupled with overhead db press. keep that up for a few weeks and you’ll soon have those tiny woman sans steroid wings.

    I put up a post about pull ups on my blog recently 13 reasons to do pull ups take a read if you like.

  4. Jeff IversenNo Gravatar says:

    I used to swim competetively and had huge lats from swimming 6-10 miles a day. I wish I had time to do that now but work and family keep me busy. The toughest part about working out is just showing up to do it. So, sometimes we just need a little motivation.

  5. EdwinNo Gravatar says:

    Many people tend to neglect the lats though.. The muscle is also rarely worked in our daily lives.

    For me, the best way to work my lats would be the wide grip pull ups, bent over barbell rows. Also, deadlifts are the king of back builders.

  6. SeanNo Gravatar says:

    Israel,Great post! People often times completely forget about building up your back and they just focus on their arms, legs, chest, etc. You are right, building muscle can really help you burn fat, and lose weight. Not to mention your back has a huge potential for muscle growth. And it does give you that nice V-Taper. Bodybuilders often times go above the V-Taper and target the X instead of just the V. You get the X by building up your legs to balance your back out as well. Just think of the X as two V’s on top of eachother (Just the bottom is upside down.) Anyhow, one of the best and most efficient ways to get that X-and/or V shape is to do deadlifts. They are really tough but they burn a ton of calories and work your biceps-lats-upper and lower back, and your hamstrings. Deadlifts are good stuff ;)Anyhow, great post.Good luck!-Sean

  7. I think that the key to a v-shape back is deadlifts, barbell rows and wide grip chinups!

  8. byebyebigguyNo Gravatar says:

    I like dead lift too and one of the better way to do them so you don’t hurt yourself is to use dumbbells instead of a straight bar. This lets you work with lighter weight and it allows for some movement without putting pressure on the lower back.

  9. jonathanNo Gravatar says:

    nice =) i like things that require me to sleep longer!
    now i have the perfect excuse for sleeping in every day – ‘its required by my workout program’


  10. prateekNo Gravatar says:

    i want to have wings and abs plz suggest

  11. ashikNo Gravatar says:

    i want to reduce my fat and need a six pack sir pls give some tips

  12. WesNo Gravatar says:

    You need to do both wide grip and narrow grip chins to build good lats. Wide grip for the upper lats, and narrow grip for the lower lats. Mix this in with bent rows for back thickness and deadlifts for lower back, and you’ll build a solid back. T-bar rows, lawn mower pulls are nice too. But mostly wide and narrow grip chins build lat width.

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