Men tend to prefer wider shoulders, while women who are not in the gym field favor slimmer shoulders. But what is considered broad shoulders? Find it out in this guide.
According to Joe Navarro – a body language expert – of “Psychology Today,” broad shoulders can make a man appear masculine, appealing, and strong. However, broad shoulders, on the flip side, might be a source of frustration for ladies outside of the bodybuilding industry since they might make clothing challenging to fit and their figure a manly aspect.
A guy’s broad shoulders may be determined with a few simple measurements, but it’s more of an issue of appearance and opinion for females. So, what is considered broad shoulders? Let’s discover in detail.
Table of Contents
- How To Tell If You Have Broad Shoulders?
- What Causes Broad Shoulders?
- Shoulder Width To Height Ratio
- Female Shoulder Measurement: How To Measure Shoulder Width Female?
- How To Make Shoulders Less Broad?
- How To Widen Your Shoulders?
- Method 3: Making Lifestyle Changes
- How Wide Should My Shoulders Be?
How To Tell If You Have Broad Shoulders?
The Golden Ratio is generally the ratio about which everyone is concerned when it comes to broad shoulders. In general, the golden ratio can be found all over nature and is more about aesthetics and wellness. It is commonly seen that 1.618 is the golden ratio figure regarding the shoulder width.
To be termed wide-shouldered, you should have a shoulder-to-waist ratio of around 1.618 (or even better).
Measure the circumference of your shoulders and back with a tailor’s measuring tape. Then tape your nipples with the tape. Finally, make a mental note of the size.
Next, take your waist measurement. Finally, take the measurement around your belly button, which is the narrowest point on your body.
You will then split those figures. Someone with a 52-inch shoulder diameter and a 30-inch waist, for instance, has a ratio of 1.73. This is considerably greater than the golden ratio, resulting in shoulders that appear incredibly broad.
What Causes Broad Shoulders?
Body type, weight, genetics, and other elements can all influence the width across your shoulders. Anthropologists, or scholars who study the measurement of human beings, have created metrics and approaches to measuring your shoulders’ width. The term “biacromial breadth” or “biacromial width” is used to define this metric. So, what is considered broad shoulders for a man and woman? Let’s dig into it right now!
What Is Considered Broad Shoulders For A Men?
As shown by representations of the ultimate masculine form in art and photography — think of the sculpture David or images of Olympians — the broad shoulders for a man should be around 1.618 times his waist’s size. Men can readily decide their own golden ratio with a tape measure.
To achieve this goal, a guy with a 32-inch waist might need shoulders that reach 52 inches. Military presses, chest presses, and pull-ups can help men develop broader shoulders by increasing muscle, especially in the upper body. The ideal male body—is it possible to be too muscular?
Average Male Shoulder Width
The average male shoulder width in the USA was 40.9 cm or 16.1 inches, according to shoulder measurements collected by 7,476 males aged 20 and older for the same time period.
What Is Considered Broad Shoulders For A Woman?
Women, unlike males, do not have a perfect waist-to-shoulder ratio to aspire for, but they can gain insight into if their shoulders match their whole body.
Women with broad shoulders vs. women with narrow shoulders
When a woman’s arms dangle freely, the contour of her torso can instantly reveal if her shoulders are broad or narrow. For instance, if her shoulders are perpendicular to a 90-degree angle, with a prominent bony protrusion, instead of rounded, she has broad shoulders.
A lady with a V-shaped torso (large at the top and narrow at the waist) will almost certainly have broad shoulders. Cutting a piece of string to measure an inch in length of one yard and hanging a large washer or weighted thing to one end, according to Christopher Hopkins. Allow the slack end of the thread to hang down from your shoulder joint.
Your shoulders are deemed broad if the string falls beyond the line of your hip. On the other hand, your shoulders are well aligned with the rest of your physique if the string is in parallel with your hips.
Average Female Shoulder Width
The biacromial or shoulder breadth of an average 18-year-old girl is roughly 35 cm or 14 inches. For males of the same age, the typical biacromial diameter is approximately 39 cm or 15 inches. Longitudinal research indicates that ladies have a more rapid shoulder breadth growth spurt in their teenage years, but that shoulder breadth does not dramatically change after they reach 18 years old.
Shoulder Width To Height Ratio
When it comes to bone structure, it differs from individual to individual. Short people tend to have broad shoulders. However, when it comes to the body, there are some generic ratios. It is determined by your health, food, and genetics. I’ve seen extremely tall individuals with both narrow and wide shoulders, as well as very short folks with both wide and narrow shoulders.
See also: Shoulder to Waist Ratio Calculator
Female Shoulder Measurement: How To Measure Shoulder Width Female?
Get a tape measure and a friend if you want to know how you compare to historical averages.
From shoulder end to shoulder end, the formal technique to calculate shoulder breadth is joint-to-joint. With your back to a friend holding a measuring tape, you can completely do this task.
Ask your friend to help you with the measurement
Tell your friend to set the measuring tape’s tip at the boniest region of your shoulder, which is where your shoulder touches your arm’s top. They should then extend the tape straight over to the end of your other shoulder point while holding it tight. The breadth of your shoulder is the measure you want to know.
Measure your shoulders on your own
Standing against a wall if you are alone and want to calculate the width of your shoulders. Remember to hold your head high during the measurement. Next, reach over your right shoulder with your left hand and note the spot just above your shoulder joint with a pen or pencil. With your right hand, repeat the technique on the other side of your shoulder. Then calculate the gap between two markers with a measuring tape.
Taking a measurement of your shoulders tricep-to-tricep
If you have somebody with you, this is a far easier method to know your shoulder width.
An anthropometrist might use large calipers to calculate the breadth of your shoulders (your arms are included), to gauge your shoulders width from arm to arm. To reproduce this, stand facing a friend and take this measurement with a measuring tape.
Allow your arms to drop down at your sides, staying relaxed. Maintain as erect a pose as possible while being rested. Next, have the second person take a measurement from the tops of your upper arms over your body. This size might be simpler or more precise if taken over your back instead of your front, based on the shape of your body.
How To Make Shoulders Less Broad?
While you may believe that, like other regions of your body (belly, legs, arms, etc.), wide shoulders may be altered by interval running exercise and diet, the breadth of your shoulders is mostly determined by heredity.
Downsizing your shoulders is practically impossible unless you are extremely overweight (or obese) or have been working out those muscles for a prolonged period. However, even if you drop weight and your body decreases, the inverted triangle form of your upper body is likely to persist because your torso loses weight appropriately.
Once you have reached a healthy weight, you can apply a few tactics to give the appearance of smaller shoulders. Furthermore, if you have been performing a lot of rigorous shoulder training, reducing them may assist your deltoid muscles to appear less prominent.
Here are some effective exercises that help make your shoulders less broad.
Reduce the number of shoulder isolation exercises
As you might know, the shoulders are mostly made up of bone, connective muscle, and tissue, all of which feature a genetically defined size. So, if you have broad shoulders as a result of large deltoids (also known as shoulder muscles), you might wish to reduce the intensity of some activities.
Some exercises such as lateral raises, push-ups, rear deltoid flyes, front raises, and military presses can help you build broad shoulders. If you modify your exercise routine to lifting more lightweight weights and less frequently, you are likely to lose your muscle mass in the shoulders area.
However, don’t neglect your upper body for concerns about enlarging your shoulders. As per the American Council on Exercise, you should train all key muscle groups, including the back, chest, and shoulders, at least 2 times per week sets of more than 12 reps.
Include more lower-body exercises in your workout
Physically, there is not much you can perform to modify your upper body’s inverted triangular form. However, you might concentrate on gaining muscle and structure in your lower body to help stabilize your overall appearance.
Exercises like lunges, squats, and deadlifts can help you grow the muscles in your backside and legs as part of an extensive training program. Filling this region with healthy muscle mass forms a strong physique that prevents your shoulders from looking out of balance.
Pro Tip: If you don’t lift weights and are a normal weight, the breadth of your shoulders is attributable to the skeletal structure in your torso, not to excessive fat tissue or muscle mass. You can’t modify your bones, either.
Shed Some Pounds for Smaller Shoulders
While your shoulders are mostly made up of muscles, connective tissue, and bones, there is certain subcutaneous fat beneath the skin that can assist your shoulders to shrink together with other parts of the body when you drop weight.
Follow a nutritious, low-calorie food plan, as well as frequent aerobic exercise and resistance training, if you want to shed fat to help your shoulders shrink down with the rest of your physique.
Use an calorie calculator or an app such as MyPlate to calculate your everyday calorie burn, which takes into consideration your gender, size, age, and degree of exercise. Next, by eating less and exercising more, build an everyday deficit of anywhere between 500 and 1,000 calories. This daily loss will help you shed 1 to 2 pounds each week, which is considered a reasonable and healthy target.
Reducing your consumption of sugary soft beverages and refined grains like pasta or white bread is a straightforward method to lose weight. These foods typically contain a high level of calories and have minimal nutritional value. Rather, plan your snacks and meals to include modest amounts of lean meats, whole grains, and veggies. Rather than processed or packaged foods, opt for fresh fruit, yogurt, and nuts as snacks.
How To Widen Your Shoulders?
For so many individuals, having broad shoulders is a desirable physical characteristic. Nevertheless, achieving this body can be challenging. Nevertheless, there are various terrific exercises that might help you aim for your shoulders if you are keen on strengthening your shoulder muscles with resistance training activities.
You can also definitely wear specific types of clothing to help your shoulders look broader if you just want the appearance of larger shoulders without exercise. Several lifestyle adjustments, such as changing your pose, lowering weight, and increasing your confidence, may also be beneficial.
Method 1: Use Strength Training
When it comes to strength training or bodybuilding, there are different ways to achieve a dream body with broader shoulders. And here are some of them
1. Experiment with side laterals
The side lateral raise is a wonderful workout for strengthening your shoulder muscles. Begin with modest weights and work your way up to heavier ones as your strength improves.
Grab some dumbbells in each hand and put your arms against your body’s sides to execute this workout.
Next, with the dumbbells level to your shoulders, elevate them.
Perform three sets of between 6 and 10 reps.
2. Use a wide grip to do an upright row
As you might know, upright rows also help to develop broader shoulders. In addition, you can work your muscles on the leaf margin of your shoulders by doing upright rows with a broad grasp, which may make things simpler to broaden your shoulders.
Grab a low cable bar to do upright rows. Slowly pull straight up and back with an overhand grip, starting with the shoulder and dragging the bar back.
Rowing with dumbbells is another alternative. First, put one knee on the bench as you stand next to it. Next, using your other hand, put it on the same side of your torso on the bench and hold the dumbbell. When you pull the weight upward, raise your elbow into the atmosphere behind you.
Perform three sets of between 6 and 10 ten reps or as many as you could do before you’re unable to do any further.
3. Do several deltoid lifts in the back
Alternatively, you can enhance the breadth of your shoulders by working your back deltoids. They’re comparable to side deltoid raises, but they’re done bending over.
Curl over with your back level to the floor to perform back deltoid raises.
Have a lightweight to a medium dumbbell in every hand. Remember, the weight should not be so excessive that it can only be lifted just several times.
Then raise the dumbbells out and away from your torso until they’re nearly parallel to your back.
On every side, do three sets of between 8 and 10 reps.
4. Work on your front deltoid muscles
As you might know, you have front deltoid muscles too, which you can strengthen with front deltoid lifts. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Start lifting the dumbbell upward and in front of your torso. Make sure your hands are close to the body while lifting.
Slowly drop the dumbbell back to its initial place when it reaches around your shoulder height.
On each side, do three sets of between 8 and 10 reps.
5. Perform overhead press-ups
By pressing weights above, you can bulk up your shoulders and make them appear more expansive. Begin with standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. At the same time, the dumbbell should be in your hand.
To perform the workout, raise the dumbbells vertically above your head and then gradually move them down.
Perform three sets of between 8 and 10 reps.
6. Pull-ups with a wide grip
Pull-ups are a wonderful alternative if you want to practice with your own body mass. In particular, pull-ups simultaneously engage your back muscles, arm muscles, and shoulder muscles. Using a broad grip will also help with shoulder exercise.
With your hands, a bit larger than shoulder-width apart, grab a pull-up bar. Then, raise your whole weight until your chin touches the bar. Do as many pull-ups as you can.
If you are unable to perform conventional pull-ups, you can also use a machine to aid you. One of these pieces of equipment may be found in almost every gym. Weights are used to challenge your body weight and make the pull-ups much simpler.
7. Push-ups in the pike position
As many of you might know, push-ups engage your torso and core muscles by using your own body weight. Doing push-ups in the pike posture, on the other hand, will focus on your shoulder muscles more effectively.
You’ll need a weight lifting bench or a strong chair to accomplish this type of pike-style push-ups. Place your feet up on the bench or chair after doing a push-up in the chair of the bench’s front.
Move your torso back to the bench or chair with your hands until you’re in the pike posture, which is equivalent to a headstand. However, with your feet on the chair or bench. The waist of your body needs to be bowed.
Then bend your arms and lower your face to the floor to perform the workout. Next, as soon as you’re low to the floor, get back up.
Do three sets of between 8 and 10 reps of this workout.
Please remember that this kind of workout should be performed with caution as even a split second of loosing your hold or placement can lead to catastrophic neck and spinal damage.
Method 2: Dressing for Broader Shoulders
If you don’t want to put too much effort into workout sessions, trying to dress for larger shoulders is another great idea worth considering.
1. Shoulder pads are recommended
As many of you might know, shoulder pads are a basic treatment for shoulders that are thin or tiny. Coats and blazers, for example, are usually equipped with shoulder padding. However, under a heavy sweater, you may also be able to escape wearing shoulder pads.
However, if you overstuff your shoulder pads, they will stand out too much.
2. Select apparel that is well-fitting
It is really important to avoid baggy apparel because it can give your shoulders a narrower look. Rather, opt for well-fitting apparel like fitted shirts and jeans.
Apparel that is properly fitted all the way around your waist is extremely noteworthy since it can help produce the V-shape that helps your shoulders appear larger.
3. Experiment with horizontal stripes
It is believed that wearing horizontal stripes over your shoulders and chest might help give the illusion of larger shoulders. You can try wearing a sweater with a striped pattern running across the shoulders and/or the chest.
4. Wear white shirts
White can also make you look to have bigger shoulders by emphasizing the top portion of your physique. To increase the width of your shoulders, try wearing white t-shirts and dress shirts.
5. Layer your clothing
Throughout the winter, you can utilize the effects of layering your clothing to create the appearance of larger shoulders. For example, you can try layering a sweater over a long-sleeved shirt or a t-shirt over a waffle shirt or.
In warmer weather, you can get the same look by layering two or three t-shirts. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the other shirts’ sleeves or collars don’t peek out, or it might appear weird. So to disguise the edges, layer a bigger shirt over the other ones.
Method 3: Making Lifestyle Changes
Another good way to widen your shoulders is to start making some changes in your daily lifestyle.
1. Lose weight if you are obese or overweight
When you have excess weight around your midsection, your shoulders will appear smaller in contrast. So together with contouring your shoulder muscles, you should also aim to lose a certain weight to reduce your waist size. By doing this, you might get a V-effect, and your shoulders also appear wider.
You must also limit your total calorie consumption so that you consume fewer extra calories in order to lose weight. Besides, also keep track of just about everything you consume to see how many calories you intake and make any necessary adjustments.
To help minimize your total caloric consumption, eat non-starchy veggies, including cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, and peppers. Lean proteins, such as turkey burgers, eggs, tofu, and skinless chicken, can also be used to substitute fatty proteins.
2. Try to stand up straight
Correct posture can make you look a bit slimmer while also enhancing your shoulders. In order to make your shoulders appear broader, start by standing up straight with your shoulders and chest back.
Set the alarm on your smartphone or make a note on your desk to remind yourself to adjust your body position during the day.
3. Work on your self-assurance
People’s perceptions of you can be influenced by your confidence. As such, being self-assured can also help you look and feel better about yourself. If your self-esteem is poor, work on increasing it so you can feel completely confident.
Try composing a letter to yourself from the viewpoint of somebody who truly cares about you and wants to support you, and feels more confident. What do you think that individual would say? Whichever of your assets may he or she highlight? Then, try actually looking over this letter at least once a day after you have finished it to build your sense of trust.
How Wide Should My Shoulders Be?
Median shoulder breadth has fluctuated gradually over time, and it is also difficult to establish what the current average shoulder breadth is without any more recent dimensions of a broad sample of various populations.
However, depending on biacromial measures from previous years and research results, it is probably reasonable to say that the typical shoulder width in the USA is at least 41 cm or 16 inches for men and 36 cm or 14 inches for women.
Ultimately, how shoulder breadth is measured varies based on the objective of the measurement.