For men, having strong and broad shoulders would be a dream come true. But for most women, it’s the stuff of nightmares. They might consider it a bit too masculine and undesirable.
If you’re one of them, we have some good news. You can get rid of broad shoulders if you’re determined enough. While your genetics will play a huge role in determining your natural appearance, adjustments can be made if you are consistent and stick to a routine.
A combination of a good diet and the appropriate training program can help women get the narrow, feminine shoulders they crave.
Let’s find out how.
- Females with naturally broad shoulders generally have clavicles (collarbone) longer than 112-153 millimeters, as per research.
- Genetical factors play the biggest role in causing broad shoulders in females, according to a study.
- You can get smaller shoulders by losing fat and muscle mass around that region through exercise and diet.
- Many trials have determined that you cannot get rid of wide shoulders using spot reduction. A holistic meal plan and exercise regime are needed to change the appearance of your body.
- If your shoulders are broad because of the length of the collarbone (and not excessive muscle mass or fat in that area), then there is no way to change how they look.
How to Tell if You Have Broad Shoulders?
The best way to tell if you have broad shoulders is to examine your body in front of a mirror. If your shoulders are proportionately wider than your hips, they can be considered broad. Within gym circles, such a body type is popularly known as the inverted triangle.
Another way to see if you have broad shoulders is to throw on a loose t-shirt over your body. If the seamline is hugging your shoulders tightly while the rest of it is baggy and loose, it’s clear that your shoulders are broad.
Simply measuring your shoulders in inches or centimeters will not work. That’s because the broadness of your shoulder should be compared proportionately to the rest of your body. That includes considerations like your height and overall build.
Is It Normal for Women’s Shoulders to Be Wider Than Hips?
Yes, it is completely normal for women’s shoulders to be wider than their hips. Unless you have the pear body shape, your hip bones will always be tucked inside more compared to your shoulder bones.
In most cases, hips are supposed to be narrower than shoulders. Having a set of shoulders that are only slightly wider than your hips does not mean that you have broad shoulders.
Ideally, if you want to have an attractive figure, you should aim for your hips to be as wide as your shoulders. In popular culture, such a body shape is known as the hourglass figure, which is sought after by many women at the gym.
What Causes Broad Shoulders in Females?
There are many reasons why you could have broad shoulders as a woman, some more common than others.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Genetics: The primary reason behind the broadness of shoulders is a person’s genetics, as they determine the length of the clavicle bone. If the collarbone is longer than average, your shoulders will appear to be broader.
- Body Fat Percentage: A higher body fat percentage can make your shoulders look wider if there are excessive fat deposits stored in that region.
- Muscle Mass: Even people with structurally weak and narrow shoulders can make them look broader by gaining muscle. If you have a lot of muscle definition in that area, your shoulders will look wider than they are.
Are Broad Shoulders Attractive in a Girl?
Yes, having broad shoulders can make any woman appear attractive. Although beauty is subjective and varies from person to person, wider shoulders can contribute to the universally appealing hourglass figure.
Moreover, broad shoulders are a trait that most young, fit, and healthy people share. So, whether you are a girl or a boy, having broad shoulders is not unattractive. On the contrary, many people might say that it can make any body shape appear beautiful.
Many ‘conventionally attractive’ women have broad shoulders. To give a few examples, celebrities like Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, and Halle Berry are popular for having longer and more defined collarbones. And they are some of the most beautiful women you’ll see on TV and in real life.
Ultimately, what’s attractive and what’s not attractive will depend on your own preferences. But broad shoulders in females are not unattractive as some people feel.
Can a Woman Get Rid of Broad Shoulders?
Yes, women can get rid of wide shoulders under some specific conditions. For example, if the broadness of the shoulder is defined by excessive muscle mass or fat deposits in that area, there are solutions for that.
However, if the broadness of the shoulders is because of the natural length of the clavicle bone, there’s no workaround for that. In such a case, the most beneficial thing would be to accept your body shape the way it looks.
The other option would be to look for a surgical solution. But even that is not guaranteed in all cases.
Ultimately, it is possible to make your shoulders smaller using some tactics. But if you can’t, it’s not a bad thing. Wide shoulders are inherently perceived to be attractive and can make your overall stature appear more beautiful and regal.
How to Reduce Broad Shoulders for Females?
Different people have different notions of attractiveness. For many, having broad shoulders can lead to insecure thoughts as they are often associated with masculinity.
While that should not be the case, everyone is allowed to want to look a certain way. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do consistently to get rid of wide shoulders.
While getting noticeable effects may take some time, the following tips might help make women’s wide shoulders a bit smaller:
Training Lower Body Muscles
As we mentioned before, your shoulders can be considered to be broad if they are considerably wider than your hips.
To counter that, you can make your shoulders appear to be narrower by adding muscle mass and definition to your waist and hip region. The fastest way to achieve that is to start focusing on hitting lower-body exercises at the gym.
After consistent training and dieting, you will start having larger glutes, quads, and hamstrings. That will make your upper body, including the shoulders, appear smaller and slimmer than before.
While following this method, make sure that you don’t neglect your upper body. Just put in a little extra work on the leg days.
- Broad shoulders make your hips appear slimmer. Wider hips, therefore, will give the illusion of smaller shoulders.
- Increase the training frequency/intensity of your lower-body workouts but don’t neglect your upper-body muscles.
- Complement your training with a balanced and healthy diet plan.
- Train lower body 3 times a week
- Limit shoulder training.
- If you hold the belief that developing your hips will create the illusion of smaller shoulders, then adopting a calorie surplus protein rich diet could be beneficial.
- Additionally, you might consider skipping or limiting your cardio workout sessions to keep you in a calorie surplus state.
Don’t worry if you don’t have access to any gym, you can also exercise at home to work out your lower body muscles. To do that, follow this bodyweight home workout program:
- Air squat- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Side step to squat- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Alternating forward to reverse lunge- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Side-lying leg raise- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Clamshell- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Glute bridge- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Donkey kick- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Standing calf raises- 3 sets of 15 reps
Generally, it’s easier to exercise at the gym using weights and machines. Here is a detailed gym workout plan for building lower body muscles:
- Barbell squat- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Goblet squat- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Barbell hip thrust- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Cable pull through- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Cable glute kickback- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Leg extension- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Lying leg curl- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Calf raises- 3 sets of 15 reps
Don’t Perform Shoulder Isolation Exercises
The width of your shoulder can be increased if you build muscle mass in that region. That can be avoided if you include fewer shoulder isolation exercises or none at all.
For many people, the cause of large shoulders could be because of large deltoids. Those are the major muscle groups covering your shoulders. To ensure that they don’t contribute to the broadness of your shoulders, you’ll need to cut down on certain exercises that target your delts.
- Avoid exercises that target your shoulders like dumbbell front and lateral raises, reverse flies, military presses, dumbbell shoulder presses, and dumbbell shrugs.
- If you have built considerable muscle mass in your shoulder region, gradually decrease training intensity and frequency for sustained muscle loss.
Build Toned Muscles
If you don’t want to give up your shoulder workout regimen, consider building toned muscles. This happens when you focus on building leaner muscle with more definition by reducing the subcutaneous fat resting underneath the skin (and above the muscle).
When your muscles get toned in a specific region, they tighten up and appear leaner. Toned muscles will not make your shoulders look broader, only more defined.
- Muscle toning refers to the process of building lean muscle mass while lowering the body fat percentage to make the muscle more visible and defined.
- One way to tone up your shoulder muscles is to work your anterior and posterior deltoids without activating your lateral deltoids.
Reducing Overall Body Fat Percentage
Your shoulders may appear bigger and broader than they are if there are deposits of fats stored in that region.
The most effective way to make any part of your body appear slimmer is to cut down on your calories, lose weight, and bring down your body fat percentage.
It’s important to note that being in a state of calorie deficit will not help alone. According to research, people with a sedentary lifestyle are less likely to lose weight and fat efficiently, even if they consume fewer calories.
So, a combination of training and a proper diet is important for losing weight and getting rid of broad shoulders.
- Decreasing your overall body fat percentage can get rid of the fat deposits around your shoulders and make them appear slimmer.
- Reduce your calorie intake and plan a proper workout routine to lose weight and body fat.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables for improved satiety over long periods.
- Decrease your daily consumption of processed foods and added sugars.
- Eat more healthy fats.
Engage in Cardiovascular Activities
In continuation to the previous point, performing cardio exercises is a great way to make your shoulders slimmer and less broad.
Cardio activities, like running or jogging, can help burn excess fat deposits in the shoulder region.
- Cardiovascular activities can help burn fat deposits around the shoulders.
- Perform HIIT workouts, jumping rope exercises, and sprints to yield efficient results.
Adjust Your Posture
The earlier suggestions were meant for women whose shoulders appeared broader because of excess muscle mass or fat deposits around that area.
However, if you have wide shoulders because of your genetically long clavicle bones, the above-mentioned techniques won’t help. But don’t worry; there are a couple of tricks you can play to make your shoulders less prominent and slimmer.
The first one is to adjust your posture. If you walk with your chest upright and shoulders drawn backward and down, they will appear to be broader.
The most effective solution is to round your shoulders just a little bit to tuck them in and make them look slimmer.
- Adjusting posture to make shoulders look slimmer can work for people with genetically long collarbones.
- Avoid walking with your shoulders pulled back and chest puffed.
- Round your back and shoulders slightly to make them appear slimmer.
Tweak Your Outfits
Making a few adjustments in your wardrobe is the fastest way to make your shoulders look slimmer in public.
All you need to do is tweak your outfits a little bit, and the results will be surprising.
- This method can work for both – people with genetically broad shoulders and people with excessive muscle mass or fat in the shoulder region.
- Reduce the focus on your shoulders by wearing v-necks, lower necklines, and collarless blouses to draw attention to your chest.
- Tank tops with wide straps and scoop necks can also cover up the width of your shoulders.
- Wear clothes that make your waist look more prominent, as they will give your body an hourglass-like.
Let’s make one thing clear – broad shoulders in women are not unattractive. It’s up to each individual person how they want to look.
For those looking to make their shoulders slimmer, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide on how to do so. But in the end, it’s always better to embrace your body shape the way it is and work on your overall health and fitness instead.