How To Get Rid Of Broad Shoulders And Why Would You Want To Do That
It is no secret that there are certain beauty standards for both men and women. The physical attributes of the “perfect body” for men are broad shoulders, strong arms, and a six-pack, for women it is an hourglass figure, peach booty, tiny waist and full breasts. The social construct of what’s considered beautiful should not affect your personal perception of beauty in any way. All bodies should be celebrated. However, some people focus on the previously mentioned standards, and strive to achieve those body goals.
Unfortunately, certain deviations from that standard, such as broad shoulders in women, may tear their confidence to shreds. And so, in order to figure out how to get rid of broad shoulders, women tend to perform exercises that exclusively focus on their shoulders, which is not ideal in such a case, as it only makes them broader and completely defeats the purpose of the workout. In this article, you’ll dive into the basics of weight loss for smaller shoulders, you’ll find out how to get rid of broad shoulders with exercise, and you’ll discover some tips and tricks on how to make your shoulders look smaller.
Training for Slimmer Shoulders
As oftentimes the cause of your problem is either genetics, or exercise, in order to figure out why you have them, and how to get rid of broad shoulders, you need to analyze and restructure your workout routine. Performing exercises that focus on your shoulder muscle growth will only add to this issue. When you don’t use certain muscles for some period of time, they reduce in size. So, you need to make sure that you perform fewer exercises that cause your shoulders to broaden in the first place, and instead try just maintaining the proper form of other parts of your body, and stick to an overall toning training. If you are a fan of heavy lifting, try to switch your routine and substitute weights with running. Here are some recommendations on how to get rid of broad shoulders with exercise:
Start doing more cardio
Cardio training is very effective at melting fat deposits and burning calories. Long-distance running is known to make you slimmer by reducing fat and muscle mass (6). Another benefit of running when you focus on how to get rid of broad shoulders is that it targets primarily your lower body and core, involving very little of your arms and shoulders. If you avoid exercises for shoulders, and don’t want to lose your overall muscle mass, you can try low to moderate intensity cardio, accompanied by some resistance training. Focus on toning up, instead of buffing.
Exercise your lower body
Exercising your legs may improve your proportions and make your shoulders look slimmer and narrower. As was mentioned before, focusing on other parts of your body during the workout will prevent your shoulders from getting bigger. Avoid doing the following exercises:
- Shoulder press
- Bench press
- Lat pulldowns
- Any overhead pushing or pulling exercises
- Lifting heavy weights
You can use weights, such as barbells, kettlebells, and dumbbells as you perform various lower body exercises, such as squats, lunges, step-ups, deadlifts, and others. Such exercises as glute kickbacks, bridges, and hamstring curls will also promote a more proportionate figure (5).
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Tips for Smaller-Appearing Shoulders
Broad shoulders are not the end of the world, and if your routine involves regular physical activity that targets your shoulder muscles or you have such a body build, where it is not possible to reduce the size of your shoulders because you have wide and thick bones, you can try visually make them look smaller by wearing certain clothes. Here are some of the dos and don’ts to make your shoulders look smaller (4):
- Do: Try wearing a V-neck.
- Don’t: Wear strapless dresses and tops.
- Do: Wear full skirts and wide-leg pants.
- Don’t: Wear clothes with shoulder embellishments.
- Do: Go for a slightly oversize or loose jackets and blazers that hit at your hips.
- Don’t: Wear a dress with a cinched waist.
- Do: Wear darker colors on your upper body, and lighter colors on your lower body.
Weight Loss for Smaller Shoulders
You may already know that spot reduction is a myth (1), and it has been proven by various studies (3, 8, 9). Your body works in such a way, that if you burn fat, you burn it all over your body. Even if you perform exercises that focus on a certain part of your body, you will not be able to slim down only in that spot. So, if you want to know how to get rid of wide shoulders with the help of weight loss, all you really need is to make a couple of basic dietary tweaks.
Reduce your calorie intake
If you want to lose fat, the first thing that you have to do is to reduce your caloric intake. You can use a calculator to determine how many calories you need a day, and then create a caloric deficit, by reducing the number of required calories by 500 or 1,000. As 1 pound (0.45 kg) of fat equals 3500 calories, such caloric deficit will help you lose about 1-2 pounds (0.45-1 kg) a week, which is the recommended weight loss pace (2).
Eat more fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables are the ultimate source of essential vitamins and minerals. Increased consumption of these two types of food will not only help you lose weight, as they are filled with water and fiber, which adds to your feeling of fullness, but will also significantly improve your health.
Reduce your consumption of added sugars, and processed foods
Sugary drinks, sweets, and junk food are your number one enemy when it comes to weight loss. These foods pack tons of empty calories, make you put on pounds and increase the risk of different diseases.
Eat up healthy fats
As you may know, there are healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fat, mono- and polyunsaturated fat, that can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, is the best option for you if you aim at trimming a couple of inches, as it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Unhealthy fat, such as saturated and trans-fat, on the other hand, only raises the risk of those health conditions.
How do I reduce broad shoulders (men)?
Men do not usually wish to have narrow shoulders, as broad shoulders are considered attractive in men (6). However, if you are not satisfied with your wide shoulders, you can make them go down in size by avoiding exercises that focus on your shoulder muscles and following a healthy diet with a slight caloric deficit.
Do your shoulders get smaller when you lose weight?
Yes, if your shoulders are wide due to the increased amount of fat or muscles. You can’t lose weight only in one particular part of your body. So, when you lose weight, you burn fat from all over your body, which eventually makes your shoulders, along with the other parts of your body, slimmer. However, if you have thick and wide bones, due to genetics, your shoulders are unlikely to get smaller even if you try to lose weight.
There is nothing wrong with having wide shoulders, as long as you feel confident and like it. If you feel like it is not you, and you want to know how to get rid of broad shoulders, then don’t despair, as there are certain things that can fix your problem. First, you need to make some adjustments in your workout routine. Try to avoid all the exercises that target your shoulders and substitute them with the ones that tone your muscles instead of bulking them.
Incorporate some cardio into your workout, as it will not only reduce your fat and muscle mass, but will also work your lower body. If you can’t or don’t want to change your workout, you may try making your shoulders visually smaller with the right choice of clothing. Another way to help your problem is weight loss for smaller shoulders. Stick to a healthy diet with a slight caloric deficit, and you will be able to lose 1-2 pounds (0.45-1 kg) a week.
Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Can You Really Control Where You Lose fat? (n.d., webmd.com)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Effect of Abdominal Resistance Exercise on Abdominal Subcutaneous Fat of Obese Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial Using Ultrasound Imaging Assessments (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How to Get Smaller Shoulders (2019, livestrong.com)
- How to Lose Weight in the Shoulders of Women (2019, livestrong.com)
- Physical attractiveness: the influence of selected torso parameters (1981, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Physiology and Pathophysiology in Ultra-Marathon Running (2018, researchgate.net)
- Regional Fat Changes Induced by Localized Muscle Endurance Resistance Training (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat (2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)