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What do broad shoulders look like?

What do broad shoulders look like?

What do broad shoulders look like?

Broad shoulders typically refer to a relatively wide and well-defined shoulder structure. Individuals with broad shoulders tend to have a broader distance between the tops of their shoulder joints. Here are some characteristics and visual cues associated with broad shoulders:

  1. Width:
    • Broad shoulders are wider across the top than narrower shoulders. This can create a V-shaped or inverted triangle silhouette, where the shoulders are wider than the hips.
  2. Muscle Definition:
    • Broad shoulders often have well-defined muscles, particularly in the deltoids (shoulder muscles). This can contribute to a more muscular and athletic appearance.
  3. Proportions:
    • In a balanced physique, broad shoulders contribute to an overall proportional and symmetrical look. This is often considered desirable in certain fashion and fitness contexts.
  4. Clothing Fit:
    • Individuals with broad shoulders may find that clothing fits differently, especially around the shoulders and upper chest. Jackets and shirts may need to be selected with consideration for shoulder width.
  5. Inverted Triangle Shape:
    • Broad shoulders can create an inverted triangle shape when viewed from the front, with the shoulders being the widest part of the upper body.

It’s important to note that the perception of broad shoulders can vary based on individual body proportions and personal preferences. In fashion and modeling, broad shoulders are often considered a positive attribute, contributing to a strong and athletic appearance. However, beauty standards and preferences differ across cultures and can change over time.



Having broad shoulders means that your clavicle, known as your collarbone, is long compared to your waist. So you can be skinny with broad shoulders if you have long clavicle bones but a narrow pelvis. An example of this would be my business partner, Shane. 

Here, he is on the left when he is skinny; he has broad, bony shoulders. You can see how his arm goes straight down, and there’s space between his elbow and body. On the right is me when I was skinny. I had narrow, bony shoulders. My elbow collides with my body as my bone structure is so tiny.

But body fat matters, too. You could have somebody with very long clavicles and a narrow pelvis like Shane, but if they are too fat, especially around the waist, it will remove the broad visual shoulders look because they’re fat. It’ll make it look like they don’t have broad shoulders.

So the good news is that even if your clavicles are not very wide or your pelvis is wide for being a man, you can fix a big part of the problem of the visual look because you can build up shoulders with muscle mass while staying lean. For example, Brad Pitt has broader shoulders than Ryan Gosling, but they both look great once they build lean mass.


Generally, the ratio that everyone is after is called the Golden Ratio. The golden ratio, seen throughout nature, has to do with aesthetic beauty and health; the number is 1.618. So, the goal is to get a shoulder-to-waist ratio of 1.618 or better to be considered broad-shouldered.

Take a tailor’s measuring tape and measure around your shoulders by your nipples and around your back, and take note of the measurement. Then we’ll calculate your waist. Measure at the narrowest point, usually around your belly button. Then, you’ll divide those numbers. 

For example, somebody with a shoulder circumference of 52 inches and a waist of 30 inches will have a ratio of 1.73. That is even bigger than the golden ratio, which makes for remarkably broad-looking shoulders.


The best way to build big shoulders is to do a weight-lifting routine combined with the nutrition and lifestyle needed to recover from those workouts. Muscle mass is almost perfectly correlated with strength, so your goal would be to get strong in all the major exercises that hit your shoulders.

Your shoulders are made out of three parts:

  • anterior deltoid front part of the shoulder
  • lateral deltoid side part of the shoulder
  • rear deltoid back part of the shoulder

To get genuinely 3D shoulders, you will want to have all three of these parts of your shoulders developed and get stronger in every exercise that hits them.

By far, the easiest way to gain mass is by lifting heavier weights, not by doing more and more reps. So, the goal is to continue to add weight to your exercises; as you do that, your muscles will respond by getting more significant to handle those workouts. 

This is known as progressive overload, and there are a lot of different ways to break plateaus and continue to get stronger, but ultimately, having big shoulders comes down to getting damn strong at the main exercises.

Do guys like a broad-shouldered woman?

I’m a 25-year-old woman, 5′3″, and I have broad-ass shoulders.

I think they’re sexy; they make me feel strong and confident. I wasn’t always this accepting of them. But as you get older, you learn to love yourself and accept the parts of yourself you wish you could change, and then you love those parts too! 

Think about it this way… women used to wear suits with padded shoulders bc it made them look powerful. We have that naturally 😉 Strength is sexy!! Broad shoulders are still elegant and feminine. OWN them, baby!

All in all, I advise you to embrace your shape and love it. Confidence is one of the sexiest traits to see in someone! Also, stay in shape & eat healthily. (I’ve been vegan for five years, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my life; I’m just saying 😉 )

Take care, beautiful—much love from one broad shoulder to another.

On a girl they would look something like this


She had feet like a grand dining room table. Hands like a steam shovel. When she laughed, the bass in her voice was loud, like the powerful boom from aerial fireworks. The shadow she cast from her broad shoulders could shelter a platoon of men in wartime from the heat of the hot summer sun. You’re damn right. She’s a Wonder Woman, and I love her.

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Why are most women attracted to the broad shoulders of men?

I can answer why they are attractive as a woman drawn to broad shoulders.

  1. Being broad is considered a manly trait. I am attracted to men; therefore, I find this physical representation of manliness sexy. A woman with more feminine features holds a similar attractiveness to men.
  2. Broad shoulders are usually correlated with being physically strong. This is a good indicator that he will be physically able to protect me, and some deeper part of my biology attracts me to this (even though I don’t need a man to protect me).
  3. It makes me feel feminine and delicate when he wraps me in his arms. I like it when a man can make me feel small and light in his arms because it makes me feel feminine, sexy, and safe.

Attraction is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, and what individuals find attractive can vary widely from person to person. While some women may find broad shoulders appealing to men, it’s essential to recognize that a combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influences attractiveness.

Here are some reasons why broad shoulders may be considered attractive by some:

  1. Evolutionary Perspective: Evolutionarily, broad shoulders can be associated with physical strength and fitness. In the past, physical prowess may have been linked to the ability to provide and protect, which could contribute to the attraction.
  2. Symbol of Strength: Broad shoulders are often associated with a solid and athletic physique. The visual impression of strength and muscularity can be culturally and socially linked to traditional ideals of masculinity.
  3. Visual Symmetry and Proportions: Broad shoulders contribute to a V-shaped torso, often associated with a visually appealing and balanced physique. Proportions play a role in perceptions of attractiveness; a well-defined upper body can be seen as aesthetically pleasing.
  4. Cultural Influences: Cultural norms and media representations can shape beauty standards. In many cultures, there is a historical association between masculinity and specific physical attributes, including broad shoulders. Media portrayal of attractive men often reinforces these ideals.
  5. Personal Preferences: Individual preferences play a significant role in attraction. Some women may be drawn to a particular physical feature, such as broad shoulders, based on their unique tastes, experiences, and cultural influences.

It’s important to note that attraction is highly subjective, and not everyone has the same preferences. People are attracted to a diverse range of physical and personality traits. Additionally, societal beauty standards and preferences can evolve over time and across cultures. What is considered attractive combines personal, cultural, and societal factors.

Do broad shoulders make you less feminine?

Absolutely not! However, I do get a lot of people who don’t like women with broad or muscular women. They may be just jealous that they don’t have the energy or the willpower to work out this much. Whatever you do, you should always be proud of who you are because it’s you who you are making happy. My mother says I have man arms, but I don’t let it bother me!

No, having broad shoulders does not make a person less feminine. The concept of femininity is diverse and not solely determined by specific physical attributes. People’s bodies come in various shapes and sizes, and feminine qualities can be expressed in multiple ways.

It’s essential to recognize that cultural and historical factors can influence societal perceptions of femininity and masculinity, and they may vary across different cultures and periods. While certain physical features are traditionally associated with gender norms, these associations are not absolute or universally applicable.

Many people embrace a more inclusive and fluid understanding of gender expression, recognizing that individuals can express their gender identity and femininity in diverse ways. Femininity is a personal and subjective experience encompassing a broad spectrum of characteristics, behaviours, and appearances.

Ultimately, each person’s sense of femininity is unique, and physical attributes like shoulder width should not solely determine it. It’s essential to celebrate and respect the diversity of body types and expressions of gender identity, allowing for a more inclusive and accepting understanding of femininity.

What are the pros and cons of having broad shoulders?

The perception of broad shoulders can vary among individuals, and what some may see as advantages, others might view as disadvantages. It’s important to note that the impact of having broad shoulders depends on various factors, including personal preferences, cultural influences, and individual experiences. Here are some general considerations:

Pros of Having Broad Shoulders:

  1. Attractiveness: Many people find broad shoulders attractive, associating them with strength, athleticism, and a V-shaped torso, which can contribute to a visually pleasing and balanced physique.
  2. Clothing Fit: Individuals with broad shoulders may find that certain types of clothing, such as tailored suits or jackets, fit well and enhance their overall appearance.
  3. Perceived Strength: Broad shoulders can contribute to the perception of physical strength, which may be advantageous in specific contexts and social situations.
  4. Confidence: Some individuals with broad shoulders may feel a sense of confidence and self-assurance, which can positively impact their overall well-being.

Cons of Having Broad Shoulders:

  1. Clothing Challenges: Finding well-fitting clothing, especially shirts or jackets, can sometimes be challenging for individuals with broad shoulders. Off-the-rack items may not accommodate the shoulders’ width while properly fitting the rest of the body.
  2. Societal Pressure: Societal beauty standards and ideals of masculinity or femininity can create pressure or expectations, which may influence self-perception. Individuals with broad shoulders may feel societal expectations to conform to certain body norms.
  3. Body Image Concerns: Like any physical attribute, broad shoulders may be a source of body image concerns for some individuals, particularly if they feel their appearance deviates from societal norms or personal ideals.
  4. Misconceptions: There might be assumptions or stereotypes associated with broad shoulders, linking them to certain personality traits or expectations. This can lead to misconceptions about an individual’s capabilities or interests.

It’s crucial to remember that perceptions of body image are subjective, and the impact of broad shoulders on an individual’s life can vary widely. Embracing and celebrating diversity in body types and appearances contributes to a more inclusive understanding of beauty and self-worth. Additionally, individual experiences and preferences play a significant role in shaping one’s perception of their own body.

What are some good exercises for building broad shoulders? How can you tell if they’re working?

Building broad shoulders typically involves targeting the deltoid muscles, which consist of three parts: the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear) deltoids. Here are some effective exercises for developing broad shoulders:

  1. Overhead Press (Barbell or Dumbbell):
    • This exercise targets all three parts of the deltoids. Lift the weight overhead, extending your arms fully. You can perform this exercise while sitting or standing.
  2. Lateral Raises:
    • Hold dumbbells in each hand and lift them laterally away from your body. This targets the lateral deltoids and helps create width in the shoulders.
  3. Front Raises:
    • Lift dumbbells in front of you to shoulder height. This primarily works the anterior deltoids.
  4. Reverse Flyes:
    • Performed using dumbbells, this exercise involves bending at the waist and lifting the weights to the sides, targeting the posterior deltoids.
  5. Face Pulls:
    • Use a cable machine with a rope attachment. Pull the rope towards your face, targeting the rear deltoids and upper traps.
  6. Shrugs:
    • This exercise targets the upper traps and can contribute to overall shoulder development. Lift your shoulders towards your ears and hold for a moment.
  7. Upright Rows:
    • This exercise involves lifting a barbell or dumbbells vertically along the front of your body, targeting the lateral deltoids.

Tips for Effectiveness:

  1. Progressive Overload:
    • Gradually increase the weight or resistance to challenge your muscles and encourage growth.
  2. Proper Form:
    • Ensure proper form to avoid injury and effectively target the desired muscles. Focus on controlled movements and a full range of motion.
  3. Consistency:
    • Consistency is key in any fitness program. Aim for regular shoulder workouts to see progress over time.
  4. Balanced Training:
    • Target all parts of the deltoids for balanced development. Neglecting any specific area may lead to imbalances.
  5. Recovery:
    • Allow adequate time for recovery. Muscles grow during rest, so avoid overtraining and prioritize sleep and nutrition.

How to Tell if They’re Working:

  1. Increased Strength:
    • As you progress in your shoulder workouts, you should notice increased strength in overhead pressing and other shoulder exercises.
  2. Visible Changes:
    • Over time, you may observe increased muscle definition and width in your shoulder area, contributing to a more prominent V-shaped torso.
  3. Clothing Fit:
    • Changes in the way your clothing fits, especially around the shoulders, can be an indicator of muscle development.
  4. Mirror Observation:
    • Regularly assess your shoulder development in the mirror to visually track progress.
  5. Feedback from Others:
    • People around you may notice changes in your physique and comment on your shoulder development.

Remember that individual responses to exercise can vary, and results take time. Be patient, stay consistent, and pay attention to your body’s feedback to gauge the effectiveness of your shoulder workouts. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program.

What is considered broad shoulders?

Unless someone is overweight with a big gut and you can’t see the bone structure, someone with “broad shoulders” will have that “V” look from the back. What I mean is that their shoulders are much broader than their waist.

Even if you are not built this way genetically, you can use very particular exercises in the gym to build up muscle mass, thereby developing big lat muscles, well-defined traps and delts. It’s an illusion, as those muscles will make your waist look smaller.

The term “broad shoulders” refers to a shoulder structure that is wider and more pronounced than average. However, what is considered broad can vary based on individual perceptions and body proportions. In a general sense, broad shoulders are characterized by a wider distance between the tops of the shoulder joints, creating a broader upper body.

Here are a few factors that might be considered when assessing whether someone has broad shoulders:

  1. Shoulder Width Ratio:
    • The width of the shoulders in relation to the rest of the body can contribute to the perception of broadness. A person with a shoulder width that is noticeably wider than their hips or waist might be considered to have broad shoulders.
  2. V-Shaped Torso:
    • Broad shoulders often contribute to a V-shaped torso, where the upper body is wider at the shoulders and tapers down towards the waist. This creates a visually appealing and athletic silhouette.
  3. Muscle Definition:
    • Well-defined shoulder muscles, particularly the deltoids, can enhance the appearance of broad shoulders. Muscle definition and development contribute to the overall perception of width.
  4. Clothing Fit:
    • The fit of clothing, especially around the shoulders and upper chest, can provide visual cues. Clothing that appears snug or well-fitted in the shoulder area may accentuate the broadness.

It’s essential to note that perceptions of broad shoulders can be subjective, and there is no strict measurement or standard for what is considered broad. Additionally, cultural and societal norms may influence the perception of body proportions and ideals of attractiveness.

Individual body types and proportions vary widely, and what might be considered broad on one person may be entirely average or even narrow on another. Embracing and appreciating the diversity of body shapes and sizes is important, recognizing that beauty comes in many forms.

What do broad shoulders look like?

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