How to Reduce Broad Shoulders for Females?

How to Reduce Broad Shoulders for Females text overlay with woman lifting free weights

Trying to fit into beauty standards and the “ideal” body types is not encouraged. But if you are also after the ideal female hourglass figure with a peach booty and a tiny waist – it would be a problem to leave broad shoulders unchecked. Though all bodies are amazing for their uniqueness, it’s not advice most of us take. Not really.

So, let’s see how to reduce broad shoulders for females, if at all.

Exercising for reducing broad shoulders

A simple Google query with “how to reduce broad shoulders female” will get you a lot of results. What you need to completely avoid is anything even remotely suggesting a workout specifically aimed at the shoulders.

As with nearly everything else, training a body part makes it stronger and consequently, more muscular, which pretty much defeats the whole point of reducing broad shoulders – we’re sure you would agree.

It is a pretty rampant misconception that strength training or overworking a specific body part will “spot reduce” the fat from that region, thus making it leaner, thinner, or even skinny.

That cannot be farther from the truth. It’s a raging lie told either with malicious intent or due to a lack of knowledge. Regardless of which part of your body you train, fat will be reduced from the entire body equally. And if you overwork a specific body part, needless to say, it will make it more muscular. That’s like bodybuilding 101 – work the region you want to flesh out.

We don’t want to flesh out your broad shoulders now, do we? Completely avoid activities like rowing, bench presses, pullups, lifting heavy weights, and of course, shoulder presses. All these activities tend to buff your shoulder with muscles, which will make already-broad shoulders appear remarkably bigger and muscular.

This sort of links into our next section: take the load off your shoulders, instead of giving them more load.

Slimmer shoulders how-to tips

Women running on the treadmill - focus on cardio - how to reduce broad shoulders for females

Not using certain muscles for some time often reduces their size. So, how to reduce broad shoulders in females? Easy. Put less pressure on them. Make sure you are not doing any exercise that works your shoulders. This will only broaden them.

Here are a few more tips that can help you potentially reduce your broad shoulders:

  • Doing cardio is always great. It is the ideal way to get rid of fat deposits and burn calories. If fat is the culprit for your broad shoulders, cardio activities such as running can help rapidly.
  • It can also be a proportionality issue where the rest of your body is not big enough or shaped well enough even though your shoulders are not too broad. For this, exercise your legs and calves so that they improve in relative proportion to make your shoulders appear less broad.
  • If you must lift weights, let’s say for your biceps, switch to barbells or dumbbells.
  • Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, step-ups, etc. are safe. You can make them a part of your routine to improve your fitness and make the lower half of your body appear more proportionate.

On clothing

woman smiling hold a coffee cup in one hand and wearing a v neck shirt to help reduce broad shoulders

Clothing ties into our shoulder discussion pretty nicely. Wearing a v-neck, full skirts and wide-leg pants, oversized or hip-length loose jackets, darker colors on the upper body, etc. seem to accentuate your broader shoulders. On the other hand, strapless dresses and tops, clothes with embellishments on shoulders, and dresses with cinched waists appear to make your shoulders seem narrower.

There are no rules, however. See what works best for you. Certain types of clothes will help your shoulders appear less wide while others will accentuate or even inflate your shoulder width.


group of women walking in a field

You cannot change your genes. You can only work around them or with them. Given that you don’t feel confident with your broad shoulders, you only have the option to work around them. Broad shoulders are mostly genetic features. They are actually a good feature; in that they mean you have superior upper body strength.

Genetics and the length of the clavicle bone isn’t really something you can do anything about, including surgeries.

Testosterone causes broader shoulders and estrogen causes wider hips. As men produce more testosterone and women produce more estrogen, it’s men who generally have a wider shoulder and females who generally have a wider hip (and narrower shoulder). As such, it’s easy to see why broader shoulders could be considered a primarily-masculine trait.

Historic bodily features aside, there is nothing technically wrong with broader shoulders in females. Some genetic lineages are naturally bigger, wider, and stronger than others and their females will also inherit such features, including wider shoulders.

Social dilemma

The women or men who generally despise or are not attracted to broad shoulders are the same people who have grown up in households believing women shouldn’t be tall, and a host of other such eons-old gibberish.

The “classically feminine body” or the “ideal body” are both myths. Broad shoulders make you powerful in a different way. They will also help you avoid men who are only after the classic beauty (which they will run out of soon anyway because there’s always a more perfect body nearby) because such men won’t find broader shoulders very attractive.

Not to mention the benefit of broad shoulders when you grow old. You won’t look as small, shriveled, or shrunken.

In conclusion

The #1 tip from physicians is that given you can’t spot reduce your shoulders (any part, for that matter), it is best to try and develop other parts of the body, especially focusing on your lower half, so the wide shoulders are not as pronounced when somebody looks at your general figure.

This can be done by working out your other muscles.

All being said and done, you cannot reverse or manipulate your genetic programming. Consequently, it makes more sense to go with it rather than try to fight it. Find solutions where others find problems.

For example, there are many ways where your wider shoulders can shine. This includes many types of dresses and tops that others can only dream of flaunting regularly. Alternatively, it can be a good reason to work out the bottom half of your body to achieve a more “ideally” proportionate but more importantly, a more fit body.

It all depends on what you make of it.

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