Broad Shoulders

5 Simple Rules to Build Broad Shoulders

The “V” Shaped torso is the ideal for men (X-Shaped if you count the legs). Having a set of broad shoulders, that taper down to a thin waste is the look men have been trying to achieve for years. And it’s the look that women want to see in a guy.

A lot of the time guys think that women want to be seeing slabs, and mounds of pure muscle mass. But they don’t. They don’t want to date a guy that can barely fit through a door. Or a guy that can’t share a spot on the couch because he’s too massive. Yes they want muscle. But they want it to be lean and athletic-looking. Not hulking.

I’m not going to say that women are the only reason we go to the gym. That’s nonsense. But they are a very large part of why we train, whether you like to admit it or not. And that ideal physique that women look for starts with the shoulders.

Here are 5 tips that’ll help you develop broad, muscular, powerful, and athletic shoulders.

Broad Shoulders

1. Fluctuate your repetitions.

I mean really fluctuate your reps when training shoulders. For your heavier presses you can do 5×5, 4×8, and 3 or 4×12. But add in some higher rep single sets at the end of a workout like lateral raises for 1 set of 50 reps (you may fail once or twice during the set). Choose a lighter weight, but not too light that you finish the set with ease.

The deltoids are relatively smaller muscles, which means they recover faster and can take more muscle damage than some of your bigger muscle groups like those of the lower body or your chest or lats.

2. Build a thicker chest and back.

Having broad shoulders often depends on the development of our chest and our lats. Our back muscles pull our shoulders back. Having an over developed chest and an underdeveloped back pulls your shoulders forward (not the look you want).

Our shoulders also ‘sit’ on your lats, and partially on our chest as well. By building thick lats and back muscles, but also a thick and broad chest you’re actually building wider, more confident-looking shoulders.

What to do:

To build a full muscle – for both the chest and back area – focus on all grips. Build your lats and chest from the inside-out. Close grip pulls work the area closer to the spine (center), and as you get wider, so does the area of focus. When doing pulldowns, the closer grip works the base of the lat where it meets the waist. A wider grip builds the part of the lat that meets the posterior deltoid.

3. Build thicker, fuller traps.

Thicker traps = wider looking shoulders. Your traps are the muscles that connect the neck with the top of the shoulders. It’s important to have a good balance between rounded deltoids and thick traps. Going overboard with either can look less that ideal.

My favorite exercises for the trapezius:

1. Upright row – move from a close to a wider grip.

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  • William Jeffreys

    Trust me, women do not give one hoot about what you look like or what kind of shape you're in. Good examples: Beyonce Knowles and JZ. JZ is a hideous looking fellow. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. Most of the knock-down, drag-out, beautiful women that I know personally are all married to very homely guys, most of them obese. I know one woman that's a stunner that is married to a guy that is about 5' 2", fat, bald, and out of shape, but she loves him. If you're going to the gym with any preconceptions about attracting women, you need to find other motivations, because they don't care.

    • Chad Howse

      Interesting way of looking at it William.

      And I agree with you in a lot of ways. There are definitely a ton of examples of beautiful women with hideous husbands. Sometimes they're attracted by power, wealth, stature, but the great one's are attracted by what kind of person a guy is for sure.

      I think with marriage, you HAVE TO be a quality person to attract another quality person. But, I think that being in great shape gives you an "in". That's the point I was trying to make. If you don't have a good personality and you're not a good person, that "in" is useless (which it is in most cases).

      But being in great shape will get you an initial attraction. What happens after that is completely dependant on factors other than your physique.

      I like your comment, you make a great point my friend.


      • John legend

        Jay Z is just rich af and buys every organization he wants, thats why shes with him

  • jdjjd

    women think by seeing a guy for that purpose only i know………….,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, its truth……….,,,

    • Chad Howse


  • Gaurav Dabral

    Chad I quiet like your temperament. There are couple of posts here on which some other guy would have snapped or at the very least replied sarcastically but not you :).

    Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes and regards,

    • Chad Howse

      Thanks Gaurav, glad you like the site man, appreciate it.

  • Bill

    No matter who you are involved with your health and fitness is your responsibility.

  • Dine§h

    Hey . .tell me. . When i start these exercise i loosing my upper body fat my shoulder shrinks . .can u suggest me a proper diet for this . . .

  • soconfident

    Thanks been researching ways to improve my shoulders

  • Shane

    Chad, I’d like to hear your thoughts and methods for correcting a protracted shoulder girdle & excessive thoracic kyphosis? if you could mention maybe your thoughts on pelvic tilt and excessive lumbar lordosis too that would be great :)

    • Chad Howse

      Will write something on both as a part of a bigger article soon.

  • Rahul Purohit

    thanks for the details in the upper body….I was focusing less on the chest…..I have a bulky body…can u suggest something for shaping my chest…plz….suggestion wud be deeply appreciated

    • Chad Howse

      There’s a lot on the site man. I did an article about chest that has all the info you need. Just search “chest” or “chesticles” in the search bar and you should find a ton of stuff.

      • Rahul Purohit

        thanx a lot bud…..wud love to get more tips frm you…be legendary

  • Nah

    Looking to get hacked? Escape your characters like apostrophes


    • Chad Howse

      I don’t follow. What you mean?

  • vap

    Hey chad, good article….I am slouching a bit and got quite bulkier chest so to get rid of the same , am working out on shoulders (got less anterior delts too) and back muscles, since for a month i didn’t do any chest workouts.what would you suggest,, shall I discontinue chest workouts for a while …

    • Chad Howse

      So you’re over-developed in the chest?

      Work on the mid-trap area a lot, will pull the shoulders back a bit.

  • Preston

    I know this sounds strange but I can’t lift my arms straight up (not really sure why, i’m a skinny guy so it’s not due to size). What workouts can I do to build bigger, broader shoulders?

  • Sreyansh Jaiswal

    Hey!! I m a vry lean guy wid a height of 6’2″.. i m going 2 gym frm around 6 mnths nd i m 16yrs old.. evn though i m takng protein nd prpr healthy food i m nt gaining weight.. in my six mnths of wrk out i havnt been abl to develpd my body in a gud way.. i wnt ur hlp guys.. nd i wl b greatly obligd if sum1 cud plzz provide me wid a prpr workout routine.. basically as i m tall i wanna hav broad shouldrs nd huge chest.. plzz hlp me out..