You’ve been working hard to gain weight and increase your muscle mass. As a skinny guy, this process takes time. You need to work hard – and that includes eating right and doing a lot of strength training exercises.
With a standard weight training protocol, you might find that your weight is gradually increasing. Your triceps, biceps, chest, and the abdominal area may become more tones.
Here’s an interesting fact: A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that both men and women find broader shoulders to be the ideal representation of masculinity in the male body.
A regular routine that focuses on gaining mass will likely not put an emphasis on broadening your shoulders. With the results of this particular study in mind, you might be looking at how to get broad shoulders.
Read on to learn about the best strategies that will help increase the size and broadness of your shoulders.
What You Should Know About Broad Shoulders
Let’s start with some basic details about your shoulders and, in particular, increasing the broadness of your shoulders.
First of all, note that some guys have a natural build in their musculoskeletal system that allows their shoulders to appear larger without many efforts. For a skinny guy or, as often referred to as an ectomorph, it can be much harder to get shoulders that appear broader.
Do not give up hope just yet, however. Just as you have most likely already found ways to increase your overall weight, it is possible to implement certain strategies in order to gain broader shoulders.
The shoulders are home to a more significant number of androgen receptors compared to the rest of the male body.
These receptors interact with testosterone and, in turn, the shoulders become broader, stronger, and more defined – that is, if you do implement the right strategies to take advantage of these receptors. In men, testosterone is responsible for helping to amp up your muscle mass.
Another interesting factor that you may not know is that the shoulders can actually provide a great way of determining if a man’s body is more defined by fat or muscle mass.
In men, fat distributes most easily toward the abdominal area. Thus, when the stomach is broader than the shoulders, it means that fat is currently the more defining factor in the body.
On the other hand, get your shoulders to go broader than your stomach, and this all changes.
The Growth Potential Of Your Shoulders
When it comes to looking at how to get broad shoulders, there is something that you do need to understand. During this process, there are certain factors that you are not in control of. The primary factor to be taken into account here is your bone structure.
You have a defined bone structure, and that is not something that will be changing – no matter how hard you work out.
Even when you have a smaller bone structure, however, it is still possible to pump up the volume of your shoulders. This is because there are certain factors related to your shoulders that you can effectively control.
There are three primary muscles that make up your shoulder – and you can work on all three of them to achieve the results that you desire.
The first is the anterior deltoid. These are the muscles that are located in the front area of your shoulders.
The medial deltoid is the middle region of your shoulder muscles. These muscles are sometimes also referred to as the lateral deltoid. Finally, you have the muscles that are located at the rear area of your shoulders – these are referred to as the posterior deltoid.
Now, to build up your muscle mass in your shoulders, you will need to focus on more than just the shoulder area. In fact, the exercises and techniques that need to be included should rather focus on your entire upper body – and not just your shoulders alone.
This means focusing on your arms, your shoulders, your chest, and your back muscles. At the same time, you should consider what results you expect from your abdomen – would you like to maintain a lean abdomen or rather work on your six-pack?
These Exercises Will Add Mass And Size To Your Shoulders
Exercise will be your main priority when it comes to learning how to get broad shoulders. If you have been working on a weight gain program for a while, you will most likely already have some of the most useful exercises already included in your program.
Now is the time to take a closer look at what you are doing and the specific modifications you can make to focus more on your upper body.
As we have noted previously, to build broad shoulders, you will focus on more muscle groups than just those that are located in your shoulder region.
This will give you a more defined appearance – instead of pumping up your shoulders, while leaving your arms, chest, and back at a disproportion.
Before we take a closer look at the best exercises that will help to broaden your shoulders, we would first like to share a few tips to help you get the most out of your program:
- If you already have a workout program that you are taking advantage of, try to incorporate these shoulder-based exercises into your existing routine. You could choose to do some of these on your rest days – but only if you do allow yourself an adequate number of rest days with your current program. You could also simply find a gap to include them on your current workout days too.
- Try to limit how much you participate in these exercises, as you do not want to overwork your shoulder muscles. Consider doing these shoulder exercises about three times every week – and give yourself one day off from these activities between each session.
- Do not push yourself too quickly or too soon. Start out with lighter weights and then gradually increase the intensity of your shoulder workouts. This will help to reduce the risk of injuries the muscles in your shoulders, chest, and arms. You can also gradually increase the duration of these exercises as you become more acquainted with the activities.
Now that we considered some useful tips to help you improve your results let’s take a closer look at the exercises that will help to make your shoulders broader.
Overhead Shoulder Press
We will start with a relatively simple one – the overhead shoulder press. This is actually a highly effective option for increasing arm and shoulder strength. Using the right strategy, this could also be a valuable way of increasing the broadness of your shoulders too.
You will need to use a barbell to perform the overhead shoulder press. Alternatively, get your hands on a set of dumbbells. You do not want to add too much weight at the beginning – rather start out small and then work your way up to a higher weight limit.
A basic set, such as the AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Pairs and Sets, would be perfect for helping you get started.
For a more feature-rich option, consider the CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack. This one comes with everything you need to do the overhead shoulder press – and the weights can be used for a large number of other exercises too.
For good results, try to do two to three sets in a session. Perform a minimum of five reps per set. You can try to push yourself, but do consider limiting yourself to eight reps per set. If you can do more, it might be time to consider increasing the weight.
Pull-ups also offer an excellent way of improving your shoulder strength and width. Additionally, when you perform pull-ups, you will also be working on other muscle groups – these primarily include your chest and arms, as well as the muscles located in your upper back area.
If you have a membership at a gym, then pull up bars will be readily available. You can push yourself to see how many reps you can do per set, but do not go overboard.
Take a rest period between different sets – it is better to do multiple sets than just a single session with too many reps.
It is possible to do pull-ups at home too – you simply need an appropriate pull-up bar. These bars are usually installed at the opening of a door. Most pull up bars are easy to install – just make sure the one you buy is sturdy and will not break while you are busy doing a pull-up.
The Handsonic Pull Up Bar is a great option to consider. While the price of this one might be higher than some alternative options you will find, it does come with sturdy construction, and the material used is more durable than a number of the competitor pull up bars on the market.
Dumbbell Front Raise
The dumbbell front raise might seem like a relatively straightforward activity, but this one also holds the potential to help you get broader shoulders.
When you do decide to implement some dumbbell front raises into your workout program, be sure to follow the appropriate instructions – and that includes keeping your torso still and motionless during the entire exercise.
You need to ensure you start out with lower weights to help avoid injury. As your shoulders and arm muscles become stronger, you can gradually start to increase the weight of the dumbbells you are using.
This exercise tends to work best with dumbbells due to the specific motion of your hands and arms.
With dumbbell front raises, you can push yourself to do about 20 reps at a time. After every 20th rep, consider taking a short resting period before you continue to the next set. For best results, do up to three sets per session.
The next exercise is not something that you will always be able to do at home, as you may require some special equipment. Still, face pulls would definitely be another excellent addition to a workout program that focuses on increasing your shoulder broadness.
Face pulls involve the use of a rope attachment. The height of the rope attachment should be set at about the same level as your upper chest region.
An overhand grip is used in order to hold onto the rope – while holding on, step back in order to create tension between you and the rope.
You need to create a slight bend when performing face pulls. Your elbows should flare out with every movement – but remain in a parallel position to the ground.
The rope is then pulled toward your face – the position is held for a short moment, and then released back.
The reason why face pulls offer such an excellent activity for building more width in your shoulders is that the activity works on your deltoids directly.
While the primary deltoid affected by the exercise would be the ones located at the back of your shoulder, the exercise will target the other deltoids and muscle groups in your upper body too.
If you do want to try face pulls at home, considering getting your hands on something like the Original Stretch Out Strap.
This type of rope is perfect for creating the tension needed during this activity.
Studies show that men find broader shoulders as an ideal way of showing off their strength and masculinity.
Additionally, women also seem to find men with broader shoulders more attractive. Keeping this in mind, increasing the size of your shoulders as a skinny guy is easier said than done.
This does not mean it is impossible, however. Consider the tips we shared in this post to help you gain in terms of mass, size, and broadness in the area of your shoulders.