How to Get Nice Shoulders

How to get what you want out of your shoulders

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

Ask the Get-Fit Guy: How to Get Nice Shoulders

Q. I am a female and would really like to have nice shoulders. I have found that most of the information online is geared towards men who want huge shoulders. I would like for mine to be bigger, but not manly...more like the shoulders you see on figure skating competitors. I grew up doing gymnastics, so I'm not starting from scratch--I would just like a few pointers.

A. Believe it or not, it’s not just females who want nice shoulders without the bulk. Many guys also don’t want freakishly square and huge shoulders, but rather just a nice looking “V-Shape”.

So here are three quick and dirty tips for shapely, nice-looking shoulders:

  1. Focus on posture. Many people already have nice shoulders, but the shoulders are hidden by a slouch or slump in the upper back. Exercises that involve something called “scapular retraction” are crucial for maintaining good posture – and specifically movements include such as seated rows, one arm rows, shoulder shrugs, and super-slow push-ups.

  2. Work the shoulder from all angles. Here’s a simple tip for working the many muscle angles in the shoulders for a balanced appearance: get an elastic tube with handles on both ends, stand on the tube, and perform arm raises to the front, to the side and diagonally.

  3. Tone the rest of your arms. Any shoulder will look just a bit strange if the muscles below the shoulder are underdeveloped or week. Try the exercises below to tone the backs of your arms and make your shoulders look better.

Get a Quick and Dirty Video Tip

Click here for a video demonstration of some exercises you can do to tone the back of your arms.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.