How to Reduce Broad Shoulders for Females: 5 Best Exercises

Most people are probably aware of the beauty standards for men and women. It is typically broad shoulders and muscular arms for men, and for women, it’s an hourglass figure with a tiny waist and large breasts. While all body types should be celebrated, many people still strive toward achieving the body goals and beauty standards mentioned above. Keep reading to see detailed tips on how to reduce broad shoulders for females.

To reduce broad shoulders, women should introduce more cardio and lower-body exercises into their workouts and perform exercises such as running, burpees, squats, lunges, and glute bridges. Women should avoid bench and shoulder presses, rowing, pull-ups, and lateral raises. 

How To Reduce Broad Shoulders For Females

Women often perform exercises that focus solely on the shoulders, making the shoulders broader and more muscular.

This article will discuss what exercises women can do to reduce broad shoulders

See the products below if you are in a hurry to see the best products to help you exercise the right body parts so your broad shoulder can become less prominent.

 

The Best Exercises to Reduce Broad Shoulders 😍

The Best Exercises to Reduce Broad Shoulders

Genetics plays a significant role in your shoulders’ bone structure and appearance.

However, there are various exercises you can do that do not target the shoulder muscles. When you don’t work a particular muscle for some time, it will reduce in size. 

To reduce broad shoulders,  focus on maintaining other body parts and implement toning training.

Doing lower body workouts to strengthen your legs may improve your upper to lower body proportions causing your shoulders to appear narrower. 

Below are the five best exercises you should do if you want to reduce broad shoulders by promoting a more proportionate figure.

These exercises are split into cardio and lower-body exercises. 

 

Cardio Exercises to Reduce Broad Shoulders

Cardio exercises typically burn lots of calories which will tone your muscle mass down and help reduce your body fat, rather than concentrating on your shoulders alone. 

 

1. Running

Running

Running long distances is a great way to burn many calories and reduce fat and muscle mass.

This cardio exercise will make your shoulders appear less broad by strengthening your lower body (legs) and core. What’s great is that it involves very little of your arms and shoulders.  

If you want to avoid building muscle in your shoulders but don’t want to lose your upper body completely, you can combine intense cardio with some resistance training to tone your muscles.

Picking up running as a primary exercise takes time; it is a long-term goal.

If you are new to running, here are some top tips:

  • Get motivated – once running becomes a habit, exercising will be more straightforward, and it won’t require as much determination to get moving if you are not in the right mindset.

Keep it regular by creating a weekly routine that sets out your goals. 

  • Find a running partner – on the days when you are not in the mood to run; it helps to have a friend to motivate you.
  • Start slowly – run slowly for about 20 minutes a few times a week. As this feels more manageable, increase your time to 30 minutes.

After some time, you can increase your running time, or perhaps even your pace. 

  • Remain flexible – if you feel tired and stiff, allow yourself to take a day or two off to rest. When you are feeling rejuvenated, go for an easy run to get back in.
  • Setting goals can help set a target for the near future. An example could be signing up to do a half marathon. This way, you will have a distance, pace, and time to work towards, allowing you to stay motivated.
  • Remember to stretch – this is an essential tip. Stretching before and after each run would be best to avoid injuries.

This video will help explain the importance of starting slowly, how to set goals, and always remaining flexible. 

 

2. Burpees

Burpee

A burpee is a full-body strengthening exercise containing four different movements, a jump, squat, plank, and pushup.

This exercise can be performed in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout and is excellent for boosting your cardio fitness as it burns lots of calories.

This exercise is highly versatile, and you can do it at home, in the office, or hotel room as it only requires your body weight and a small space.

If you are looking for more variety, you can perform a burpee with ankle weights or dumbbells in your hands. 

See below our top recommended dumbells to aid in your workouts.

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (pair)
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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (pair)
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Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell
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Here are some straightforward steps to follow to do a burpee correctly:

  • Bend your knees until you squat, keeping your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your hands on the floor just inside of your feet
  • Put your body weight on your hands, kicking your feet back until you are in a high plank position
  • Keep your body straight and do a pushup
  • Jump your feet back towards your hands and into a squat
  • Stand up, then jump in the air with your arms stretched above your head
  • Once you have landed the jump, repeat from the beginning

Do this exercise as often as possible and as quickly as possible to keep your heart and lungs working. 

The video below of Charlee Atkins demonstrating how to do a burpee will help if you need a visual explanation. 

If you are a beginner and find the standard burpee too challenging, you can skip the jump and return to the squat position after the pushup. 

You could skip the pushup if your upper body is not strong enough (although it is an excellent way to start strengthening those muscles) and hold the high plank position for a few seconds instead.

 

Lower Body Exercises to Reduce Broad Shoulders

Lower Body Exercises to Reduce Broad Shoulders

Regular workouts targeting the lower half of your body are an excellent way to maintain an equilibrium and balance between your upper and lower body. 

Exercises such as squats, lunges, and glute bridges are great for strengthening, building muscle, and adding definition to your lower body to divert attention from your shoulders. 

Dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells can be used as resistance when performing each exercise described below. The weights will help build the muscle in your buttocks, thighs, and hips. 

See below our top three recommended kettlebells to help with your workout.

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Preview
Yes4All 10-40lb Adjustable Kettlebell Weights/Kettlebell Weights Set – Cast Iron Kettlebell for HIIT and Cross Training Workouts
Product Name
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Titan Fitness 10 LB – 40 LB Adjustable Kettlebell Set, Cast Iron Plates, Strength Training
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Apex Adjustable Heavy-Duty Exercise Kettlebell Weight Set Strength Training and Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gyms APKB-5009, Grey
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1. Squats

Squats

Squat exercises can help your joints, muscles, and your posture. It is a functional exercise you can easily incorporate into strength, HIIT, or cardio training. 

Here are a couple of simple steps to follow when performing a squat:

  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly turned out
  • Keep your spine neutral with your chest open and shoulders back
  • Push your hips back and bend your knees until you are seated (ensure that your heels remain planted on the ground throughout this movement)
  • Press into your heels to get back into a standing position

This video will provide extra assistance if needed.

Try a squat jump, sumo, or Bulgarian split squat for a more advanced option.  

Try squats with a resistance band (around your thighs or ankles) or weights if you want some variations.

See below our top three resistance bands to help with your squat workouts.

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Beach Nook Resistance Loop Bands for Legs and Butt | Elastic Exercise Band Set for Women | Best Resistant Workout Loops for Booty, Glute, Leg & Thigh Exercising with Free Carrying Bag
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Material
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Resistance Bands, Exercise Workout Bands for Women and Men, 5 Set of Stretch Bands for Booty (Colorful)
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Panathletic Resistance Bands, Set of 5 Bands – 5 Different Resistance Levels, Exercise Guide, eBook, Carry Bag – 5X Booty Loop Band for Butt and Legs Women - Fitness Stretch Band for Workout Men
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2. Lunges

Lunges

Lunges are a leg strengthening exercise with many variations and techniques, allowing you to target different muscles.

Most commonly, it targets the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. 

This is a perfect injury prevention exercise (specifically the anterior cruciate ligament {ACL}), and many athletes do lunges if they go through rehabilitation or a foundational strength program. 

Follow these steps to ensure that you are doing a lunge correctly:

  • Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Step one foot forward (for a forward lunge) or backward (for a reverse lunge). The front foot should remain flat on the ground, while you should lift the heel of your rear.
  • Bend your knees to lower your body towards the floor (around 90 degrees) – your knee on the front foot should not go past your toes. Ensure that your knee does not touch the ground during this movement. Remember to keep your core engaged and back straight.
  • Push the ground with your front foot, bringing your feet back to the starting position. 

Here is the link to another helpful video that will provide further assistance if you are still unsure how to do a lunge correctly.

Variations of this exercise include lateral lunges, curtsy lunges, walking lunges, or static lunges. 

 

3. Glute Bridges

Glute Bridge

A glute or hip bridge is a great at-home exercise you can do with your body weight or a weight or resistance band.

This exercise strengthens your glutes, hamstring, and quads. 

 

Here is how you should be doing a glute bridge:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and heels near your buttocks. Place your arms straight along the side of your body.
  • Raise your hips off the floor by pushing through your heels until your body is aligned straight from knees to shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and abs while doing this movement
  • Hold for a few seconds while your hips are raised, then slowly lower them back to the starting position.

 

In this video, Charlee Atkins correctly demonstrates how to do a glute bridge (or, as she calls it, a hip raise).

Try an elevated glute bridge or a single leg extension for those looking for something more advanced. 

Each exercise above should be repeated between 8 to 20 times per set, doing 3 or 4 sets per workout.

Ideally, you should complete each exercise twice a week.

Remember to rest between each set; we suggest  1 to 2 minutes. 

 

To see more exercises to help build your shoulder the right way, check out  8 Back And Shoulder Workouts For Women At Home and 10 Best Calisthenics Shoulder Workouts.

 

Exercises to Avoid if You Want to Reduce Broad Shoulders 😑

Exercises to Avoid if You Want to Reduce Broad Shoulders

The following exercises are known for building upper body muscle, specifically in the shoulders, as they focus solely on the shoulder muscles.

Therefore, if you want to reduce broad shoulders, you should avoid doing the following exercises:

  • Bench press
  • Shoulder press
  • Rowing
  • Pull-ups
  • Lifting heavyweights
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Pushups

You should not completely stop all upper body exercises for fear of making your shoulders larger.

Exercises such as bent-over rows and flies or arm slides are perfect for keeping your back and shoulder muscles toned and will help improve your posture without bulking your frame.

Also, You can use weights (such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells) when doing lower body exercises such as squats, lunges, and step-ups, which will help tone the muscles instead of buffing them. 

You can substitute heavier weights for smaller ones and reduce repetitions or sets of each exercise. 

 

Styling Tips to Disguise Broad Shoulders πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ

Styling Tips to Disguise Broad Shoulders

Things you should do to help disguise broad shoulders:

  • Wear tops with a V-neck
  • Combine dark tops with light pants
  • Wear wide-leg pants or flowy skirts
  • Opt for oversized jackets
  • Choose thick straps over thin ones
  • Select tops with dolman sleeves
  • Wear kimono-style tops

 

Things you shouldn’t do if you have broad shoulders:

  • Don’t wear strapless tops or dresses
  • Avoid tops with puffed sleeves
  • Stay away from dresses or shirts with shoulder pads
  • Don’t wear tops with designs on the shoulder 

 

If you are a woman wanting to reduce your broad shoulders, there are three easy steps you can follow to achieve this.

The first is to avoid upper body exercises that solely target the shoulder muscles, such as bench and shoulder presses, rowing, and pushups. 

Rowing

Secondly, introduce more cardio and lower body exercises into your workout.

This activity will build muscle in your lower body while slimming down your muscle mass and fat, giving your figure a more balanced look. 

Lastly, follow some styling tips by dressing to disguise your broad shoulders.

This could include wearing V-neck tops, tops with dolman sleeves, and wide-leg pants.

You should avoid wearing strapless tops or dresses, tops with puffed sleeves, and anything with shoulder pads. 

 

Conclusion πŸ€—

best exercises you should do to reduce broad shoulders

Due to society’s beauty standards, it is understandable why women do not want to have broad shoulders.

If you feel confident, there is nothing wrong with having this feature.

We hope we have been able to cover how to reduce broad shoulders for females.

If you want slender shoulders, the five best workouts to reduce broad shoulders are running, burpees, squats, lunges, and glute bridges. 

Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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