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How to Increase Shoulder Width and Breadth in Men

author image Grey Evans
Grey Evans began writing professionally in 1985. Her work has been published in "Metabolics" and the "Journal of Nutrition." Gibbs holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from Ohio State University and an M.S. in physical therapy from New York University. She has worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and currently develops comprehensive nutritional and rehabilitative programs for a neurological team.
How to Increase Shoulder Width and Breadth in Men
A man lifting dumbbells on a bench at the gym. Photo Credit: Ancika/iStock/Getty Images

Powerful shoulders provide strength and remain a key component of a complete physique. While not every man can have the shoulders of a comic book superhero, heavy overhead pressing and strong lateral work can add to the strength and width of your shoulders. Performing a few exercises with heavy weight and good technique adds muscle and reduces your risk of shoulder injuries. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any strength training program.

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Step 1

Press a heavy barbell from your shoulders to arms-length overhead. Lower the bar under control. Perform the military press for three to five sets of five to eight repetitions. If you need to lean back or leg-kick the bar up into position, lower the weight and use the power of your shoulders.

Step 2

Hold dumbbells with your arms straight down and your palms facing in. Work your lateral deltoids, or the middle of your shoulders, by raising your arms until they are parallel to the ground, holding for a count of one, then lower under control. Perform lateral raises for three to five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

Step 3

Hold dumbbells and sit on the edge of an exercise bench. Lean forward to rest your chest on your thighs. Perform bent-over lateral raises by raising your arms outward in somewhat of a backward hug, working the back of your shoulders. Perform bent-over laterals for three to five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

Step 4

Hold heavy dumbbells down at your sides with your palms facing in. Shrug your shoulders up without bending your elbows. Pause at the top for a one count, then lower your shoulders and the dumbbells. Perform shoulder shrugs for three to five sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

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  • Strength Training Anatomy, Third Edition; Frederic Delavier
  • The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding; The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised; Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al.
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