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Are 18 inch shoulders broad for females and males?

Learn how broad your 18 inch shoulders really are.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 15th June 2022
A male with 18 inch shoulders

Are 18 inch shoulders broad, narrow, or just plain normal? It depends on 3 things: Your height, your gender, and, most importantly, how you're measuring your shoulders.

So keep reading to learn whether or not 18″ shoulders are greater than the average woman's shoulder width (and how they stack up for men as well).

Compare More Shoulder Measurements:

Are 18 inch shoulders broad for a female?

A female showing her 18 inch shoulders

Are 18 inch shoulders broad for a female? Yes, 18 inch shoulders are broader than average for a woman by around 2-3 inches. So while 18 in shoulders definitely aren't too wide for a woman, they definitely put you in the broad category as a female.

Of course, this is presuming that your shoulders are 18 inches from end to end (not just from acromion to acromion). Anyone—male or female—with an 18 inch clavicle width is very broad indeed.

But in terms of overall shoulder width, 18 inches is still a bit broader than normal for a woman and is likely an indication that you're fairly tall or just happen to have a larger than normal build for a female.

Ultimately, having 18″ shoulders is definitely nothing to worry about. After all, there are still a decent number of women out there who have shoulders that are even wider than 18 inches!

Are 18 inch shoulders broad for a male?

A man showing his broad 18 inch shoulders

Are 18 inch shoulders broad for a male? No, in most cases, 18 inch shoulders aren't broad for a male, but they are a relatively normal width for an adult man.

Again, it depends on how you're measuring. If you're measuring your clavicle width, then yes, 18 in shoulders are definitely broad. But if you're simply measuring the physical width of your shoulders, from either the front or back, then 18″ shoulders are pretty normal for a man.

If you wish that your 18 inch shoulders were wider, then you can definitely make your shoulders look broader by increasing the muscularity of your back muscles and deltoids. More on that in a minute.

How can you decrease the size of your 18 inch shoulders?

A woman using the treadmill

Knowing that many men have 18 inch shoulders, a number of women who have 18 inch shoulders themselves wish that they could decrease their measurement. But is this actually possible?

You can't change your bone structure, at least not without questionable surgical intervention, but you can alter the tissue structures around your bones.

We have a decent amount of control over the quantity of muscle mass and fat tissue around our shoulders. So if you want to slim your 18 in shoulders, then you'll need to avoid exercises that work your upper back muscles and deltoids to any significant extent.

Additionally, lowering your body weight will make it easier to shed muscle and fat. You can do this by eating in a moderate calorie deficit and increasing your activity level (walking, running, lower body exercise).

Just be wary of losing too much weight. It's possible to be skinny while having 18 inch wide shoulders due to your bone structure, so you don't want to harm your health by making yourself underweight.

How can you make your 18 inch shoulders bigger?

A muscular man doing a shoulder press

Although you can't widen your clavicles unless they're still growing, you can definitely add a lot of muscle mass to your frame, which will significantly broaden your shoulders—both in terms of perceived width and physical measurement.

While building muscular deltoids will certainly add some width to your shoulders, the upper back (lats and traps) will stretch the tape measure much further.

Thankfully, building muscle—although it requires physical effort—isn't complicated. You just need to do at least one vertical pulling exercise and one horizontal pulling exercise in your program.

So you could do pull-ups and resistance band rows (great if you're training at home).

Or you could do lat pulldowns and cable rows (ideal if you're at the gym and really want to hone in on the target muscles).

The point is that you're working the biggest muscles in your back, which, when well developed, will broaden your shoulders and give you a more imposing physique.

On the diet side of things, eating in a (moderate) calorie surplus will help you to increase your body mass and make the most of your weight training efforts.

Conclusion: Is it okay to have 18″ shoulders?

A man with 18 inch wide shoulders

Yes, it's perfectly fine to have 18 inch shoulders, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman!

Sure, 18″ shoulders aren't super broad for a man, but you can always make them wider by adding muscle mass to your frame.

And while it's true that 18 in shoulders are a bit wider than normal for a woman, your shoulders aren't extremely wide to the point where it sacrifices your femininity.

After all, we're all built differently, and we all have body parts that we're at least somewhat insecure about. So go out and enjoy your 18 inch shoulders!

James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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