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How broad are 42 inch shoulders? (for men and women)

Find out if your 42 inch shoulders are wide, narrow, or normal.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 15th June 2022
A slim man with 42 inch shoulders

If you're curious about whether or not 42 inch shoulders are broad, then this article is for you. You'll learn if 42″ shoulders are wide for women as well as for men so that you can see how your body stacks up.

You can also learn how to measure your shoulders (there are multiple ways) so that you can be sure of your stats.

Compare More Shoulder Sizes:

Are 42 inch shoulders wide?

A young male showing his 42 inch shoulders

Are 42 inch shoulders wide or not? It depends on your gender and height. For men, 42 inch shoulders are not wide and are, in fact, on the narrow side. The opposite, but to a lesser extent, is true for women; 42″ shoulders are a bit broader than normal for a female.

Other people who might have 42 in shoulders are growing teenagers and even young adults. After all, the clavicles can continue to lengthen until you're well into your 20s.

Anyway, your height also affects how wide your 42 inch shoulders will actually look. So if you're a woman who's quite tall, for example, then your 42″ shoulders will likely look perfectly in proportion with the rest of your body.

On the other hand, if you're short with 42 inch shoulders, then I can understand why you might be concerned that they're too broad because, in relation to your other bones, 42 in shoulders might well be quite wide.

Who typically has 42 inch shoulders?

A female showing her 42 inch shoulders

As mentioned, adult men, adult women, and growing teenagers are the three categories of people who typically have 42 inch shoulders. So you should take comfort in the fact that your 42″ shoulders are a relatively normal size that's shared with loads of other people.

Of course, many people are insecure about how their shoulders look. But as someone who's done a ton of anthropometric research, I can tell you that 42 in shoulders are far from abnormal—for men and for women.

While it's true that 42 inches is a little on the small side for men, you can always increase your measurement by lifting weights, consuming more calories, and—if your clavicles are still growing—by exercising your patience as well.

On the other hand, 42 inch shoulders are only a bit broader than normal for a woman. And like I said, there's a good chance that your shoulders are actually in proportion with the rest of your body if you're fairly tall.

Can you change the size of your 42″ shoulders?

A woman doing a shoulder press at the gym

The short answer is yes. But it depends on how much muscle mass and body fat you're carrying.

To be clear, you can't change your bone structure. But you can change the amount of soft tissue (muscle and fat) that's around your bones.

So if you wanted to shrink your 42″ shoulders, then you'd essentially need to avoid exercises like shoulder presses and pull-ups that work the areas you're trying to atrophy (to widen your shoulders, you'd do the opposite—plenty of upper body resistance training).

You can also manipulate your calorie intake in order to shrink or grow your shoulders. For example, to lose body fat, you'd need to eat fewer calories than you burn.

Just be careful that you don't harm your health while trying to change your body. You certainly don't want to make yourself underweight in an attempt to reduce your 42 in shoulders.

And anyway, losing too much fat from your upper body can actually make your shoulders stick out more, which might be the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

In conclusion: Is it okay to have 42 in shoulders?

A woman with 42 inch shoulders

It's absolutely fine to have 42 inch shoulders because it's a very healthy measurement. Sure, 42 inches is a bit broader than normal for women and a bit narrower than usual for men, but not by a whole lot.

We all have body parts that we wish looked different, but the reality is that the people we meet don't know this, so it's not like anyone is going to notice your shoulders, especially if they're covered up.

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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