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How wide are 50 inch shoulders?

How wide are 50 inch shoulders?

If you have 50 inch shoulders, then you definitely have an above average shoulder circumference for men in general population terms. But just how wide are 50″ shoulders? And are 50 in shoulders common for men who lift weights?

That’s the topic of this article. Using published anthropometric research and our own measurement data, I’ll explain how broad 50 inch shoulders really are for an adult male.

See How Your Shoulders Compare:

How wide are 50 inch shoulders?

A man showing his wide 50 inch shoulders

Are 50 inch shoulders wide? Yes, based on all of the data that I’ve examined, 50 inch shoulders are definitely wide for a man. Specifically, 50″ shoulders are around 4 inches broader than average for an adult male. [1]

So, if you have a 50 inch shoulder circumference, then you can definitely say that you have broad shoulders. But as you’ve probably guessed, it’s not just the number on the tape measure that affects how your shoulders look.

It’s fair to say that no pair of 50 inch shoulders is complete without a much smaller waist. Indeed, the smaller your waist is in relation to your 50″ shoulders, the wider your shoulders will look. In other words, you’ll have a better v-taper, which is the hallmark of any masculine physique.

Even for someone who lifts weights, 50 in shoulders are still pretty broad because you either need long clavicles or a lot of muscle mass to get your shoulders to the 50-inch mark.

Is it good to have broad 50 inch shoulders?

A muscular man showing his broad 50 inch shoulders

Having broad 50 inch shoulders is good in the sense that it likely means having a prominent v-taper and thus an aesthetic physique. The better question is this: Are 50 inch shoulders broad given your genetics?

For example, if you have a fairly average frame but have managed to build 50 inch shoulders, then that’s very impressive indeed—you probably have well-developed deltoids and upper back muscles.

On the other hand, if you’re carrying a lot of excess body fat on a larger-than-average frame, then your 50″ shoulders won’t look as impressive because most of your size comes from bone and fat as opposed to muscle mass.

So, in the vast majority of cases, 50 in shoulders are impressive because most people will require years of weight lifting experience to get shoulders that wide. Indeed, some people can train their entire lives and never have 50 inch shoulders.

So, in summary, while some people do have shoulders that exceed 50 inches in circumference, most natural lifters don’t. As such, if you have a 50 inch shoulder measurement, then you should be very satisfied with that.

What do 50 inch shoulders look like?

A man showing what 50 inch shoulders look like

As mentioned, your body composition is the main determinant of how your 50 inch shoulders actually look—lean and muscular 50″ shoulders will always look bigger and broader than fat and saggy 50″ shoulders.

But there’s one other factor that most people don’t consider, and that’s frame size (specifically clavicle length).

Let’s take two guys with 50 inch shoulders; one jacked and one skinny. I’d rather be the skinny guy. Why?

Because the skinny guy obviously has longer clavicles than the muscular man (otherwise, he wouldn’t have 50 in shoulders). When you have wide clavicles, you have a better genetic potential to build deltoid and upper back muscle mass, meaning that you can also build wider shoulders in absolute terms.

This isn’t to say, of course, that people with muscular 50 inch shoulders are narrow. Indeed, the opposite is most likely true; people with 50 inch shoulders generally have them due to a combination of longer-than-average clavicles and a filled-out, muscular frame.

Is it realistic to expand your 50″ shoulders?

A man doing an overhead press

Although it’s possible to expand your 50″ shoulders given a large enough frame and enough time and effort in the gym, not everyone has the genetics to surpass their 50 inch shoulder measurement.

For example, if you’re a bodybuilder with a relatively narrow frame, then you might have already worked really hard just to get into the 50 inch club. So it might not be realistic to gain a significant amount of extra size without getting fat (which would detract from your v-taper).

Of course, some individuals obviously do have the genetics to expand their shoulders past the 50-inch mark. In this case, adding mass to your deltoids, lats, and traps is the way to go.

Movements like lat pulldowns, cable rows, and pull-ups—just to name a few—can significantly broaden your back when performed heavily and with a good mind-muscle connection.

In a similar way, performing plenty of lateral raises, shoulder presses, front raises, face pulls, and rear delt flys will widen your shoulders and accentuate your v-taper.

Obviously, eating in a calorie surplus and getting plenty of protein is crucial for maximizing your shoulder circumference gains. This is especially true if you’ve already got a lot of size on your frame; you really do need to give your body a potent growth stimulus when you’re nearing your genetic potential.

Conclusion: How good are 50 inch shoulders for a natural lifter?

A man with a 50 inch shoulder circumference

For a natural lifter, 50 inch shoulders are very good because virtually every gym-goer with 50″ shoulders has a lot of muscle on their frame.

Of course, if you do some reading online, then you might fool yourself into believing that 50 in shoulders are much more common than they actually are (people tend to only share their measurements when they’re well above average).

But in reality, 50 inch shoulders are actually quite rare because they require either a large frame and/or a substantial amount of muscle mass. So if you’ve got tape-measure-verified 50″ shoulders, then you should be very proud of what you’ve achieved.


  1. Mitchell, K. B., Choi, H. J., & Garlie, T. N. (2017). Anthropometry And Range Of Motion Of The Encumbered Soldier. U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.