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  1. #1
    Registered User Anonybrit's Avatar
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    Widening shoulders

    Anyone know of any effective exercises to give the impression of widening your shoulder width, preferably something that can be done with no equipment or dumbbells and/or a bench?
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    lateral raises and pullups/latpulldown
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    OP, can you tell us what, if any, equipment you do have available to train with? The lateral raises suggested by Andy usually are done with dumbbells.

    If you are equipmentless, moving from normal push ups to incline to handstand push ups would progressively shift from working the chest to the deltoids. Unfortunately it's predominantly front deltoid and the part that makes you look wider from the front is the outer/lateral head. It will still get hit during handstand push ups but there are other movements which emphasize it more.

    I haven't heard of pull ups doing this, I'd think they'd mostly work posterior deltoid along with lats. A great move but also not middle delt prominent.

    Here is a link to the width head: http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/DeltoidLateral.html

    If you lack DBs you could use other things for weight link milk jugs, a bag full of books, with locked arms people usually can't go very high on this movement.
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    lateral raises with jugs of water....sacks of sand.....you take your pick....sacks of sand are better IMO, because water stirs around and will make it a far harder exercise .
    If your body cannot handle it, make sure sheer willpower will.....
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    I haven't heard of pull ups doing this
    Pullups will widen your lats. Wider lats will give the illusion that you have broader shoulders.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Anonybrit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    OP, can you tell us what, if any, equipment you do have available to train with? The lateral raises suggested by Andy usually are done with dumbbells.

    If you are equipmentless, moving from normal push ups to incline to handstand push ups would progressively shift from working the chest to the deltoids. Unfortunately it's predominantly front deltoid and the part that makes you look wider from the front is the outer/lateral head. It will still get hit during handstand push ups but there are other movements which emphasize it more.

    I haven't heard of pull ups doing this, I'd think they'd mostly work posterior deltoid along with lats. A great move but also not middle delt prominent.

    Here is a link to the width head: http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/DeltoidLateral.html

    If you lack DBs you could use other things for weight link milk jugs, a bag full of books, with locked arms people usually can't go very high on this movement.
    Thanks for the replies guys!

    In terms of equipment I currently have this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pf_rd_i=468294

    and this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/York-Fitness...0519102&sr=8-1

    I regular go to the gym but looking for something I can do at home.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by ANDYMAYNE View Post
    Pullups will widen your lats. Wider lats will give the illusion that you have broader shoulders.
    Always wondered about this, are there any pics of guys with big lats and small delts so we can see? I get how it makes the waist look narrow though.
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    Originally Posted by Anonybrit View Post
    and this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/York-Fitness...0519102&sr=8-1

    I regular go to the gym but looking for something I can do at home.
    Received this product and build within half an hour, very easy to assemble and very sturdy. Is very similar to the one at my local gym. Padding is good, look forward to many years use out of this, excellent range of inclines availble too.

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    Originally Posted by Anonybrit View Post
    Anyone know of any effective exercises to give the impression of widening your shoulder width, preferably something that can be done with no equipment or dumbbells and/or a bench?
    Swimming would do it...if you have access to pool.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Anonybrit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dhyayi View Post
    Received this product and build within half an hour, very easy to assemble and very sturdy. Is very similar to the one at my local gym. Padding is good, look forward to many years use out of this, excellent range of inclines availble too.

    Yep it's a great bench, padding is just as good as anything you find in most gym, it's a little light so it can shift around but otherwise this thing is unbelievable value for money.

    Great weights too. York ftw.
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  11. #11
    ɹǝʞɔıן uıɐɹq yg7s7's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, doing heavy bench press with grip slightly wider than usual helped my shoulder get wider.
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  12. #12
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    db shoulder presses should be your focus for building up your overall delt size. also try supersetting presses with db side lateral raises
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    lateral raises two different movements when you do shoulders
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    Try to make your shoulders as wide as you possibly can. Right now... try to make one shoulder touch the wall, and the other shoulder touch the opposite wall. OK, now what muscles are you flexing?

    You should be doing a lat spread. So the muscles you need to work on should be implied, obviously. Adding mass to the delts (mainly side delts) helps to a degree of course, but most of your width comes from back development. Not solely the lats, but the entire back. The teres', the traps, the rhomboids, and so on.

    Then you can add 1/2 inch (or whatever you manage) to each of your delts. That's just the finishing touch, when it comes to 'gaining width'.
    Wow... you do realize that tensing the back is just posture right? Or are you saying gaining mass in the back tractions the clavicles and makes them grow longer?

    The distance between the shoulder joints (that the delts sit on top of) is dictated by clavicle length. They run from acromion to sternum to acromion.

    Tensing the back can align them to maximize the joint distance (so that you're not so far protracted or retracted or elevated that the joints become closer) but I'm not sure that they would actually make the joints' maximum distance grow further apart. You would seriously have to lengthen the clavicles or the ligaments connecting the sternoclavicular/acromioclavicular joints to make it possible to move the joints further apart.
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  15. #15
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    On top of delt exercises, working on your lats will push out your arms, giving the illusion that your shoulders are wide. I emphasize on both muscle group works outs. Delt and Lat exercises, that's what works for me in widening my shoulders and giving it that v-taper, etc.
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    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    I'm older now, so I don't know if my body is going to be as 'malleable' or pliable as it used to be. But if my results so far with the rib cage expansion is any indicator, my cartilage and other soft tissue is still ready to be molded.
    Sadly it was too long ago that I read it, but I recall seeing an article that said the clavicle region is one of the last skeletal areas to stop developing, and -- properly stressed -- it will continue to grow well into late 20's/early 30s. It was too long ago, when I was too young and stupid to do any follow up research on it. And I suppose now I'm too old for it to be very meaningful. Truth or bro-science?
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    Gaining mass. I know what worked for me. When I graduated from HS, age 18, my shoulder width (from the edge of one lateral delt to the other) was exactly as wide as the standard metal coat hanger. I wore 'L'-sized shirts (which fit loosely), and yeah... I basically wasn't wide at all. Today I have a 59" shoulder measurement, wear XXXL's (and they don't fit loosely, actually getting tight), and I'm at least 150% as wide as the aforementioned standard-sized hanger. It's hard enough finding selection in the 3X category, when (not if) I move into 4X, it's going to suck! Maybe I'll just wear a muscle-tanktop everywhere like the Pros.

    Anyway the main thing was building mass in the back. I made a real point to try and gain width, back in my late teens and early 20s. I was absolutely paranoid, and obsessed with it. Along with building mass, I spent quite a lot of time in 'lat spread' mode, trying to be as wide as possible. Along with my stretching regimen that I did every day (and now am getting back into). Forcing my body to get wider (via spending to much time trying to BE as wide as possible), I really think must have had some effect. Maybe it's like the rib cage expansion techniques (which I'm now experiencing to full effect... see the thread I started yesterday). If it's not that, then you tell me. How does someone gain that much width as a full-grown adult?
    That's the question to explore, basically. I don't claim to know, and I'm not saying it's all delts. Regardless of how big your back gets, or how you pose, the acromion (your shoulder bone) can not move further apart than the clavicle lets it, short of dislocating from the clavicle or if you're one of those guys born without clavicles (I saw vids of him on YT before but can not find). Now, clavicle-less guy could potentially move his shoulder blades further apart, but he would have to be constantly flaring his lats or whatever you mean (more likely have someone pulling on his arms) to get that, because the clavicle is a strut that keeps the pecs from pulling the shoulders forward, you can see this in the video of the birth defect guy, his arms are all weird in front of him and stuff, very narrow shoulders.

    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    The bones aren't necessarily as 'fixed' as you think they are. They may not necessarily 'grow' per se, (at least not in terms of length), but I can tell you for certain that they can & will grow in mass/circumference/density, and if you really FORCE the issue, you can actually change the shape of your body. I don't actually believe it was solely "building the lats" that increased my width so much. It was all the other stuff I did at the same time... gradually molding my body into a different shape.
    Larger mass or density or circumference would not move the shoulders further apart. The clavicle or its ligaments would have to grow longer

    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    They don't call us "sculptors of flesh" for nothing, Tyciol.
    The phrase "flesh and bone" shows a distinction. Bones do remodel, but lengthening via training is one of the more controversial things namely because the traction that would be required for that would usually deform ligaments and stretch them before he bone gave out. The only way I could figure to alter that might be if you had some diet tailored to giving yourself mega-thick ligaments and osteoporosis.

    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    Now that I think about it, I think I'll go back and do all that stuff I did back then, and see if I can get even more width. I'm older now, so I don't know if my body is going to be as 'malleable' or pliable as it used to be. But if my results so far with the rib cage expansion is any indicator, my cartilage and other soft tissue is still ready to be molded.
    The main thing is just figuring out what muscle contractions would need to be done in what combinations to create a tractioning force on the ligaments.

    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    Look at this model of a skeleton:


    ^Especially all the stuff that comprises the upper back area. It really ain't much, is it? It's ALL the softer tissues (that hold you together) that you can work with, and modify over time, to eventually get an entirely different shape out of your body. The bones will adapt, like I said, by getting denser and stronger. Even noticeably thicker. Look at the hands/fingers of someone that's been lifting heavy for many years. They don't have 'lady fingers' -- far from it.
    Thicker clavicles != longer clavicles. Perhaps they can get longer, but I do not know why type of stresses would cause this and who is capable of adapting to them.

    Originally Posted by ManVsIron View Post
    But it's all those softer tissues that you can effect, with enough time and work. So don't tell me 'side lateral raises' is the only way. Because I know different, pal.
    Affecting the soft tissues doesn't matter if we're limited by the length of hard bone, this is an unavoidable factor with shoulder width.

    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    Sadly it was too long ago that I read it, but I recall seeing an article that said the clavicle region is one of the last skeletal areas to stop developing, and -- properly stressed -- it will continue to grow well into late 20's/early 30s. It was too long ago, when I was too young and stupid to do any follow up research on it. And I suppose now I'm too old for it to be very meaningful. Truth or bro-science?
    No idea, I'd ask a scientist. Some bones do seem to ossify later than others, but even if (hopefully) the clavicles can get longer, what type of training causes that to happen, and why?
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    No idea, I'd ask a scientist. Some bones do seem to ossify later than others, but even if (hopefully) the clavicles can get longer, what type of training causes that to happen, and why?
    well i took the xray of my chest and it clavicles were even more fused than ulna and radius 3 months before that

    soi dunno
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    Shoulder press -(regardless off being mainly a front delt exercise)
    Lateral Raises (Cables, DB's, Plates, Resistance bands)
    L-laterals
    Upright Rows

    Also, another exercise with a unique twist to work the lateral delts, is to do pull ups with the palms turned outwards. I came across them on the Rosstraining forum. a member called Justin_P came up with the idea.

    Like this:


    Just be careful it doesnt bother your shoulders. otherwise i think it could be a decent one if your short of options.
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