How to slim down shoulders

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have a fear of baring your shoulders because you think they're too broad or big, there are a number of ways you can physically and optically slim them down. Through diet and exercise you can lose fat in your shoulders and build muscle, while certain clothing can minimise their appearance. Learn some methods for slimming down shoulders so you can stop worrying about yours.

Begin a cardio regime. Cardio, such as biking, running, swimming or using machines like the elliptical, can help lose fat in all areas of your body. If you have big shoulders with some fat, starting cardio is the first step. Plan to do 30 to 45 minutes, three to four times a week, to kick-start weight loss and shrink those shoulders.

Weight train two to three times a week with exercises focused on the shoulders. This is essential to lose fat in the area. A simple exercise is to hold a 5- or 10-pound weight in each hand and lift your shoulders up to your ears, then slowly release. Do this 15 times, then rest for a minute and repeat another 15 times. Slowly build up weights and repetitions, but remember you may build more muscle than you want and have large shoulder muscles.

Do daily push-ups. This will also burn fat and build muscle in the shoulders and arms. Do at least 10 a day and work up to 30 a day. If you need to, begin doing them on your knees and work your way to a full push-up as your strength increases.

Eat a healthy diet low in fatty or processed foods. Stick with veggies, fruits and lean proteins like chicken, beef or fish. Fibre is also important, which you can get from healthy whole wheat breads and pastas. Also drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily for food digestion and your overall health.

Wear dark colours, which slim any area of your body. To slim down your shoulders stick with black, navy blue, dark red or other darkly coloured tops. Dark prints will work too.

Wear dropped sleeves, in which the shoulder seam is lower on the sleeve than traditional sleeves. These kinds of cuts mask larger shoulders. Avoid garments with thin spaghetti straps or halter cuts if you are trying to minimise shoulders.

Wear V-necks or draped neck tops. Avoid boat neck or square neck tops; the wider cuts in the collar showcases the shoulders instead of minimises them.

Do not wear shoulder pads, as these will add bulk to your shoulders. Also avoid jackets and shirts with stiff sleeves, as this creates a box shape and emphasises large shoulders.


Talk to your physician or nutritionist when starting any new health regime.

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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.