So, it’s a Sunday morning, my gym kit is washing in the machine and the phone goes. You know the sort of thing – one of your gal pals rings with a question and this one was a doozy !! Seems Jo-Jo was fielding some questions in our Transgirlfitness group about shoulders – Tricky !!!
I’m going to start by taking it to the tape. (If you haven’t got one of these in your fitness kit, you really need to get one. Scales are all well and good, but they give an overall. You need to see the changes in your body !!)
Men and women are fundamentally different shapes. If you look at the pics below, you’ll see that women are typically about 70mm (3in) narrower across the shoulders than men. Although you’ll find as the effects of your hormones take place, fat will distribute around your body differently, you won’t really be able to change the proportions you are born with. Particularly later in life, it’s just a genetic thing.
BUT !!! There’s no need to be depressed !!! I’ve got news for you !!!
WOMEN COME IN ALL SHAPES AND ARE FABULOUS IN THE SKIN THEY’RE IN – NO MATTER WHAT !!!
So ladies, it’s time to make the most of what you’ve got !!
Exercise and diet
If you’re a fitness fan, you might have heard of something called “Spot training” and be tempted to hope that it can work on the shoulder area. Unfortunately, “Spot training” is a myth, you can’t direct your body to remove fat from your shoulders only. Indeed, your shoulders aren’t typically a place you store a lot of fat tissue, since they’re mainly made up of bones. Bones which have a genetically determined size, as well as connective tissue and muscle.
Instead, what we’re looking to lose overall weight with a low-calorie meal plan. Determine your “steady state” calorie requirements using an online calculator that takes into account your size, age and level of activity. Then, to lose weight, eat about 500 to 1,000 calories less per day, which should give you a weight loss of about 1Kg a month.
Back this low calorie diet up with regular cardiovascular exercise, but be careful with this exercise, we don’t want to build muscle mass if we have already broad shoulders. We want to TONE the area, so stay away from overdoing press-ups, barbell weights and shoulder raises. These are designed to increase muscle build up in the shoulder area, which will accentuate your inverted triangle. Do a couple of sets of light weight (about 2.5kg) and moderate reps. (no more than 5) and then move onto another area.
Depending on your goals, you can seek to change your proportions by emphasising your core and lower body, by building muscle and definition these areas. This will make you appear “straighter” from the shoulders to the hips. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, step ups and lunges to build the muscles in your legs and backside. When you fill this area out with healthy muscle mass, you create a solid physique so your shoulders don’t appear out of balance.
Dress for your shape
Your wardrobe can have a massive effect on disguising your shoulders. Wearing tops with detailing on them, or that clinch into the waist can both emphasise your should shape by drawing attention to them. Shoulder pads are a definite no-no ! (Step away from the 1980s power dress !)
Instead, what I’d recommend is breaking up the body by wearing full skirts, or even flared trousers (these help balance out the top to bottom ratio and give you a more proportionate overall look) Another good tip is to go for tops with wider straps, or V necks, which can draw the attention away from your top. Speaking to Kendra earlier, she also recommends the following handy tips !!
- Accentuate your middle using flared blouses.
- Think peplum, it cinches your waist but the flaring on the bottom balances out your shoulders
- Accessorise with a long necklace.
- Like v-neck tees, long necklaces bring the eye naturally downward
- Pair a dark top with light bottoms, creating the illusion of a narrower upper-half.
- This doesn’t have to mean sticking to black on top and white on bottom, as long as the top is darker than the bottoms, your figure will appear more balanced.
- Make sure the seam lines on your shirts and jackets actually fall on the edge of your shoulder.
- The seam lines on your shirts and jackets are made to fall on the edge of your shoulder, so if they’re anywhere closer in toward your neck, it will make your shoulders appear further extended.
- Choose tops with a diagonal cut sleeve, rather than horizontal cut.
- Horizontal sleeves add weight to your shoulders, while a diagonally cut sleeve will soften the area.
- Choose dresses and tops with an empire line.
- (Empire lines cinch under the bust line, thus drawing attention to the smaller part of your torso rather than your shoulders. Dresses that are full and flared will give additional volume to your lower half, drawing the eye downward.)
- Trick an peoples eyes down your body with skirts or trousers with lots of lovely detailing.
- Embellished skirts or patterned pants paired with a plain top will bring the attention down low instead of up top. Ruffles, pleats, beading, lace, and patterns all fit the bill on this one.
So there you have it !!! Shoulders, done !!! Would love to know what you think of this post, why not leave us a comment or pop us a message on our Facebook group ?
Madds and Kendra