Wide clavicles are a highly underrated aspect of physique. It’s a highly masculine trait that has a profound impact on your attractiveness and how hard you have to work in the gym. Genetics and the environment determine whether an individual will have wide clavicles or not. Luckily there are potential treatment options and ways to get wide clavicles.
Wide clavicles give you an impressive frame even at low levels of muscularity. Surgical procedures to widen the clavicles include bone lengthening, fat injection, and implants. Non-surgical procedures use resistance training to improve the thickness of the clavicle.
Surgical procedures are for more extreme cases such as congenital deformations, whereas non-surgical methods work across the board.
I will discuss the different non-surgical methods to get broader shoulders, which includes weight training, as well as talk about surgical procedures.
How to Get Wide Clavicles?
Some methods for getting wider clavicles change the bone structure itself such as surgery and bone lengthening. However, others only change the size of the relevant muscle groups.
Surgery and Non-weight training methods
The two methods to lengthen the clavicles by surgical or non-weight training method are:
- Bone lengthening surgery
- Fat Injection/Implants
Bone Lengthening Surgery
There are two ways to lengthen the bone–external and internal. In external lengthening, a scaffolding apparatus is attached on the outside of the broken bone. On the other hand, internal methods use screws, wires, and pins connected to the bone and surrounding areas.
In surgical procedures for internal lengthening of the bone, the surgeon breaks the bone and adds extra material, and then they are screwed into place. This is an extreme procedure that makes sense for people who have a deformity or unusually short clavicles due to birth complications or genetics.
Another procedure to lengthen the clavicles is called bone lengthening, which is performed by fracturing the bone and slowly stretching the broken bone as it heals.
Other surgical procedures involve injecting fat into the area and using implants. These are extreme lengths to go to, however. Implants have a risk of infection and can move.
Our bones have the most potential for developing correctly as children. While it’s ill-advised for children to lift weights, as it might harm growth, children should still remain active.
The best sport for developing your clavicles is swimming. Most swimmers have a great V-taper. The arms are under constant force from the endless repetitions of strokes such as freestyle and butterfly. This doesn’t happen in other sports, and therefore swimming is one of the best things you can do to potentially increase your v-taper and shoulder width.
Cody Simpson pictured above, has an amazing frame with really wide shoulders & clavicles. He’s a swimmer.
However, bones harden as we age. Once we get into adulthood, swimming and even weight training are likely to have too small of an effect.
Though it is possible to widen the clavicles, most people use methods that only give the appearance of wider clavicles. Naturally, people prefer that method because it cannot damage anything permanently. To give an appearance of wider clavicles, you can improve the size of the deltoid (shoulder) muscles as well as reduce the width of the waist.
Prior to considering invasive procedures such as surgeries to get wider clavicles, people should try weight training as a first step. Strength training will improve your overall health as well as increase the width of your shoulders.
By weight training first, you will find out if the issue can be rectified through weight training alone. If not, then surgery or other methods may be the right way to go. Some complications can also occur as a result of surgery, which you could avoid entirely should the weight training be sufficient.
Resistance training by lifting weights is one way to increase bone density and size. The bones will naturally grow as a result of the stress put on them by weight training. This is a result of Wolff’s Law.
When the deltoids, which are the muscles of the shoulders, are more prominent, it gives the appearance of broader shoulders. Getting bigger deltoids is usually part of a whole workout routine.
However, some people’s genetics results in their shoulders growing slower than other parts of the body. In this case, people should add another set to their workout routine for the shoulders. They can also add another exercise to their training to work on this muscle group.
The most widely used and easiest weight training exercise is shoulder flies, which involves holding light weights. The hands are placed at your sides in a relaxed position. You then lift the weights out in front of you. To work the muscle group evenly, use different grips and angles.
Through weight training, the bones become thicker. It increases the clavicle’s width and the size of the deltoid muscles on the shoulder.
However, not all exercises are beneficial to increasing the width of your clavicle. You can make narrow shoulders appear worse by increasing the size of the trapezius muscles, which is the large muscle of the upper back. When the trapezius gets bigger, it makes the area just below the shoulders wider and broader. Bigger trapezius muscles make narrow shoulders appear narrower if they are worked out disproportionally to the shoulder muscles.
Keep in mind however that weight training still won’t allow you to surpass your genetic potential. If your frame is like this, you have an uphill battle:
This guy needed to work out his deltoids more, and his traps less. But even still, a limb lengthening surgery would have benefited him in the long run.
Why are wide shoulders desirable?
Wide shoulders indicate the ability to become more muscular because a bigger frame can support more muscle mass. A more muscular male is more desirable from an evolutionary perspective because a more muscular person can ward off predators, animals, and invading tribes. Being muscular means their lineage will survive to be passed on to future generations.
Wide shoulders also indicate more testosterone. A person with a narrower waist appears healthy and fit, which is also a desirable trait from an evolutionary perspective. A narrower waist also makes the shoulders look wider because of the contrast between the two.
The shoulder to waist ratio that looks the best is where the measurements equal the golden ratio of about 1.618. The golden ratio occurs in nature. It is pleasing to the human eye and makes things look more attractive.
The appearance of visible collarbones is not an indicator of health. The prominence of the clavicle is genetic, and people have varying degrees of collarbone visibility.
When a person is very skinny, all of their bones are more visible. If people are underweight, they will have more visible collarbones. Being underweight, however, is not healthy.
If you are interested to know whether you are at a healthy weight, check your BMI score or your body fat percentage. This test will inform you whether your prominent collarbones are the result of genetics or simply because you are underweight. If you’re not on the lower end of healthy body weight, visit our guide to losing weight.
For some men, slim and petite women are more desirable. The collarbone is also more visible in slender women. However, no study has been done to indicate whether a visible collarbone on a woman is more attractive. This is an interesting topic for further research.
At what age does the clavicle stop growing?
No study is currently available that indicates when the clavicle stops growing. But clavicle size is used as an indicator of age in the archaeological sciences. Bone growth rates are the same in males and females until puberty. After that, the males’ collarbones grow at a rate of nearly twice that of females of similar age. This makes them a sexually dimorphic trait. It’s worth optimizing to increase attractiveness.
Narrow clavicles can occur genetically or as a result of a deformity. There are two ways to increase the width of the clavicles–surgical and non-surgical methods. Non-surgical methods include weight training. Surgical procedures include bone lengthening, implants, or fat injection. The preferred method is to attempt to increase the width of the clavicles by increasing the density of the bones and muscle mass through weight training. Swimming is the best exercise/sport for increasing clavicle width.
Visible collarbones are considered neither healthy nor unhealthy because the size of one’s collarbone is genetic. If you are underweight, all of your bones are more visible. However, it is unhealthy to be underweight.