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Thread: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimming?

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    Very Active Member ddl's Avatar
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    Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimming?

    It's often said swimming makes your shoulders wider, perhaps breaststroke and butterfly in particular? Are there any real swimmers here who can confirm this with their personal experience?

    If true, what length of time and intensity of swimming did it take to result in such changes? I suspect this can happen only to competitive swimmers.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Fort says she gets wide shoulders from swimming.I have wide shoulders,but I have been swimming continuously since age group(59 now) so I have no idea when it happened.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member Rykno's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    I have wide shoulders, also been swimming since I was 6, now 34. I think it was noticeable when I was 11-12. but when I was 16+ it started to get hard to find dress shirts that fit. Now that I'm older and have money I special order them. the standard dress shirt has a 1 1/2 - 2" difference from the chest to the waist, I have closer to 10" difference. so when I buy a shirt to fit my neck and shoulders, it hangs over the rest of my body.

    But I think it's more noticeable in women swimmers. When I meet a former swimmer it's still obvious to me that she was a swimmer, because of her shoulders.

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    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    I have been swimming since I was 5 so I don't know if the shoulders are there because of the swimming or I swim because of my shoulders. But I have a horrible time finding shirts that fit me. I can't wear blouses (man that sounds old-fashioned).

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    Very Active Member FlyQueen's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Since coming to masters 4 years ago after only having swum a couple years of high school I have gotten much bigger shoulders - lats and other muscle groups which I cannot identify. Clothes from 4 years ago certainly don't fit. The bright side is I've gone down about 2 pant sizes ... however like Shark it's a major pain to find tops that fit.
    "I don't race to see who is the fastest, I race to see who has the most guts."

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    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Finding suits are the worst!

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    Very Active Member isobel's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Mucho! My shoulders sprung out like leaves on spring trees. I did not swim when I was younger. I found out I "bulk up" as my coach put it. I am not BIG or overweight, but lots of my shirts suddenly became sexy inasmuch as I could not buttom them without pullage.

    I was on Boston T and this BIG man sat next to me recently and was READING THE PAPER which requires extra room on his part, and I refused to move and scrunch up (I've read that women often scrunch up to let men have more room on public transportation). He said, "You have big shoulders." He was pissed at me for not scrunching up. I said, "Sorry, can't help it; I swim." He shut up. Alas he continued to read his paper and we were quite snug until he got off. Had he been cute . . .

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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Quote Originally Posted by isobel View Post
    Mucho! My shoulders sprung out like leaves on spring trees.
    Yep, massive and huge from swimming. New clothes required.

  9. #9
    Just swim. USMSarah's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Count me in. I was never petite to begin with, but my shoulders are definitely big from swimming. It's been a pain to buy dresses and shirts... it will never end. I'm huge.
    Made with real lightning!

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    Very Active Member ddl's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Oh my, all of you must be hard core swimmers! What strokes do you swim the most? Do freestyle and backstroke also make shoulders wide?

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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    When you say "wide shoulders" what do you really mean?

    Do you mean broad shoulders - with a big upper body bone structure? Perhaps a big difference between chest size and waist size?

    Or do you mean prominent deltoid muscles - the basic shoulder muscles?

    I don't think someone who doesn't have broad shoulders (skeletal structure) by the time they are 18-20 can develop them later. Your bone structure is essentially finished development by that age. Deltoid and other muscle development can occur for a long time so I think an adult who starts wimming at 30 could develop big shoulder muscles. But their chest or shoulder width won't change.
    From the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper" - "What a drag it is getting old....."

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    Very Active Member swim4me's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    I always thought it was my build not my swimming that gave me wide shoulders. However, my 19 y/o daughter, formally a swimmer now a collegiate water polo player, does not have my bone structure (hers are small, mine are medium), but she wears a size 0 pant (yes - I am jealous) and a size 6 jacket.

    (I cannot even remember being a size 6 - I was 6' tall at 12 (she has stopped at 5'7"))
    If you want a place in the sun, you have to put up with a few blisters. Abigail Van Buren

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    Very Active Member anita's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    I have the large skeletal shoulder structure from youth swimming but lost the muscle mass, even when I was lifting. I started swimming again in April and about a month ago noticed that none of my shirts fit!

    Now I'm down to t-shirts or shirts that fit my shoulders and chest but make me look pregnant.

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    People often ask me, "Jim, where DO your massively manly shoulders and other aspects of that impressive physique come from?"

    No, wait.

    People never ask me that.

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    Very Active Member swimcat's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    i had bigger lats when i lifted before i got hurt. now, my shoulders are still wide but the guns are getting smaller. clothes are a pain. size 8 to 10 shirt. 4-6 pants.

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    Very Active Member letsrace's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    We need twins. One who grew up swimming and one who did not to solve this mystery.

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    Very Active Member ddl's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Quote Originally Posted by hofffam View Post
    When you say "wide shoulders" what do you really mean?
    I read it from many sources, so it's up to whoever made that conclusion to explain I think they mean muscles, which over developed from swimming. But I doubt it could be that drastic. Could it be the other parts of the body become more slim (streamlined ) so shoulders look wider?

    In fact, what I noticed during watching the Olympics was that the necks of many swimmers were very thick, some having the same width as their heads.

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    It's almost impossible to have a neck as wide as your head without either one of two other conditions:

    1) microcephaly
    2) steroids

  19. #19
    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    It's almost impossible to have a neck as wide as your head without either one of two other conditions:

    1) microcephaly
    2) steroids
    I have not recently been accused of either of those conditions, but often was asked if I played football in college. I have a 19 inch neck to go with the big shoulders. Even XXL shirts have to be worn with the necks open.

    I believe that the activity of swimming accelerates the definition and growth of the muscle groups around the shoulders to give them the appearance of being broadened. If we were to stop swimming or any related exercise, the shoulders would shrink down to a "normal" size and we would all look like pears.
    Release the Kraken!

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    Very Active Member isobel's Avatar
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    Re: Who have actually acquired wide shoulders due to swimmin

    Quote Originally Posted by letsrace View Post
    We need twins. One who grew up swimming and one who did not to solve this mystery.
    I did not grow up swimming.* I danced ballet and modern. I was lithe. I do not have a neck the size of my head merci a dieu. I'm sorry, but I would quit swimming if that happened to me.

    I do regular lifting for shoulder stability and I never used my arms in this way for dancing (i.e., constant resistance and constant motion through incredibly thick substance called water; sometimes called cement depending on energy level). I still believed I was lithe until I saw a picture of me holding a baby. Nope. Not lithe. Enormous arms and shoulders. My arms are truly as wide as my thighs from side view. Initially I was somewhat heartbroken. Then I accepted it and decided it meant I was strong. ALL of my shirts pull in that sexy swimmer's way now. I flaunt this. Well, not really. I can pretend it's a good look. Really I need some new shirts.

    *Oh, wait. You need twins. I don't have one. Still, once I was lithe. Now I am not.
    Last edited by isobel; October 23rd, 2008 at 11:29 PM. Reason: embarrassing grammatical errors

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