Basketball Players Have Big Shoulders
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How Basketball Players Have Big Shoulders? Tips

Why do basketball players have big shoulders? What’s the reason for basketball players to possess bigger than average shoulders? To answer these questions, we need to first know what shoulder muscles are. The four main shoulder muscles include deltoids, trapezius, infraspinatus, and supraspinatus. These muscles help in lifting our arms and rotating them around our body. As basketball players regularly lift their arms when they shoot a ball or rebound it from the opponents’ side of the court, these muscles get strengthened over time and result in broader shoulders.

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How Do NBA Players Get Big Shoulders?

In basketball, the shoulder muscles are used to shoot a ball from a long distance. Doing this regularly builds bigger shoulders over time by strengthening these muscles.

The players also perform many other activities that help them build their physique such as practicing day and night for years together, taking care of diet plans, etc., which is why they end up with big muscular bodies.

Basketball Players Have Big Shoulders

The Shoulder Muscles


The deltoids are situated at the front of your shoulder and they help in lifting arms along with rotating them around. They comprise three different sections known as anterior, lateral, and posterior.


The trapezius is a flat, triangular muscle situated at the back of your shoulder. It helps in lifting and rotating arms as well as stabilizing them.


The infraspinatus is situated below the trapezius and helps basketball players rotate their arms.


The supraspinatus is found above the infraspinatus, which together with deltoids helps basketball players lift their arms to shoot a ball or pass it on to teammates after rebounding from opponents’ side of the court.

Thus, these two muscles along with other shoulder muscles are responsible for making basketball players have big shoulders.

Now that we know about the muscles involved in basketball players having big shoulders, let’s look into some tips on how to attain such a physique.

Exercises for Your Shoulders

People often wish they had a muscular upper body like that of a basketball player’s physique but find it hard to attain such a weighty look due to lack of time in the schedule as well as fitness motivation at times. But if you want bigger shoulders too, then here are some exercises that might help you out;

Shoulder Press

One of the best exercises for basketball players’ shoulders is the shoulder press. This exercise helps in strengthening all the four muscles involved in the shoulder region. You can do this by using a weight bench or even dumbbells to perform the presses.

Lateral Raises

Another great exercise for basketball players’ shoulders is the lateral raise. This involves lifting weights sideways and targets your deltoids specifically. You can do this by using dumbbells or a barbell. Firstly, you need to lift the weights from your knees and slowly raise them to shoulder level before lowering them back down.

Basketball Players Have Big Shoulders

Upright Row

The third exercise you could do is an upright row which also works on your trapezius muscles quite well. This is a perfect exercise to do to get a basketball player’s shoulders. You can use dumbbells or even barbells for this one too. Start with a lightweight and then gradually increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

Shoulder Shrugs

One can also perform shoulder shrugs which are beneficial for working on the trapezius muscle. This exercise is done by lifting your shoulders as high as you can and then releasing them back to the starting position. You can use either a weight bench or dumbbells for this exercise.

Rear Delt Flyes

Finally, rear delt flyes are great for working on the rear deltoid muscles. You first need to set up a bench in an incline position and then lie down on it while holding two dumbbells. Now, slowly raise the weights towards your chest and hold for a second before lowering them back to the starting position.

Overview of Exercises

There are many other basketball players’ workout exercises that can help in strengthening deltoids, trapezius, infraspinatus as well as the supraspinatus.

All these exercises should be done with caution though as incorrect form might lead to injuries. So, it’s always better to get professional help while starting with any new workout

Basketball Players Have Big Shoulders

Tips On Getting The Basketball Players’ Shoulders

Do weight training exercises that focus on these muscles groups such as lateral raises, front raises, bent over rows, etc. This will help you build bigger shoulders over time.

  • Use machines such as seated press and military press at the gym to isolate these muscles and achieve better results.
  • Take up basketball if you haven’t already and practice regularly.
  • Practice shooting basketball balls from a long distance every day for stronger deltoids.
  • Take care of your diet by eating food items that are rich in proteins and healthy fats such as eggs, fish, and nuts.
  • Perform basketball workouts with a partner to strengthen the trapezius muscles and gain an upper hand over others at basketball games.
  • Improve your flexibility by stretching out your shoulders for better results in every workout session you perform.
  • Practice shooting basketballs from various angles including underhand shots which help in strengthening the infraspinatus muscle of the shoulder area as well as supraspinatus muscle located above it along with deltoids and trapezius muscles.

These are some simple tips that can make basketball players’ big shoulders appear even bigger than they are! Through these steps, not only will one be able to attain those broad muscular shoulders but also improve their performance.

Biggest, and Broadest Shoulders in the NBA

Dwight Howard is often recognized as the basketball player having the biggest shoulders in the NBA. This is due to his tremendous dedication to weight training and basketball practice. The former 3-time Defensive Player of the Year’s shoulder measurements are measured at 36 inches wide.

He currently plays center for the Los Angeles Lakers, and more recently closely missed out on the best 75 basketball players of the NBA list.

2021 NBA Finals MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo has also become famous for his broad shoulders recently due to his improved physique which has been attributed by many experts to weight training.

His bodybuilding exercises involve a lot of focus on trapezius muscles combined with squats and bench presses along with other workouts such as dips or pull-ups etc. This helps him stay fit while performing strenuous basketball games throughout an 82-game season. No wonder they call him “The Greek Freak”.


In conclusion, basketball players have big shoulders because of the regular use of their shoulder muscles when shooting or rebounding balls. You too can build such a physique by including some simple exercises into your daily routine. Go get those broad shoulders now!

We hope you enjoyed this blog post on basketball players’ big shoulders. Be sure to check back soon for more exciting posts on the topic of basketball!

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