# Why is it harder for women to do push ups then men?

• gillgill
In summary: It is easier to exert a small torque, or a large one? How will this apply to girls' ability to do situps? Remember, their 'd' is smaller.
gillgill
Why is it harder for women to do push ups then men?..is it something about their center of mass?

yeah, it's lower on the body than the average male

They have heavier upper bodies...:D

Woman have a lower center of mass than men. Why does this help them to do sit-ups but make it harder to do push-ups?

if the center of mass is lower, then they need a larger force to lift their body from a pushup (since the radius is larger) to generate the same amount of torque as males.

Maybe some of you hae heard this:

In high school my physics professor had a guy and a girl of average size take a chair and put it between them and a wall (standing distance). They then bowed their heads against the wall so their backs were parallel to the floor, and the chair was between them. He asked each student to pick up the chair. Only the girl could do it. none of the guys in the class could.

i'm still not sure why

gillgill said:

Set up a model where your butt is the axis of rotation, and a line coming outwards representing your body. if the CM is closer to the axis of rotation for girls, what is true about the amount of torque needed when compared to boys? Why is this?

small amount of torque is needed for girls because it is exerted at a much greater distance?

What is the equation for torque, in terms of force and distance?
Given the formula, tell me what conditions make torque small, and which make it big.

T=Fxd...small force can exert greater torque than a larger force if the small force is exerted at a greater distance of at angle close to 90 degrees from the pivot...

When were talking about how 'easy' it is to do something, does that mean we want to apply a great amount of force or small amount?

Its easy to pick up a 1lb dumbbell, but a 100lb dumbbell may not be the case, why?
Apply this concept to the torque.

T=f x d. If F is the same, and d is really small, then the torque is _______ . If d is really big, then the torque is _______ .

T=f x d. If F is the same, and d is really small, then the torque is small. If d is really big, then the torque is large.

So is it 'easier' to exert a small torque, or a large one? How will this apply to girls' ability to do situps? Remember, their 'd' is smaller.

will the girls' d be larger because their cm is lower?

gillgill said:
Why is it harder for women to do push ups then men?..is it something about their center of mass?

No it is not due to the CM. Think about a man and a woman who have the same exact distance from their feet (pivot point) to their shoulders. On the man, the center of mass is closer to the arms which results in a larger moment created by the CM which thus requires a greater force from the arms. That also means that the male has to do more work to lift (rotate) the load $$W_{NET} = \tau \theta$$.

Now consider the woman. Her CM is closer to her hips and thus closer to the pivot point (feet). This means the CM is exerting a smaller moment and thus requires a smaller force to do the movement. So, theoretically, if there were an equivilent male and female in terms of muscle development and proportions, it should be easier for the woman to do a push up.

The main reason it is tougher for women is because of the muscle groups required to do the push up. The three big ones involved are the pecs, the deltoids and the triceps. ON AVERAGE, these are larger, better developed in males. That being said, I have seen many women that kick my butt in push ups. There are a lot of factors to consider.

As far as the sit ups are concerned, the CM definitely plays a part. The female's CM is almost directly on top of the pivot point, let's say the hips. In a male, the CM is located closer to the torso, so it produces a larger opposing moment. Ab muscle development on men and women tends to be much more even between the sexes, so it is a fair assumption to make that the two could exert the same force.

gillgill said:
will the girls' d be larger because their cm is lower?

## 1. Why do women typically have a harder time doing push ups than men?

There are a few reasons why women may struggle with push ups more than men. One factor is that women generally have less upper body strength compared to men due to differences in muscle mass and hormones. Additionally, women tend to have a higher center of gravity, making it more difficult to maintain a stable position during a push up. Finally, women may have less experience with upper body exercises, leading to less muscle memory and strength in this specific movement.

## 2. Are there any exercises that can help women improve their push up ability?

Yes, there are many exercises that can help women build the necessary strength and stability for push ups. These include traditional exercises such as chest presses, tricep dips, and planks, as well as variations on push ups such as incline or kneeling push ups. Consistent practice and strength training can greatly improve a woman's push up ability.

## 3. Can women ever be as good at push ups as men?

It is important to note that not all women will have a harder time with push ups than men. It ultimately depends on individual factors such as fitness level, body composition, and training. With consistent practice and proper training, women can certainly improve their push up ability and potentially reach the same level as men.

## 4. Is it possible for women to do push ups without modifying the movement?

Yes, it is definitely possible for women to do push ups without modifying the movement. It may take longer for some women to build the necessary strength and stability, but with dedication and proper training, they can achieve a full push up. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, as proper form is crucial for avoiding injury.

## 5. Are there any benefits to women doing push ups, even if they struggle with the movement?

Absolutely! Push ups are a great full-body exercise that can improve strength, posture, and overall fitness. Even if a woman struggles with the movement at first, consistently practicing push ups can lead to improvements in upper body strength and overall fitness, which can have positive impacts on daily life and other physical activities. It is important to focus on progress and not perfection when it comes to push ups.

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