Do not talk about men. I would just like to know why women have more lower body strength than they do in their upper body. Is it because women's' hips tend to be wider because of childbirth? What is the reason?

  • 1
    Related to the first question I ever answer on here, but arguably not a duplicate... fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/29642/…
    – Dark Hippo
    Nov 21, 2019 at 9:17
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    "Do not talk about men." Without a comparison with men the question makes very little sense.
    – Paul K
    Nov 21, 2019 at 12:07
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    In my experience, everyone has a greater lower body strength than upper body strength. Unless you've purposely set out to change that.
    – C. Lange
    Nov 21, 2019 at 20:23
  • Yes please clarify your question. I think it should be: why is the squat/benchpress ratio larger for women than men? Dark Hippo has already shown that it is so, but the question remains; why?
    – Andy
    Dec 7, 2019 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


I cannot find anywhere where there is research showing women have a stronger lower body than upper body. strength is hard to define when comparing it in general. How would one define the strength level of a group of muscles compared to multiple muscle groups(shoulders, chest, back, arms)?

If you want to look at it from a stereotype.... generally women will workout their legs more to have nice legs and a nice butt.. while some think that doing bench presses, etc will make them somehow look like arnold Schwarzenegger. this is more misinformation though and doesnt apply to females as a whole

  • 1
    If you go to powerlifting.sport/championships/records.html and calculate squat/bench ratio for men and women you will indeed find that this ratio is larger for women. This is similar to what Dark Hippo did in his answer further up on the page.
    – Andy
    Dec 6, 2019 at 16:27
  • That's my point.. you cannot dictate the strength ratio of two different muscle groups and say one is stronger based off PR's. Leg muscles are bigger and capable of more.. that doesnt mean they have more neural connections or muscle fibers per inch as opposed to upper body muscles.Women have more type I muscles than type 2, and have more endurance than raw power.This doesnt mean they are less strong than men. plus user's question was solely regarding women, not men. Several health and medical articles mention that you cannot use raw PR numbers to dictate an abstract science as strength
    – user32213
    Dec 7, 2019 at 3:07
  • Yes leg muscles are bigger and ... stronger! Physical strength is usually defined as a measure of the ability to excert force, not number of neural connections or muscle fibers per inch. Please refer to one of these articles that states that you cannot use "raw" PR numbers to measure strength. How should these "raw" PR numbers be prepared?
    – Andy
    Dec 7, 2019 at 12:14

I ignore the first sentence of your question because it does not make any sense to me in this context (correct me, if I am wrong).

It is quite an interesting question, however, you should back it up with some evidence in the first place. Now, according to the old study (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00235103):

The greater gender difference in upper body strength can probably be attributed to the fact that women tend to have a lower proportion of their lean tissue distributed in the upper body. It is difficult to determine the extent to which the larger fibers in men represent a true biological difference rather than a difference in physical activity, but these data suggest that it is largely an innate gender difference.

Answer to your questions was unclear about 30 years ago. And I do not know about any newer theory. But your question seems to be valid at least.

I know this answer is not helping much, so if anyone provides better information, I would gladly delete this answer.

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