Are women physically weak than men

How man and woman differ in physique

Last change:
Last edited by Till von Bracht • Medical editor

Our content is based on well-founded scientific sources that reflect the currently recognized state of medical knowledge. We work closely with medical experts.

Learn more

Olympic Games 1984: American marathon runner Joan Benoit wins gold with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 52 seconds. A historic event, because until then this discipline was only permitted for men - women were considered too weak and not physically resilient.

Today women jump, throw, box and sprint in almost all sports and nobody doubts their physical condition anymore. And yet women are at the top of the sportten to twelve percent less efficient as men. The reasons lie in subtle differences in physique and in physiology.

Why men have more strength

The world record holder in weightlifting in her class up to 63 kg body weight brings 146 kg in height. Its male counterpart is about the same body weight and pushes 37 kilograms more towards the sky.

One reason for such differences in strength between the sexes is that male sex hormone testosterone. A woman's testosterone level is ten to twenty times lower than that of a man. The hormone is involved in building muscle tissue and muscle mass. It makes men's muscles bigger and wider. On average, the proportion of muscle mass in total body weight is 38 percent for men and 31 percent for women. More muscle mass means more strength.

Another reason why men can lift heavier and run faster is in the muscle cell itself: so-called work in it Mitochondriawho have favourited "power plants" of cells. A woman's muscles contain fewer mitochondria than a man's - and fewer power plants produce less energy.

Why a woman's heart sometimes beats faster

Women have smaller hearts, smaller lungs, and less blood compared to men. Smaller lungs take in less oxygen. A smaller heart pumps less blood and therefore less oxygen into the circulation per heartbeat. These biological differences mean that female muscles have less oxygen available for energy production. With the same running pace and similar physical conditions, the A woman's heart rate higher than a man's, so that enough oxygen is transported to the muscles.

Why women have wider hips

women are lighter than men, on average 14 to 18 kilograms. The reasons are not just due to the woman's lower muscle mass: yours Bones are less dense and therefore easier.

The most obvious anatomical difference between the skeleton of the man and the woman is the basin. At birth, the child has to pass the pelvis - this is why it is wider in women and the so-called pelvic ring is more circular.

Online information from the International Weightlifting Federation: (accessed: 8.1.2016)

Faller, A., Schünke, M .: The human body. Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2012

Engelhardt, M .: Sports injuries. Urban & Fischer Verlag, Munich 2006

Steffny, H., Friedmann, B., Keller, M .: Marathon training for women. Südwest Verlag, Munich 2006

Last content check:08.01.2016
Last change: 29.04.2020