Man / woman difference: an observation!
It must be admitted, women are more flexible than men! Doing the splits, for example, requires less effort and this natural flexibility allows them to more easily practice sports such as gymnastics, skating or yoga that require large amplitudes of movement, not to mention their ability to play contortionists. even when it comes to cleaning the house with storage tips like these . Finally Gentlemen, if you have little time to work on your flexibility, you now have a good reason to clean up! 😉
But then, why are women naturally more flexible than men? The main reasons for the greater elasticity of tissues in women are on the one hand their morphology, but also female hormones, estrogen, which relax the ligaments.
Estrogen, a major asset!
When we talk about flexibility, it is above all about the flexibility of ligaments and fibrous tissues . Water represents 2/3 of the weight of a ligament (the rest is made up of sugars and proteins). However, female hormones, estrogen, promote water retention, which further relaxes the ligaments. This phenomenon is often compared to a wet sponge which is more malleable than a dry sponge. The less dense the fabric, the more elastic it is.
This elasticity is also accentuated when the natural level of estrogen increases, namely during menstrual cycles and pregnancy . It is for this reason that some East German coaches were accused in the 60s and 70s of forcing their gymnasts to get pregnant before having an abortion in order to increase their performance.
The evolution of the female body ...
Certainly, women have a larger pelvis than men , which not only allows them to have a large range of motion in the legs, but also the ability to give birth.
A scientific study led by Dr Katherine Whit come of Harvard University has shown that women's bodies have evolved since prehistoric times, based on the observation of pregnant women but also on fossils and female chimpanzees. The overload caused by pregnancy is such that their spine can bend 60 degrees to counterbalance the weight of the baby and allow them to stay upright.
This sub-pelvic muscle flexibility is only possible in women because this curvature in the lumbar region is based on three vertebrae - while men only have two at this level. This development was necessary in order to support the weight of pregnancy and childbirth in more difficult conditions than today.
Less muscular but more flexible!
The low density of muscle tissue due to the higher estrogen level in a woman is actually a plus! Indeed, this gives them a better capacity of stretching and elasticity , which constitutes a factor of flexibility.
In addition, since the percentage of fat is higher in women than in men, the joints are looser . Less muscle and more fat guarantee women more flexibility, something to make happy people!