Punch Strength Study Finds Weakest Man Stronger Than The Strongest Woman

Chris Menahan
Feb. 07, 2020

A new study on punch strength from the University of Utah involving 20 men and 19 women found the weakest man was stronger than the strongest woman.

From Phys.org, Paul Gabrielsen, University of Utah, "Why males pack a powerful punch":
Elk have antlers. Rams have horns. In the animal kingdom, males develop specialized weapons for competition when winning a fight is critical. Humans do too, according to new research from the University of Utah. Males' upper bodies are built for more powerful punches than females', says the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, suggesting that fighting may have long been a part of our evolutionary history.

[...] [R]esearchers rigged up a hand crank that would mimic the motions of a punch. They also measured participants' strength in pulling a line forward over their head, akin to the motion of throwing a spear. This tested an alternative hypothesis that males' upper body strength may have developed for the purpose of throwing or spear hunting.

Twenty men and 19 women participated. "We had them fill out an activity questionnaire," Morris says, "and they had to score in the 'active' range. So, we weren't getting couch potatoes, we were getting people that were very fit and active."

But even with roughly uniform levels of fitness, the males' average power during a punching motion was 162% greater than females', with the least-powerful man still stronger than the most powerful woman. Such a distinction between genders, Carrier says, develops with time and with purpose.
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