Yoga News

Are Women (Naturally) Better at Backbends?

In my years of doing yoga, I’ve noticed that women have a far better time at backbends than most men. Of course, there are always exceptions, but, as a general rule, the ladies tend to be more “backbendy” while the guys tend to be more inversion and arm-balance happy.

This interesting article (thanks, Matt!) says a thing or two about why women might naturally have an easier time with backbends.

If you can’t open up the article, here’s an excerpt that gets at the main point:

“What they found, said Katherine K. Whitcome, a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard and the lead author of the paper, was evidence that evolution had produced a stronger and more flexible lower spine for women.

After studying 19 pregnant subjects, Dr. Whitcome found that the lumbar, or lower back, curve in women extends across three vertebrae, as opposed to just two in men. And the connecting points between vertebrae are relatively larger in women and shaped differently in ways that make the stack more stable and less prone to shifting or breaking.” 

-NY Times, Dec. 13, 2007 Science Supplement


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