Tangles of female bodies
Manifestation of flexibility of a female body in wrestling collisions
Photo by Daniella Hobeika. Amateur Wrestling Photos
Flexibility and range of motion in women vs. men, or why women's wrestling is more aesthetic than men's wrestling.
Sailor's knot. Artwork by Dmitry Bilyk
Women’s bodies are much more flexible than men's to allow women to carry and eventually hold a baby. This is caused in part by the hormone estrogen, which promotes the lengthening of bones, muscles and tendons. A woman's body has evolved in order to help a woman survive pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body undergoes major changes to accommodate the baby, and these changes influence a woman’s posture.
A woman gets her additional flexibility from structural differences in her lower spine: the curvature of a woman's spine is spread across three vertebrae (spinal bones), while the curvature of a man's spine spans just two vertebrae. The increased flexibility also allows the expectant mother to maintain her normal activities through her pregnancy. It allows her to lean back and adjust the fetus position which helps her she shifts her own center of gravity and this positively impacts her stability.
Muscle mass also has an impact on flexibility. Because men typically have more muscle mass than women, they are less flexible.
Male and female hormones and their effect on bone structure and reproduction are the main factors that create differentiation in flexibility. While the typical male form is generally larger than the female form, muscle strength and the pliability of tendons and ligaments is often a case of relativity. All of these factors take precedence when determining the differences in male and female range of motion.
Differences in male and female range of motion in the loins — the area between diaphragm and pelvis — regions are greatly determined by age. As children, females generally have more lumbar flexibility than males until the age of nine when males catch up. Range of motion equality generally ends between ages 18 and 35 as males develop more lumbar extension than females and females more lateral flexion, or sideways movement of the spine.
So, better flexibility of young woman's body in compare to men's flexibility is one of the main reasons why women's wrestling is a great show of plasticity, balance, beauty and passion.