Male vs Female Muscles
Date: April 2006
I was resently told by a colleague that male and
female muscles are different. Female muscle fibers run
horizontally and male fibers run vertically. This is why female
form cellulite. Is there any evidence for this position?
Interesting question. When I read it I was
pretty sure that your colleague was mistaken,
and I still think so.
I consulted with a colleague of mine here at
my university, who is something of
an expert on anatomy and physiology. Here's
what he had to say, with some editing (and
if there are mistakes I introduced inadvertently
due to the editing they're all my fault):
No, there is no evidence for such a position.
Do all females form cellulite (deposits of fat and
fibrous connective tissue )?...... of course, the
answer is no. Women's fat lobules tend to be
larger and more rectangular than men's and their
septae run vertical to the surface of the skin
rather than diagonal ( note: we are
talking about the septae that separate the
lobules, not muscle fibers ).
Therefore, fat becomes trapped more easily in women.
Many factors are involved in forming cellulite.....
poor blood circulation, poor lymphatic flow,
changes in estrogen and progesterone, genetic factors,
eating foods with an overabundance of sugar etc.
Best, dr. topper
Your colleague is way off. The muscle fibers run the same direction
(vertically). If they ran horizontally, the muscles would not work! It is
the stretching and contracting of these fibers that make the muscles work
the way they do. Males have higher levels of the hormone testosterone,
which directly increases size and mass of muscles, vocal cords, and bones,
enhancing strength, deepening the voice, and changing the shape of the face
and skeleton. females have higher levels of the hormone estrogen which
widens the pelvis and increases the amount of body fat in hips, thighs,
buttocks, and breasts. So in conclusion, the muscles don't make the
difference between males and females, the hormones do. This is why some
athletes will elegally take testosterone medication to increase their
Not at all!
The physiology in the muscular system is equal in both
sexes and the differences existing
are due to size and limited also by the differences
that exist in the skeleton and organ in the human
In fact recent research found that:
Data suggest that the greater strength of the men was
due primarily to larger fibers. The greater gender
difference in upper body strength can probably be
attributed to the fact that women tend to have a lower
proportion of their lean tissue distributed in the
upper body. It is difficult to determine the extent to
which the larger fibers in men represent a true
biological difference rather that a difference in
physical activity, but these data suggest that it is
largely an innate gender difference.
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
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Update: June 2012