Tricks Guys Can’t Do

There’s this trick that *supposedly* only women can do.

  1. Stand three feet away from a wall
  2. Bend over and put your head against the wall
  3. Now try to stand up while lifting a chair.

If you’re a woman, you should be able to do it successfully, but if you’re a man, you won’t be able get back up into a standing position while holding the chair. I believe it really has something to do with height, not gender. Anyone want to try this and report back?

Comments

  1. Avatar for gretchen says

    The chair should be in front of you with the back of the chair up against the wall. You should try to stand completely upright and remove your head from the wall while still holding the chair. It works best when the chair has arms and you can grab it by the arms.

  2. Avatar for gretchen says

    Hi Gretchen:

    If I stand up very straight I’m 5′ 10″. I just checked again and the real challenge is lifting the chair first, then trying to stand up. I was only able to get my heels to 32″ from the wall that way. Not 36″. If I lift the chair and stand up at the same time (actually, my head will come off the wall about half a 1/4 of a second before the chair), I can do that at 36″. My head now hurts a bit, but it was a fun exercise! I’m wondering if anyone can have the tips of their feet at 36″ and do this successfully (lift the chair first, then stand up).

    All the best,

    Andrew
    Editor, The Imaging Buffet
    http://www.imagingbuffet.com

  3. Avatar for gretchen says

    Sorry, I meant to write “my head will come off the wall about 1/4 of a second before the chair.” My brain must have been affected by this!

    All the best,

    Andrew

  4. Avatar for gretchenAnna says

    I was told that it had something to do with center of gravity. Something along the lines of men have their center of gravity in their chest and women in their hips. How true this is, I don’t know.

  5. Avatar for gretchenkydnell says

    hey sooo…i want to know..when you stand up..can you straighten your arms?…or do you leave them bent…let me know!

  6. Avatar for gretchenLoretta Harvey says

    I think it has to do with muscle mass. Guys have more muscle mass in their upper bodies, which prevents them from coming away from the wall. Girls have more muscle mass in their hips and thighs, which is already away from the wall. I can do it, my male students cannot.

  7. Avatar for gretchen says

    Muscle mass does play into it I’m sure. It fits with the “center of gravity” theory. Thanks for the input. I get lots of hits on this thread so apparently a lot of folks are trying it. :d

  8. Avatar for gretchenhyku says

    okay, like i am so far away from the wall that i am not bent over i am at like an angle. I can’t even stand up without having to push off the wall with my hands. Are you sure its exactly 3 feet thats pretty far. I am 5’7”.

  9. Avatar for gretchenTerry says

    Does it matter how far from the wall you stand on how tall you are, and do you put your forehead or the top of your head?

  10. Avatar for gretchenJerry says

    i’m a guy 6’3 1/2 tall and i can do it..my sister told me about it and got me and my brother to try it, my brother didn’t have much luck lol

  11. Avatar for gretchenkatie says

    Okay, so is this really just a big scam to make you hurt yourself?!?! I’m a nanny and one of my boys and I were trying this experiment out, and he totally fell face first into the wall! Haha haha. I mean, it’s not funny. lol

  12. Avatar for gretchenDanielle says

    We were trying this in class because someone randomly brought it up. Not sure what’s the absolutely correct way to do it, but guys shouldn’t be able to do it. The key, we concluded, had to do with the back. Girls’ backs are stronger, because it has to be for pregnancy.

  13. Avatar for gretchen says

    I’d better not try it then. My back is frail at the best of times!

    Another thing that girls can do, and boys can’t (supposedly), is this…

    Hold both arms out in front of you, palms down. Make a fist with both hands. In the left fist, hold a chopstick so that it protrudes from both sides of your fist. Insert the right end of the chopstick into the right fist.

    Now, without letting go of the chopstick, or opening either fist, separate your fists and turn them so the outside edges meet, and insert the opposite end of the chopstick into the other side of your right fist.

  14. Avatar for gretchenJennifer says

    I am 5’3 and my boyfriend is 6′. I can do it standing two feet away, three feet away I can barely get my head onto the wall and back off without the chair. At two feet, and I pull it off easily. My boyfriend however can do it at two feet easily because of his height; however, he is funny looking when he attempts it at three feet. He really tried.

  15. Avatar for gretchenAlex says

    It’s because men are generally top heavy, the majority of a mans weight is around the top of his back, chest and shoulders where as the majority of a womans weight is around her midsection and (dare i say it) bum and thighs. The whole “Girls’ backs are stronger, because it has to be for pregnancy.” im sorry to say just is’nt true.

  16. Avatar for gretchenErin says

    My fiance just tried with my mom and I and after about 20 tries he finally was able to stand up but only while on his tip toes and grunting the whole time! LOL!!!

  17. Avatar for gretchen says

    Great website! Girls (and women) CAN do anything that they set their minds to do, with the sole exception of fertilization of the human ovum.

  18. Avatar for gretchenAlissa says

    Actually, it’s because of ‘center of gravity’. Women carry ‘weight’ literally in their hips. That’s where we balance from, that’s why the bones in our legs point outward from the knee up. Men and women aren’t that different in muscle strength, etc. BUT: The different center of gravity in a woman’s hips versus a man’s upper body will make it so its a cinch for women and men can’t rebalance their upper body while holding onto the chair.

  19. Avatar for gretchenShane says

    My teacher tried this on me in high school and I was the only one who had no trouble. I am 5,10″ and she gave some long speech to us before we tried.

    The guys below and above my height failed. I guess this is macho but then again I was doing something supposedly only a woman could do so what does that make me?

    I really felt like the instructor was using a mild form of hypnotism

  20. Avatar for gretchenNikki says

    Hey, I heard that it was because there was a muscle women have that men don’t due to childbirthing.Me and my old roommate tried this with some guy friends, and nooooo, the guys could not pick it up and move away from the wall.
    They were envious!!!!!!!

  21. Avatar for gretchena man says

    i lifted the chair no problem, but i love how women have to try and find something guys cant do to make themselves feel strong. women would be hunted for sport if man didnt have a craving for them lol

  22. Avatar for gretchenmolly says

    a males center of gravity is at the chest so they are top heavy and the females center of gravity is the hips so to stand up is not difficult although i found that it was difficult for me only because my your foot should be the exact same length as your forearm. my foot is longer, so for my head to be able to touch the wall i would have to reach my head forward causing my center of gravity, the hip, to be slightly in front of my feet … this would cause nearly the same problem for a male now that my center of gravity is in front of my feet i can not lift my torso as easily… there are some men that are able to do this but normally it is not possable.. i assume that the males that can do this have larger or smaller feet… i dont know if that makes much sence but i hope it helped

  23. Avatar for gretchenadrianne says

    My brother and I tried this.. what we did was put the chair against the wall, i bent over until i could put my head against the wall and i could stand up right.. when my brother tried, He couldn’t. It was fun and ot definitely works if you do it the right way. :D

  24. Avatar for gretchenAndrew H says

    My wife and I tried this tonight.

    She was able to lift the chair and and stand up every time. She was laughing at me for not being able to do it at first. I then took one of my 50 pound dumbbells and strapped it to the belt of my pants. This lowered my center of gravity enough to where I could then lift the chair with ease. I am 5’6″, 145lbs, and in excellent shape.

    She had extreme difficulty in lifting the chair after I made her put on her tallest pair of heels!

  25. Avatar for gretchenXerik says

    I did this many times through out the years… of course being smaller ment having to be clsoer to the wall… but i found that even after lifting weights i can still lift the chair.. i think it has more to do with flexibility. As well as being able to shift your own center of balance.Being double jointed I can actually move my center of gravity around. In msot cases women are generally more flexable than men. In my case i suffer from a medical condition where my legaments are strentched farther than what they should be.

  26. Avatar for gretchenSam says

    Its cause Womens Center of gravity is towards their stomach and us guys’s center of gravity is at our chest. (I learned this from my teacher a year ago)

  27. Avatar for gretchenTerry Ferry Who's Really Hairy says

    My daughter and I tried this, she’s thirteen. I could do it, but she couldn’t. I believe it mostly has to do with height, because she’s short, about five two, and I’m much taller.

  28. Avatar for gretchenkenya says

    Hahaha, this little trick was fun and amusing to do. XD
    My bf couldn’t do it at first, but then he said once he looked at how I stood and how I balanced myself against the wall while I picked up the chair he finally knew how he did it.

  29. Avatar for gretchenvivek says

    The video explains it, unless the center of gravity falls over the toes everyone should be able to do it.The boys could do it but were made to go at a farther distance leading to their center of gravity falling over their toes and only the wall holding them upright.A girl in that position won’t be able to do it too.There is not that big of a difference in body shape and hence CG at the age of kids in the video.
    Infact the chair is just a ruse to pretend that it has something to with strength, you can hold a paper and not be able to do it or something really heavy and yet be able to do it.

  30. Avatar for gretchenrose says

    it’s a physiological thing. It has to do with the differences between how a woman’s hips rotate and how a man’s hips rotate. The point is that if you do it properly only your hips are rotating, and because a woman’s hips have a greater axis of rotation, they are able to perform this task, but men are not.

    This comes in handy on a more biological bases when it come to being pregnant, giving birth, and carrying children.

  31. Avatar for gretchenJosiah says

    I am a guy and cannot do this at all. I have been told it is because of where guys and girls carry their weight as well. Girls have a lower center of gravity and carry more weight in their hips. Guys carry their weight above the waist line. I was kind of embarrassed at first when I couldn’t do this but these younger girls could (we did it at a youth group event). But after knowing the reasoning behind it my pride has been healed

  32. Avatar for gretchenMegan says

    My 3 brothers couldn’t do but I did it!!! it was so easy :) Finally something I can do and my brothers cant.

  33. Avatar for gretchenCarl says

    Your description of all the requisites of this is so vague that as a man I can most certainly do this.

    If you want to identify it as something someone cannot do, you MUST describe ALL of the requisites to full extent and of no ambiguity.

  34. Avatar for gretchenJessica says

    In laymans terms, get a chair with a back, put the back of chair against the wall… Have fun taking turns standing 2-3 ft away from the wall while bending over (lol) you stand with feet shoulder width apart and bend far enough to touch your head to the wall over the chair. Pick up the chair(don’t hit yourself in the forehead with the back of the chair! So lift the chair with your head still on the wall, then stand up straight, I’m short and my boyfriend is tall so he can stand farther away but we can both do it at our own distance. If any woman can stand 3 ft from the wall pick up the chair then stand up she’d have to be over 6 ft tall lol have fun and make your friends try it, it’s funny…

  35. Avatar for gretchennick smith says

    its about your center of gravity, guys have a center of gravity in there chest, while girls have a COG in there waist. The extra added weight for the male makes it impossible to remove his head from the wall

  36. Avatar for gretchenbrie says

    This is dumb. all that happened is when I tried to lift the chair (I’m the girl) and I had to lift my head up first, but then I could lift the chair. My friend Ryan tried to do it and he smacked the chair into his nose and started bleeding. Don’t try this.

  37. Avatar for gretchenD.J. says

    It does not have to do with height – I am female & 6′ tall – it has to do with the way female hips are made for having children.!!!!

  38. Avatar for gretchenG says

    This has nothing to do with height and everything to do with gender. Women’s centre of gravity is in their child-bearing hips; men’s is in their spear-throwing chests. Women are therefore centred further back and closer to the ground when in this position, so they are able to complete the task.

  39. Avatar for gretchenThomas says

    I must be a girl, I can do it. The comments in this post have made me believe that I can bare children, awesome.

  40. Avatar for gretchenDanielle says

    We did this when I was in elementary school and not one of the guys could do it and I think every one of the girls could. I just tried this again with my brother and I could do it and he couldn’t :)
    -girl

  41. Avatar for gretchenSarah Freeman says

    This has to do with both the hips of a woman and also the back muscles. You have to be 90 degrees bent over to do this. If you are > 90 it is impossible. If you are <90 it's easy. For it to be a test you have to have a 90 degree angle

  42. Avatar for gretchenMM says

    The directions are wrong. Its NOT 3 ft away from a wall, its a 90 degree angle from your hip to the floor with your feet shoulder width apart. It measured by height and weight…and some men can do it and some women can’t. It doesn’t always work. I am a woman and I cannot lift the chair.

  43. Avatar for gretchenSammy says

    It does have to do with the center of mass difference in men and women. However, when a man has a COM higher in his chest, the COM of the system with him and the chair is just outside of his body. Because that COM does not lie within him, there is nothing he can do to lift the chair (without serious effort).

    For women, their COM is only shifted further up in their body when the extra weight of the chair is added.

  44. Avatar for gretchenNEKXXT says

    you’re all silly…it has very little to do with the hips, take a male skeleton, and a female skeleton…look long and hard at the curvature of the lumbar to thoracic area…let me know if you can pick out the difference…this was something taught to me almost 20 years ago, but I still remember why MOST men can’t do it, and MOST women can…it’s kind of how the 3% trick used to be, some could, some couldn’t, you just needed one key element to pull that one off…HaHaHa

  45. Avatar for gretchenNEKXXT says

    and…i am 5′ 6″ if i stand 3 linear feet from a wall, i make myself into the hypotenuse of a right triangle, there is near as makes no difference no bend at my waist….the proper way to do it is measure your feet, take the mean…the measure 3x’s that number in whatever unit you like, and perform the test…

  46. Avatar for gretchenbbgirl159 says

    ok so i had a guy and a girl be able to do this. We think that it has more to do with a persons foot size than the gender. When they lifted up they used there toes, a girl with larger feet was able to attempt this trick with no problems, while a girl with smaller feet had much more difficulty and could practicly not do this. When we had our guy friends attempt it we had the same results. Just wondering if this happend with anyone else out there???

  47. Avatar for gretchenNikki says

    Hey guys, my teacher said today that the reason why guys can’t do this and girls can is because of the differences in the pelvis. He told us to stand up against the wall with our backs to it while having a chair in front of us. Then he told us girls to try and pick up the chair without moving our feet and only bending over. We could do it fine, but the guys couldn’t. It’s only because a guy’s pelvis is set back more than ours and because we have a different “tilt” to our flared pelvises.

  48. Avatar for gretchenJason says

    It’s all a psychological thing… you were told you can’t do it therefore you think you will fail and succeed at being a failure, whereas those that were told they can do it succeeded because of the added security of being told they are a success because of what they are. Kudos to the men who proved them wrong, it shows extra will power to succeed where others told them they would fail !!

  49. Avatar for gretchenVal says

    It isnt supposed to be two or three feet away from the wall, it is supposed to be three steps (toe to heal) away from the wall. The reason a man cant do it and a woman can is because a man has bigger feet than women so that puts a man further away from the wall leaving him off balance. If the woman has big feet she wont be able to do it either, or if a man has small feet he will be able to lift the chair.

  50. Avatar for gretchenOliver says

    How can you say women have more muscle mass in the lower bodies than men? mass. yes, if you are referring to lipids (aka fats) because a woman’s body is designed for child bearing, and for “muscular hips” it’s just wider spread bones, again for child bearing. It has been scientifically proven than men have more muscle mass on both lower and upper body. Because testosterone (male hormone) is responsible for production of muscle and it occurs more in males. Studies have shown that men on average produce up to 10 times more testosterone than women, also studies show me are on average 40% stronger than women (my source may not be correct, but it still stand that most men are stronger than most women). And as for the chair challenge? I completed it easily and i’m a male. As far as height goes, i am 6″2 and i weight 83kg.

    This is pretty sad that you would even include these petty claims, and what use is this to people, especially if it is FALSE.

    In conclusion you’re statements are wrong because i completed all of them with ease. Get some data on this before you start making false claims and accusations because you never know if a person who studies Human Biology will read you’re articles.
    If you’re fighting for supremacy, you have lost in this argument. Please change you’re title to “Things some Guy’s can’t do but some girls can do”

    Regards to the people who found this false
    __________________________________________

    Oliver

  51. Avatar for gretchenTyler says

    Its nothing to do with muscle. It’s all because of breasts the female center of mass is different than a males

  52. Avatar for gretchenAlli says

    It’s because of a muscle girls have in their hips that guys don’t we did an exercise with this in our gym class all the girls could do it none of the guys could no matter their height

  53. Avatar for gretchenCarol says

    It has to do with center of gravity. While most women’s center of gravity is in the middle, hips, of their bodies, men’s center of gravity is in the upper part, shoulders, of their bodies. It’s not about strength, it’s about physics. We all know that men are stronger than women when it comes to muscle strenght. MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! Lift and stand at the same time!
    Oliver, calm down dear. There are men who can do this and women who can’t. No one is saying women or men are better than the other. The whole point is that it’s unusual that women can do something that seems to be about strength. It would be unusual. It’s just a fun party trick. It sounds like this threatens your masculinity. If you can do it, then it just means that your center of gravity is lower or your strength has compensated for your center of gravity. Either way, it’s just for fun. Relax.

  54. Avatar for gretchen says

    Anyone who does workouts that include weighted squats, deadlifts, and deadlift variants will know the importantce of shifting their hips. I have no problem with this “trick”. I’m a 6’0″ 190 lbs (~87kgs) male. I tried many different distances from the wall and never had a problem. The greater the distance, the greater the hip shift but never any difficulty.

  55. Avatar for gretchenAlexis says

    The reason guys can not do this is because girls have an extra muscle in their back. The reason they have this muscle is because of when they’re pregnant it helps them bend over easier, so they can still work.

  56. Avatar for gretchenaudrey says

    what would happen if male or female with a sex change tried this could do it? for example if a male that surgically made himself a girl tried it could he do it?

  57. Avatar for gretchenBri says

    My friend could do it and he didn’t move his feet at all. he’s really tall too. we dedicated our entire recess to doing this trick

  58. Avatar for gretchenAlex says

    Hahahahaha. Don’t know if anyone is going to read this, but the reason this is true is because men and women have different centers of gravity. For women I believe it is near the solar-plex, while for men it is in the middle of the chest. Its just funny cause I’m looking through these responses, and it’s like magic to you people. It’s called physics lol… Get off the computer and get back to high school.

  59. Avatar for gretchenJamie says

    Im a male, I can do this. It has to do with the size of your feet. Males typically have longer feet then females, however, I have 8.5 inch feet, so smaller then avg male, so Im closer, my center of gravity falls on the heels and center of my feet rather then my toes…it also has to do with the way you arch your back, most men have developed habitts in the way the pick things up, using their upper strength more and their back less. They position themselves incorrectly to complete the task. Posture is everything. Try it men, move to the same distance a female would be, arch the back with emphasis on useing the lower back and hips to lift. You will find you will most likely complete the task. Having a heavy upper body is simply a moot point given most females carry a substantial amount of weight in the form of breasts.

  60. Avatar for gretchenAmber Day says

    It does work, but it is not to do with height; Women have what physicists call a Center of Gravity (or Center of mass) low in their hips, where men have it higher in their chests. This is because women have larger and more dence pelvises for childbirth. Because of this, males fall forward more easily than females.

  61. Avatar for gretchenStoney Hardaway says

    We just tried it out and figured out what the difference is. It’s physiological. When I tried (male) I couldn’t do it. We got everyone in the bar involved until I realized what the difference was: Men want to keep their arms bent while women will simply stand up and straighten their arms in the process. I tried while straightening my arms (and fighting the urge to keep them bent) and I had no problem.

    On a side note, thank you for the excuse to watch women bend over.

    • Avatar for gretchen says

      You’re welcome, Stoney. And thank you for reducing women to nothing more than something to look at versus being the ones smart enough to straighten our arms. ;)

  62. Avatar for gretchenAdrianna says

    It has nothing to do with height. I am 5’11” and the guy who tried was only 5’3″. He wasn’t successful, at all, and did it with ease.

  63. Avatar for gretchenGail says

    I was told that it has something to do with where your center of balance is. Men’s center of balance is in their shoulders, while women’s is in their hips. This works without the chair too. Stand a few feet from a wall and bend over until your head touches the wall. Your legs should be straight up and down so that you look like a right angle. Now try to stand upright without using your arms. Women can do this but men can’t because of where the center of balance is in each.

  64. Avatar for gretchen says

    Gail almost has it. It’s not necessarily balance but it’s where a person’s center of gravity(or better – their mass) is. The height of a typical womans hips are half of her overall height (and are bigger than a mans, again this is in comparison to her own body ) putting her bodys center of mass much closer to her hips(if not in her hips themselves) and thus the point in her body that she derives her overall balance from. Because a typical mans hips are much lower in comparison to his own height his center is higher in his body.

    When a man or a woman bends over naturally, their body will shift so that their center is vertically aligned with their heels (men will stick their butt out more than a woman might) and if you watch as they are picking something up off the floor you can see their body shift back and forth constantly to keep their center perfectly balanced as they stand back up.

    The reason the chair test works that women can and men can’t is because the wall forces both men and women to keep their hips directly vertically aligned with their heels thus having no effect on the typical womans center but shifting the typical mans center to then be over the chair and not allowing him to shift his body to compensate. The chair adds weight to the persons upper body thus requiring them to rely on their balance to compensate for the extra unnatural weight. Thus when both try to stand up: the unaffected woman has no problems (does not have to bounce, bump, lift her heels, or make any kind of adjustment) because this is how her body already behaves naturally (women with smaller hips may find it to require a slight effort because her center is slightly higher but still don’t have to cheat), the man on the other hand will struggle to even move a little regardless of how strong his core is because it has nothing to do with muscles (and most men who claim they can do it are cheating because they will either try to crawl the wall with their head thus shifting their center, or bounce off it, or raise their heels, but even then it is still a severe struggle).

    I’ve seen marines try to lift the chair and put holes in walls. I will admit I have seen one man who can actually lift the chair with ease and i can attest that he did have unnaturally high and wide hips for a man.

    Here’s an article that might make more sense than I do.
    http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/education/activities/pdf/Fun_Gravity.pdf

  65. Avatar for gretchen says

    The test can also be done facing away from the wall with butt and heels touching wall and legs straight, but women won’t have as easy a time with this one because it will push their center forward a little.

  66. Avatar for gretchen says

    Also I just noticed something that will help a lot of you who are confused. There is no one exact measurable distance everyone is supposed to stand from the wall when facing it. everyone should put themselves at a distance that will keep their hips over their heels and their back as naturally flat as they can make it. this put legs and torso at a 90 degree angle with one another.

    It’s all about variables and context people. If you mess with contributing factors and shift the rules around (ie breaking them) then you will get all kinds of crazy results.

  67. Avatar for gretchenKathy says

    I’m a woman and I couldn’t do it.. My husband and brother in law also couldn’t do it, but my sister in law could.. This is really weird.. And I must say, good for a few laughs…

  68. Avatar for gretchen says

    I’m female and I can do this. It’s in relation to average difference in center of gravity between men and women. Since women in general have wider hips (to allow childbirth) their center of gravity rests lower around just underneath their navel. Men however have larger shoulders and more narrow hips because of this when they are leaning over the chair, their center of gravity is below them already whereas women’s center of gravity is more centered in their hips – allowing them to stand.

    (I’m a science blogger – sort of – you can check me out at: http://lifefortheintellectual.blogspot.com/)

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