Battle Of The Sexes

Why Men Can’t Beat The Viral “Center Of Gravity” Challenge

The chances of you falling on your face are very good. But why?

Originally Published: 
A man and woman doing the center of gravity challenge from their knees and elbows.

More and more TikTok trends seem like they’re designed specifically to embarrass men. The so-called chair challenge is a prime example of men failing hilariously where women succeed (go ahead, try it.). In the latest TikTok trend, dubbed the “center of gravity challenge,” women dominate the battle of the sexes too. Men, on the other hand, end up face-planting.

The challenge is simple to do — in theory. First, get on all fours. (Don’t worry. If it’s on TikTok, it can’t be too risqué.) Next, put your elbows on the ground and prop your chin up on your hands. This is where the tricky part comes in. Quickly remove your elbows from the ground and clasp your hands behind your back.

The results are the stuff made for TikTok: Women crush the challenge without breaking a sweat. When men try the same, they can’t hold their bodies up. Their torsos collapse and they faceplant into the ground. Everyone has a laugh and the challenge goes viral.

Editor’s Note: We know you’re going to try this challenge, especially the men in the audience. If you’re trying, you should probably make your attempt over a nice, cushy pillow. If you feel the need to do it over concrete on video without practicing — well, that’s the internet fame you choose.

But why exactly is this another challenge where women reign and men fall (hard)? The reason women don’t have trouble with the center of gravity challenge is, according to the most prominent theory, that they have a lower center of gravity. On average, a woman’s center of gravity is between 8% and 15% lower than a man’s, according to an article in the academic journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling. It’s speculated that women’s lower center of gravity evolved not for the purpose of making fools out of men on the internet, but to help them stay stable while walking during pregnancy.

It’s logical reasoning, but also the reason that some people defy the odds. Not everyone is built the same. Some men may have a lower center of gravity than others. Some women won’t be able to win the center of gravity challenge, and some men will victoriously hover without faceplanting.

Not many though. There’s only one way to find out if you’re one of them.

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