The Muscle Groups Science Says Women Find Most Attractive

Which muscles are most appealing to the fairer sex? Every woman will tell you something different. Some like nice arms and shoulders, others a sculpted set of abs and pecs.

So what does science have to say about it? Someone has to have researched this, right? This article breaks down a few recent studies on female attraction to male muscularity.

Abs and Obliques
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin polled 503 women to determine which muscles they found most attractive. Of the 5 that topped the list, 2 were core muscles: the frontal abdominals and the obliques. While one might wonder why the obliques would top the list, the research indicated that muscles that are harder to build and harder to show were the ones preferred by women, as they can indicate dedication and excellent physical fitness. Plus c’mon, they look good… and how many guys have they dated that actually had abs?

Just below the obliques and abdominals in this study were the glutes. The research showed that women tended to prefer larger gluteus muscles, again related to women’s preference for muscles that show physical fitness and are hard to build. Interesting, glutes were the only high-ranking muscle of the lower half of the body that the study reported. Takeaway? Keep doing squats, but work in some hip thrusts. Make the booty pop.

Shoulders and Biceps
Under glutes, and tied with each other on the list for their preference among women, were the shoulders and biceps. Interestingly, this set of muscles was also seen as important for attractiveness among the opinions of the male participants as well, while abs and glutes were less important in male eyes. Although inconclusive, the study suggests shoulders may particularly work to indicate strength, and biceps hunting ability. Which were important… back in the day.

The chest came in below all four of the above muscle groups in the study, but still ranked well. A research paper by Anthony Coy, Jeffrey Green and Michael Pierce published in 2014 investigated if and why women are attracted to men with broader chests and narrower hips. They found that women perceived men with wider chests and narrower hips as more physically dominant, fit, and better able to protect loved ones. Of these justifications for attraction, it was found that while the appearance of fitness mediated short-term attraction, physical dominance and protective ability mediated long-term attractiveness. What’s that mean? Cut fat when you want to start up a new relationship, then bulk up later. Looking a little less fit is OK as long as the pecs stay pumped.

A proportional physique is always beneficial to your look, and most studies suggest that women generally prefer body types that are moderately, but not excessively muscular. And, as the University of Texas study shows, don’t listen to your guy friends about which muscles women like most! Men and women seem to have different preferences for the showiest parts of their physique.

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