Is it really that easy for guys to carry women?

Sorry for going a bit post happy this morning. :slight_smile:

My girlfriends and I were having this discussion last week. Can the average guy carry his girlfriend/wife?

My boyfriend is about 5’10", 180, and I’m 5’6", 160 lbs. My boyfriend has carried me on multiple occasions. He carried me over the threshold when we moved in together. He’s carried me to bed. He’s carried me on the beach (super romantic!)

My best friend is getting married this fall to a guy that’s 6’2", 180 lbs. She’s about the same size and weight as I am, and she says he’s scared as hell about carrying her over the threshold. I dunno about you, but like I told her, a 6’2" almost 200 lb man shouldn’t really worry about carrying a 160 lb woman over the threshold of a house.
Is this a normal thing that guys are able to do, or is it rare?

It is easy if the women is holding on. A threshold is just a few steps.

It depends on how much she weighs and how strong he is. What I am wondering is why any guy would tell his fiancee “I am scared I won’t be able to carry you”. Is he trying to get out of the wedding?

It may depend on whether he is speaking physically or metaphorically.

He’s 6’2", 180. She’s about an inch taller than me, at 5’7", and about 165.

Carrying 160 lbs just in your arms isn’t easy. I’m not a big man and I don’t weight train, but anything over maybe 120 pounds is a challenge. (I can probably carry an 80 lb. sack of concrete for a minute or so before I need a break. 2 sacks and maybe 10 seconds.) When you carry a woman though, the weight isn’t completely on your arms. It rests at the end of your upper arm and then distributes out from there, so it’s not like a straight curl. She’s also typically putting some weight on your shoulders and neck. For a short trip over a threshold, I think he should be able to do it, but I think that the time he’d be able to do it would be limited. Of course, there are some guys that are built like Mac trucks that would carry 160 lbs. without thinking about it.

Some women say a clever guy is sexier than a strong one, so tell him to set up an elaborate system of winches and pulleys at the threshold for the purpose of propelling her into the room under his power.

That’s not enough info to be sure, but I would say: most likely no problem at all. If he can’t simply pick her up, she could jump up on his shoulder and he could get a grip on her butt. Then it won’t depend on his arm strength very much. I guess she would have to be minimally good at jumping. Can’t they just try it beforehand? Maybe she can tell him to hit the gym before the wedding.

Most able bodied men can do it at least for a little while. I am not especially strong but I can lift most grown men if I have to. When I was a teenager, we used to have “chicken fights” where you put another guy of about equal size on your shoulders and face off against another pair doing the same and then you tried to knock each other down. The pair left standing won. It was tiring but it wasn’t that hard. The guys on top usually weighed over 160 pounds. As others have noted, it is all about weight distribution and coordination of effort. There is a reason for the term “dead weight”. It is very difficult to lift almost anyone that isn’t cooperating or unconscious.

That was pretty close to what my wife and I weighed when we got married. I had no problem carrying her over the threshold.

FWIW, I’ve got mediocre upper body strength, but strong legs. I learned a long time ago how to lift and carry with my legs doing most of the work.

I’m much weaker than the average man, and I can still carry a couple of hundred well-distributed pounds. I wouldn’t want to go hiking with that load, but if we’re just talking over the threshold or into bed, it wouldn’t be a problem. With dead weight, it might be a problem, but we’re not talking dead weight.

Well, it has gotten more difficult over the years as Americans get heavier.

And I’m sure that the men’s gains were not muscle.

He should realistically have no problems at that size assuming he’s healthy - like others have said, the weight is distributed, and the “carried” will help spread or adjust the load.

Practice is a good suggestion if he’s really nervous about it.

It’s not quite 1:1 comparable, but most non gym-going guys that size should be able to deadlift (ie pick up from the ground) at least that much weight their first session, and he would have to be on the pretty far end of the bell curve for weakness for that not to be true.

A man in good shape should have no problem carrying someone his own size. I think the same would apply to women. However, the modern world allows people to go through their lives without ever having to carry heavy loads of any kind and people in reasonable physical condition may have no experience doing so. It’s not simply a matter of lifting strength. The hard part is coordination and balance. At least with someone’s arns around your neck it will be much easier than carrying a limp person or other dead weight.

It’s easy for a healthy adult male with the right technique. But if he’s never carried someone before then the pick up and weight distribution is something they should practice. Stand next to a bed, in case he needs to drop her quickly. He needs to squat slightly until his dominant arm held at a 90 degree angle from the elbow is in her mid back, below the shoulder blades. His arms need to be about a shoulder-width apart, then she can lean back across his dominant arm and take some of the weight off her legs. Then he can pivot from the hips and shoulders and do a sideways lean down towards her knees and get his other arm needs to go under her thighs, about a third of the way between the knee and the hip(closer to the knee). His hands need to bend at the wrist and he can pull towards him as he straightens his shoulders/hips and then lift with his legs. At the same time she needs to lean further back and help get her weight off the legs. She can put her arm around his shoulder/neck and help support her upper body if necessary.

Congrats to the soon to be newlyweds, and I hope this is the worst they have to deal with!


She can make it much easier for him depending on how she distributes her weight. If she’s relaxed with her weight forward, it will be harder for him to carry her (e.g. dead weight). His arms will have to do a lot of work. The easiest would be if she puts her arms around his neck and shoulders and thinks about holding her weight up. By pulling herself close and hanging from his shoulders, his arms won’t have to do much work at all. His legs can do all the work and it won’t be any problem.

If she is holding onto your shoulders (as they usually show), you’re not carrying all the weight in your arms.

When my then-boyfriend insisted in doing that (against my protestations), part of the problem he had was that he tried to go through the threshold in a completely straight line, without twisting to the sides. He managed to hit both my shoulder and my leg against the frame, which didn’t help my mood.

Note that in movies the women who are chosen to be carried tend to be on the tiny side and the doors are sometimes specially wide; taking actual length of woman into account will be appreciated.

Piggyback, no problem. ‘Piggyfront’ where they’re chest to chest & her arms & legs are wrapped around him probably no problem.

The traditional carry over the threshold, where she’s perpendicular to him & being carried in his arms is tougher to do, especially because she’s too long to make it thru the width of a doorway so he needs to turn a bit to get over the threshold.
Try this, pick up a broomstick; pretty light, right? Now hold that same broomstick straight out for 15, 20, 30, 60 seconds. Much, much tougher to do. The further the weight is from your core the hard it is to hold.

I hope so too. My best friend is an awesome person, and the guy she’s getting married to is first class. I feel so happy for her.

I think the reason why he’s like this is because he’s a very cautious person. He’s probably scared that he might drop her or something like that.