The Top 7 Sexiest, Most Attractive Muscles on a Man

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We all know guys like fit girls who keep themselves in shape at the gym:

Just as guys like fit girls like these, girls like fit guys too

But what about girls?

Do they like muscles on men?

Overall, researchers [1] unsurprisingly found that estimates of physical strength accounted for over 70% of men’s bodily attractiveness:

chart showing that muscles account for over 70% of men’s bodily attractiveness

But this leaves us with one very important question:

Which muscle groups make the biggest difference? 

Let’s discuss! 

most attractive muscles thumbnail


This 'mini article' is an excerpt from my gigantic 16,000+ post all about why women looooove muscles and it's titled:

Why Girls Like Muscles: Unveiling 41 Secrets [Science Based]

So go check it out once you're done reading this one!

1. Upper Body Muscles

Pop culture has always been obsessed with male upper body strength. 

Whether it's in a music video like 50 Cent's "In Da Club,"

a Hollywood blockbuster like "Wolverine,"

or an exotic men's dance show like Seoul's "Wild, Wild Dream": 

And there's a good reason for it: 

Research indicates a universal preference among women for men's upper body muscles as compared to their lower body ones.

But what's the reason behind this?

It turns out that a man's upper body strength is the primary determinant of his combat skills and proficiency in collecting resources. [
1, 2, 3, 4]


You need strong upper body muscles to throw spears or rocks at animals you're hunting or to use bows and arrows. [5]


When it comes to punching, wrestling, or grappling with other guys or predators, upper body strength is key


Lifting heavy stuff, like animal carcasses or tools, requires some solid upper body strength 

Me posing on the southern coast of beautiful Portugal. 

But don't think you can just skip leg day because lower body strength isn't as important - chicken legs aren't attractive either! 

meme showing that lower body muscles are important too

2. Chest Muscles

Dr. David Lewis, in his book Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing It (pg 117), discusses how he used his laboratory’s eye tracking technology to examine how men and women look at one another’s bodies - by the millisecond.

Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing It by Dr. David Lewis where he discusses the most attractive male muscles

The results are fascinating.

When viewing a woman in a bikini, men would look at (in chronological order):

  1. 1
    Thighs and buttocks 
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
    Breasts (twice)
  6. 6
    Abdomen (three times)
  7. 7
    Legs (4 times)
  8. 8
Diagram showing how men look at women and which female muscles men prefer

On the other hand, women viewed the man very differently (in chronological order):

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Chest (twice)
  3. 3
  4. 4
    Just above groin 
  5. 5
  6. 6
    Left arm (twice)
  7. 7
    Right arm (twice)
  8. 8
    Left armpit  
  9. 9
    Torse (twice)
  10. 10
    Just above groin 
  11. 11
    Left arm
  12. 12
diagram showing how women look at men and which muscles they prefer

As you can see, the chest is very one of the first and most visited places that women look at. 

But Dr. David Lewis is not alone.

In another study, researchers found that when women first checked a guy out, they first looked at the chest, then the head, midriff, and finally, the lower body parts. [6]

As you can see, in combination with these last 2 studies and the science about the ideal male waist to chest ratio, we have ample evidence to claim that a well developed chest is very attractive to women.

Attractive female muscles example

3. Abs And Obliques 

Women love well defined abs as pictured

Women LOVE well defined abs - and guys love them on girls too:

No one disagrees that abs are super sexy.

And research backs this up

When people were asked about the muscles that make guys more attractive, both men and women agreed on 8 muscle groups with over 50% "yes" responses: obliques, abdominals, glutes, deltoids, shoulders, triceps, pectoralis, and biceps. 

But as you can see:

The abdominals were so important that they got mentioned twice! [3]

But why do girls like abs? 

In one of Gravity Transformation YouTube videos about the most attractive male muscles, they make the claim that abs are attractive because it’s a sign of a healthy BMI which increases fertility.

And while I believe it may play it’s own part, I believe there are much bigger factors at play:

  1. 1
    Having visible abdominals (actually, lean muscle in general) is a positive sign of testosterone which signals genetic fitness.
  2. 2
    Having well sculpted abdominals helps in getting the all most attractive body ratios: waist-to-hip, waist-to chest, etc. 
  3. 3
    Generally speaking, women find muscles that are hard to build more attractive than muscles that are easier to build. And because abdominals are very hard to develop, they are seen as more attractive. (I believe the reasoning is quite simple: women don’t want to waste their precious eggs with a man who’s feigned the signs of genetic or resource fitness so they search for the indicators of genetic or resource fitness which are most difficult to forge.) [3]
  4. 4
    From an evolutionary point of view, I also believe that having strong abs was super important for our ancestors to protect their whole midsection. Without tough abs, it wouldn't take much to seriously damage their vital organs!
  5. 5
    Because abs are so difficult to maintain, they may also signal discipline which is critical trait to affective resource gathering 
  6. 6
    Finally, taking into account all the reasons mentioned earlier, abs have evolved into a cultural representation of "sexiness," making them even more attractive to women.

I’ll add that it’s not just about eating a massive salad every day and losing weight. It’s about being buff AND having abs. 

Skinny with abs is not nearly as sexy.

And finally, one little 'drawback' of abs is that, unlike arm muscles, they can be pretty hard to show off in everyday life, unless you take your shirt off. Just like in this YouTube video where Marco Trunzo asks college girls if abs matter:

4. Shoulders And Traps

Women love shoulder muscles as pictured

Diagram of shoulder muscles. Credit: Anatomography, CC BY-SA 2.1 JP, via Wikimedia Commons

Ladies love a dude with a solid set of shoulders, but why? [7]

There's actually some science behind it. 

So, we all have these tiny protein machines called "androgen receptors" in our cells. 

And guess where they're more abundant? 

Yep, you guessed it, in the shoulder muscles of men! 

These receptors are like little responders to male hormones, like testosterone, which help beef up and maintain muscle mass. 

So, if a guy has jacked shoulders, it means he's got higher levels of androgen receptors and therefore, testosterone, which is a turn-on for women! [8]

To workout your shoulders completely, you’ll have to hit all three parts: anterior (front) deltoid, medial (side) deltoid, and posterior (rear) deltoid and here’s how:

  1. Anterior deltoid: shoulder press, front raise, arnold press, and incline bench front raise
  2. Medial deltoid: lateral raise, upright row, seated dumbbell press, and cable lateral raise
  3. Posterior deltoid: reverse fly, bent-over lateral raise, face pull, and rear deltoid raise

5. Back Muscles 

Women love back muscles as pictured

Diagram of back muscles. Credit: InjuryMap, CC BY-SA 4.0,, via Wikimedia Commons

The main reason why back muscles are attractive is because back muscles (especially the latissimus dorsi) contribute to that V-taper shaped torso which enhances the waist to shoulder ratio we discussed earlier. 


Sorry, but I gotta remind again you to read my main article on this subject: 

Click the thumbnail to discover!

I'm sure you'll love it!

6. Arm Muscles 

Women love strong arm muscles as pictured

Women love strong arm muscles!

Are big arms attractive?

The answer is a resounding YES!

As we saw with Dr. David Lewis, in the timespan of just several milliseconds, women looked back at arms a total of 5 times!

Now, why are arm muscles so darn attractive? 

Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. 1
    Your arms are a crucial key to utilizing your upper body strength: you could have super-strong upper body muscles, but without strong arms to help you harness that strength, those muscles are pretty much useless.
  2. 2
    Without exogenous testosterone it’s almost impossible for women to develop large biceps which makes arms muscles sexually dimorphic and a sign of high testosterone.
  3. 3
    Arms are one of the few places where you can show off a strong sign of lean muscle mass: veins popping out of your arms. (Granted not all women find veins attractive.)
  4. 4
    Just like how abs have become a cultural sign of sexiness, strong arms have become the universal sign of power, making them even more attractive to women

Simple example of that being the music video for Get Back by Ludacris and the famous "We Can Do It!" poster (below).

Another example of arm muscles being a sign of power 💪

Example of how arm muscles have become a sign of power

When working out the arms, just make sure you hit all the muscles - especially the triceps as it makes up 70% of your arm size:

  1. Triceps: long head, lateral head, and medial head.
  2. Biceps: long head and short head.
  3. Forearms: brachioradialis, flexor carpi radialis, and extensor carpi radialis.

7. Glutes

Yes, it may seem like I've been downplaying the importance of lower body muscles, but here's a parallel to consider:

Just as men appreciate women with full, well-shaped glutes...

...Girls love them too!

Credit: master1305 on Freepik

Here are the reasons why glutes are attractive:

  1. 1
    Glutes and other leg muscles were especially useful to our ancestors in escaping from danger and pursuing prey with running and jumping, making them signs of genetic and resource fitness. [3]
  2. 2
    Glutes make awesome sex possible by allowing men to thrust deep and stabilize themselves. It’s the ultimate Love Muscle! 
  3. 3
    Highly developed glutes can also signal high testosterone levels and lower parental investment like any large muscles making women prefer men with large glutes for short term relationships 
  4. 4
    Generally speaking, a nice ass adds a nice balance and sexy curves to the male body

You'll need to put in some serious effort with deep squats and hip thrusters, but hey, we're in luck – big calves aren't really a big deal when it comes to attracting the ladies. 

On a side note, I gotta say, my own calves are looking pretty good!

Took these pictures about a year ago, and I really should take new pictures, but it's past midnight and I'm too tired to do it. I just wanna finish this article lol. 

But it all goes with saying that the most attractive muscle of a man to women is:

Walletceps, also known as ‘The Wallet Muscle™’

Okay, I’m only half kidding haha. 

Anyways, here's an nice infographic summarizing the most attractive male muscles:

infographic summarizing the most attractive male muscles

Anyways, thanks for reading. I bet you learnt something and...

Make sure you comment below!


Coach Colt


[1] Sell A, Lukazsweski AW, Townsley M. Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men's bodily attractiveness. Proc Biol Sci. 2017 Dec 20;284(1869):20171819. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1819. PMID: 29237852; PMCID: PMC5745404.

[2] Johnson, D. (2021). Upper Body Strength and Fighting Ability. In: Shackelford, T.K., Weekes-Shackelford, V.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.

[3] Durkee PK, Polo P, Muñoz-Reyes JA, Rodríguez-Ruiz C, Losada-Pérez M, Fernández-Martínez AB, Turiégano E, Buss DM, Pita M. Men's Bodily Attractiveness: Muscles as Fitness Indicators. Evol Psychol. 2019 Apr-Jun;17(2):1474704919852918. doi: 10.1177/1474704919852918. PMID: 31167552.

[4] Sell Aaron, Cosmides Leda, Tooby John, Sznycer Daniel, von Rueden Christopher and Gurven Michael 2009. Human adaptations for the visual assessment of strength and fighting ability from the body and face. Proc. R. Soc. B.276575–584

[5] On The Evolution of The Sex Differences in Throwing: Throwing is a Male Adaptation in Humans. Michael P. Lombardo and Robert O. Deaner. The Quarterly Review of Biology 2018 93:2, 91-119

[6] Garza, R., Heredia, R. R., & Cieślicka, A. B. (2017). An Eye Tracking Examination of Men’s Attractiveness by Conceptive Risk Women. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(1). 

[7] Horvath, T. Physical attractiveness: The influence of selected torso parameters. Arch Sex Behav 10, 21–24 (1981).

[8] Rantala MJ, Vainikka A, Kortet R. The role of juvenile hormone in immune function and pheromone production trade-offs: a test of the immunocompetence handicap principle. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Nov 7;270(1530):2257-61. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2472. PMID: 14613612; PMCID: PMC1691508.

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About the author 

Coach Colt here, the founder of Dating Armory, your go-to source for no-nonsense, practical relationship advice. I'm a bisexual male in a same-sex open relationship and a researcher in sex, love, and relationships with 7+ years of experience. I specialize in helping both men and women navigate the crazy world of dating.

Don't miss my other guides packed with practical dating advice (no bullshit repeated Platitudes) and tons of real life examples:

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