Why can toddlers carry/lift up other children around their age with seemingly little effort?


On multiple occasions I’ve seen little boys and girls casually wrap their arms around and carry another kid (siblings, i guess?) of similar size like it’s no big deal. They certainly don’t seem to strain themselves. And yet if you try to do the same as an adult you may well end up huffing and puffing from the effort.

In: 1

Square cube law. Basically, if you take a dude half your size overall, there is one eight the material in them. Muscle strenght scales flatter than that though, so a small fella can lift a larger weight relative to their own body mass.

Strength to weight ratio and low center of gravity.

Essentially, toddlers have great leverage for moving things around that are near their same size and weight. But they lack the ability/development to use it for anything other than destruction and chaos.

So, one objective answer and one subjective, but potentially embarrassing.

Objective: square cube law, as others pointed out. Mass doesn’t scale linearly with size.

Subjective: … you might just have to work out a bit or you’re around a lot of overweight people, lol. A decently fit average adult should be able to pick up and even carry (depending on how you grip them) another average weight adult who’s about their own size. 70-80ish kg is not THAT much weight to carry in the grand scheme of things, if you’re in decent shape. Certainly not gym bro territory.

I didn’t have a problem lifting and carrying another adult man when in decent shape while I had a job which required manual labour (i.e. didn’t specifically work out at a gym, just kept in shape through work). Now I don’t have a physical job which keeps me in shape and don’t work out either, and I can barely lift my wife, who weighs considerably less than an adult man. So it really can be a fitness thing.