Although many assume that men reign supreme in the area of physical strength and fitness, there are many strong women in the world that can easily put them to shame.
Whether or not you have heard of these women, you are probably curious to learn about them.
So let’s dive into our list of the top 20 strongest women in the world:
- 1. Bev Francis
- 2. Becca Swanson
- 3. Annabelle Chapman
- 4. Kortney Olson
- 5. Tatiana Kashirina
- 6. Rebecca Roberts
- 7. Inez Carrasquillo
- 8. Aneta Florczyk
- 9. Anna Harjapaa
- 10. Judy Glenney
- 11. Chen Wei Ling
- 12. Sarah Robles
- 13. Jill Mills
- 14. Donna Moore
- 15. Britta Maggard
- 16. Kati Luoto
- 17. Olga Liashchuk
- 18. Victoria Long
- 19. Andrea Thompson
- 20. Kristin Rhodes
1. Bev Francis
Beverley Francis is an Australian former professional bodybuilder, powerlifter, and shotput athlete. She was born in Geelong, Victoria, and graduated with a degree in physical education from the University of Melbourne. Francis gained an interest in fitness during her teenage years, becoming an accomplished shotputter and winning the Australian national shotput championships in 1982.
Francis broke and set many new records when it the powerlifting and weightlifting world. From 1980 to 1985, she won several gold medals while competing in the International Powerlifting Federation Championships. She also had a controversial bodybuilding career, mainly due to the sexist standards set by the judges of female bodybuilding competitions. Bev held the title of The Strongest Woman in History during the 1980s and 1990s.
2. Becca Swanson
Rebecca “Becca” Swanson is an American powerlifter and professional wrestler who holds numerous world female powerlifting records. Often termed the “strongest woman in the world” or “the strongest woman of all time”, Swanson developed an interest in bodybuilding during her early 20s. Soon after, she made a switch to powerlifting and broke many world records.
Swanson is the only woman in the world to squat 854 lbs, bench press 600 lbs, and deadlift 694 lbs. From 2009 to 2010, she also served as a wrestler for World League Wrestling (WLW) and won the 2009 WLW Ladies Championship.
3. Annabelle Chapman
Annabelle Chapman is a British powerlifter and the holder of the current highest axle press record. Chapman recently competed in the UK Strongest Woman Championship in 2021 and gained lots of popularity. The competition entailed a hectic five-step challenge, including a tire flip, log press, sack carry, truck pull, and the five-stone atlas challenge.
Chapman also set the new heavyweight axle clean & press world record — beating the previous record on her first attempt. She lifted 279.1 lbs in her first try and proceeded to set the world record with her second attempt while lifting 290.3 lbs.
4. Kortney Olson
Kortney Olson is an American-Australian weightlifter who went viral for videos of her crushing watermelons between her thighs on Instagram. She is a bodybuilder, fitness trainer, and athlete. Olson developed an interest in fitness from an early age, admiring her brother’s physique. She also expressed that an instance of assault during her early years encouraged her to become strong and physically fit in order to defend herself, like many other women who have been through the same situation.
Currently, Kortney holds the world record for crushing three watermelons between her thighs, breaking the previous record during the opening of GRRRL Clothing.
5. Tatiana Kashirina
As an Olympic athlete, this five-time women’s world weightlifting champion has certainly made a name for herself on international platforms. Kashirina is also an eight-time European champion who has dominated her field, setting several senior world records during her illustrious career so far.
She joined a professional gym when at the age of eleven and started showing massive potential within a year. The athlete’s training regiment is rather strict but not without leeway. Kashirina sets her own weight plan whilst her coach, Vladimir Stanislavovich Krasnov, determines her routine for the week.
6. Rebecca Roberts
Rebecca Roberts has been competing as a professional weightlifter ever since 1997. Her career’s a clearly paved pathway towards becoming one of the most prolific strongwomen of all time. Her sheer strength can shatter world records, and she even broke the Little Big Horn record for the World Grip Championships by lifting an anvil by its horn.
Even Roberts, a Welsh athlete, and World’s Strongest Woman of 2021 had her fair share of facing bullies during her childhood. People would often mock and shame her, but she never let that get in the way of her dreams.
7. Inez Carrasquillo
Inez Carrasquillo is relatively new to the strongwoman world, but she was able to make headlines just by showing off her daily training routine within a year. The Latina is also gearing up to become the first Latin World’s Strongest Woman. From never seeing the inside of a powerlifting gym to shattering her competitor’s self-confidence, this powerhouse is sure to keep her fans on the edge of their seats for the years to come.
Carrasquillo was a tall kid and once she gained weight, things just got worse for her self-esteem. Fortunately, her love for lifting weights won out and provided her a purpose in life, as stated by Inez in an interview.
8. Aneta Florczyk
Famous Polish athlete and strongwoman Aneta Florczyk made her debut as a 16-year-old powerlifting machine who went on to win several weight-lifting competitions on a national and international level. She’s a national treasure who won the European Championship back in 2000.
But that’s not all; Florczyk even has the world record for the most championship wins. She has been the World’s Strongest Woman champion over four times now, so it’s no surprise that she’s still prolific amongst her peers. Florczyk has performed all sorts of impressive feats, even lifting an entire man over her head.
9. Anna Harjapaa
As a former soccer player during her younger years, Anna wasn’t quite interested in weightlifting or competing to be the strongest. It was an effort to keep in touch with her husband that inspired her to pursue weight lifting. Harjapaa made her debut competing against men and with enough encouragement, she eventually applied and won third place at Sweden’s Strongest Woman Championship.
She’s broken a few world records here and there, and Anna still looks forward to competing even though she’s happily married with three sons and a husband. Anna is still determined to nab herself a world title.
10. Judy Glenney
Judy Glenney is a veteran weightlifter who’s also considered as the Strongest Woman in history because of her career achievements. She’s won gold on several occasions and the competitions she participated in featured the brightest talent in her field at the time. She’s also a writer and teacher now and provides coaching services too.
Judy was one of the first American women to take part in powerlifting competitions. It was mostly events held by her husband until the first National American Women’s Meet in 1981 came around and she won gold. She was one of 29 other competitors fighting for the nation’s “Strongest” title.
11. Chen Wei Ling
Chen Wei Ling is a Taiwanese Olympic powerlifter known for her exceptional performance on the big stage. She has long struggled with not being taken seriously by her coaches due to her body size. Luckily, she made a name for herself during the 2008 Olympics with true grit and determination.
In an interview with Central News Agency, Ling stated that this achievement was all she needed to feel like people were finally taking her talent seriously. Eventually, Ling was awarded the gold medal instead of her bronze, due in part to other contestants partaking in foul play.
12. Sarah Robles
Sarah Robles is a two-time Olympic weightlifter who was considered as America’s strongest woman once. She is a star athlete who has delivered several impressive performances for Team USA since her debut in 2014. Robles was keen on participating in sports and joined her local track team and played other games on the field from an early age.
Eventually, her shot-putting skills earned her recognition as a formidable athlete. Robles began to dominate the national women’s weightlifting scene soon after picking up the sport. She got awarded 11th place for her performance during the 2011 World Championships.
13. Jill Mills
Jill Mills is a former bodybuilding legend and ‘Strongest Woman in the World’ title-holder. She has earned the title several times during her tenure. Winning more than a dozen competitions in her life — she easily blew away her competition back in the day. Mills participated in several international tournaments and has won the IFSA Strongest Woman title held for both Zambia and Malaysia. Her competition didn’t stand a chance.
She has had a career spanning decades with barely any setbacks to her name. The women’s weightlifting scene has rarely seen anyone dominate the rankings quite as Mills did. Her competition barely stood a chance.
14. Donna Moore
Strongwoman Donna Moore is a popular face in the British competitive leagues, and it’s no surprise that she’s admired even today for her outstanding performances. She is a three-time World champion. The athlete has been competing since 2012 and is a single mother of two kids.
Her record-shattering tenure certainly turned heads. She took part in the 2019 Highland games and broke a record set by Ardblair Stones with an impressive total time of 37.14s. Moore’s workout routine is no joke either. After all, it takes a lot to be the World’s Strongest Women.
15. Britta Maggard
America’s Strongest Woman of 2021 — Britta Maggard is likely to enjoy a long comfortable career at the top of her class. Her personal training regimen is impressive, as is her experience training other people which also gives her an opportunity to stay fit and strong.
She is a newcomer to the sport but has already made quite a name for herself. Her bench-pressing and deadlifting skills are rather impressive and she even provides coaching services.
16. Kati Luoto
Ever since she was young, Luoto has kept herself busy with a wide variety of sports. She started working on herself after having kids and eventually became an award-winning champion. She’s a Finnish athlete who’s well-known for being the strongest women in her country and on an international level.
She won the 2013 United Strongmen Women’s World Championship which only adds to her impressive list of national victories. Her rise to the top was mostly undisputed during her career.
17. Olga Liashchuk
Olga Liaschuk was a pretty competitive child and started pole vaulting from a young age. She later went on to compete in women’s rugby matches and became a champion. After having a conversation with her coach, she found another sport where she could excel. Olga dominated several competitions and went on to become the world champion in strongwoman competitions.
Her performance at the Arnold Sports Festival 2020 for the Yoke walk won her first place. It was her second consecutive win and she’s not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.
18. Victoria Long
An absolute master in her field, Victoria Long is a Strongwoman who sees consistent victories in almost every category. That’s exactly what got her the win at the 2022 Arnold Pro Strongwomen competition. Her performance was rather impressive, and in true underdog fashion, she claimed the top spot for herself with a hefty lead.
Although information regarding her online is very scarce, she’s no stranger to showing off just how capable she is at sporting events. Long is considered one of the strongest women in the world.
19. Andrea Thompson
Andrea Thompson is the 2022 Guinness World Record Holder for the log lift and Suffolk strongwoman. She was crowned Britain’s Strongest Woman in 2018 and maintained a strict workout regimen even during the pandemic.
Thompson also won the 2021 title of Suffolk’s Sports Personality of the Year, being featured in numerous magazines. Her determination and desire to excel have made her rather popular online, with her record attempt being live-streamed on Youtube.
20. Kristin Rhodes
As the granddaughter of shotput legend Bill Nieder, Kristin Rhodes never skimped out on living up to her family’s legacy. She naturally excelled at soccer from an early age, and eventually started participating in other games like javelin throw and discus during her school days.
The athlete made her debut under the guidance of her husband and took part in her first competition in 2006. Rhodes went on to win the United Strongmen Women’s World Championship six years later in 2012.