There's no doubt about it: the guys who make up core cast of "Magic Mike XXL" are all kinds of talented. Just listen to Matt Bomer sing! Look at Channing Tatum dance! Watch Joe Manganiello... literally do anything.
But in real life, the world of male stripping is a much scarier place -- and not just in the super serious way it was in the first "Magic Mike" movie, where Channing Tatum couldn't get a bank loan and Alex Pettyfer kept running afoul of drug dealers. No, we're talking about raw physical injuries, like the one our boy Joe got while filming back in December. Yup, it's dangerous to be a stripper.
But just how bad an injury could a guy get when he's lifting a lady up over his head -- and how bad an injury could SHE get? For that we asked physician Dr. David Geier, author of "Sports Medicine Simplified," to weigh in:
A lot of women probably walked out of "Magic Mike XXL" with fantasies of getting tossed around by a strapping male stripper -- but things aren't all sunshine and riding ponies when you try to pull those stunts in real life without the proper training.
"Any time that you’re kind of flipped in the air or thrown in the air and land, there’s always a risk that you land awkwardly," Dr. Geier said. "You turn an ankle, you injure your knee and can suffer very unusual, bad injuries. In an unexpected movement where your body has to kind of land suddenly and the muscle can’t react, in theory, you could tear your ACL, like we see in sports a lot, or sprain your ankle."
Of course, those of us who saw the movie were probably less worried about ankle sprain and more about the possibility of whiplash. Don't worry, ladies -- it's theoretically possible, says Geier, but extremely improbable.
"I don’t think that’s possible, unless like you suddenly fell and something stopped your force. But I think it, in theory, could happen if it’s somebody being thrown like that, especially if it’s somebody that doesn’t know that activity," he said. "Now in theory you could end up with something worse than whiplash, like serious neck injuries, if you landed awkwardly on your neck or head. But I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here."
But getting flipped around by Channing Tatum is nothing compared to the risk of injury that Channing Tatum faces by flipping you. Much of what dancers like the Kings of Tampa do are explosive movements -- which, no, is not a euphemism. It's the official term for when you go from a stationary position to an intense, quick movement with little to no preparation; for example, "when you’re standing still and you start a sprint, or you’re standing still and you do a box jump," says Geier, in which case "Muscle strains of the quads, the hamstrings, the hip flexors, the glutes, can all happen."
During these types of routines, "you’re lifting somebody out of a normal position, so it’s not like you’re doing a squat where the bar is right up against your body," Geier said "You may be lifting somebody in an awkward position and you pull a muscle doing that... Low back strain, shoulder strains, all of that can occur by sudden movement, sudden forces, in awkward positions."
Stripping With Head Injuries
While you aren't generally in danger of getting a concussion during a strip tease, the Kings of Tampa (spoiler alert!) get into a car accident on the way to Myrtle Beach when they hit a tree head on with their frozen yogurt truck -- and although none of them are wearing seat belts, only the driver, Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), needs to be hospitalized.
Geier isn't too worried that our boys walked away with any harmful head wounds, because if they were discharged from the hospital without any symptoms of injuries then they were probably fine -- and besides, this IS a movie, so it'd be weird if the thing ended halfway through because all the characters were on bed rest. But just like with football players, in the real would the guys would need to make sure they're not in danger of worsening any possible concussions before getting on stage.
If you do "have some signs of a concussion, you really shouldn’t be out there doing either continued sports, because you could make your symptoms worse," Geier said. "That’s why we hold athletes out."
So what would happen if you DID get injured while grinding up on a strip club attendee? Pelvic strain is pretty easy to walk off, right? Wrong.
"Gluteal injuries, hip flexor injuries, hamstring injuries, the quads, all of that can actually take anywhere from a few days to sometimes six or eight weeks depending on how severe it is," Geier noted. "Typically, short term it’s rest and just let your body recover, some very gentle stretching. But the way it tends to get people better faster after those muscle injuries is getting somebody in to work with a physical therapist. They do a lot of work strengthening that muscle and the muscles around it."
Even scarier? You're at risk for this kind of muscle strain, too, even if you don't do pelvic thrusts for a living. "Those are tricky injuries -- we see them in runners and people that do boot camps and Cross Fit. And we see it in soccer and a lot of other sports with explosive movements. They can really aggravate people and really limit them for, for a long time."
So there you have it, folks. Male entertainers are literally risking their butts to bring you joy. Be sure to thank them for it, K?
"Magic Mike XXL" is in theaters now.