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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

The Human Fist

Caption: These three views of a clenched human fist show how we buttress the fist to reduce the chance of hand injury when punching. The four fingertip pads touch the pads at the top of the palm, and the thumb wraps in front of the second, third and part of the fourth finger, which are locked in place by the palm at the base of the thumb. A new University of Utah study showed how a fist punch provides a performance advantage compared with an open hand slap, suggesting human hands evolved for fighting as well as for manual dexterity.

Credit: Denise Morgan for the University of Utah.

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