The Human Fist (IMAGE) University of Utah 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. Usage Restrictions None License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.