If you’re wondering how you compare to your friends on the football pitch, look no further than the tips of your fingers.

No, really.

There’s apparently a link between lower digit ratio and muscle strength, according to researchers who tested the digital ratio and handgrip strength of 57 young men.

To calculate your ratio:

  1. Measure the length of your index finger from palm to tip
  2. Do the same for your ring finger
  3. Divide the first number by the second

The lower your digit ratio, the stronger you may be.

Researcher Grant Tomkinson said:

Examine the fingers of your hand. Which is longer: the index finger—the finger you use to point with—or your ring finger?

Tomkinson explains that men’s ring fingers are typically longer than the index finger, whereas the fingers are roughly the same length for women.

Researchers say it’s possible the link comes from the hormone testosterone, which foetuses are exposed to in the womb.

He added:

There is some indirect evidence that this digit ratio of the length of the fingers, is determined during early fetal development by testosterone—the more testosterone the fetus produces, the longer the ring finger, so the smaller the digit ratio. 

Testosterone is the natural steroid hormone that enhances sport, athletic and fitness test performance. In general, people with smaller digit ratios are better athletes.

Our study shows that boys with lower digit ratios have better handgrip strength, irrespective of their age or body size.

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