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Are You an Athlete? Researchers Say to Compare the Size of Your…

by Matt Weik

It’s always interesting to hear all of these theories that if this finger is longer than that finger you’re a genius. If that finger is longer than this finger then you’re a sex God. Whatever. Now, there seems to be a new theory that researchers are putting out that in order to find out if you’re an athlete, you need to compare the sizes of these body parts.

You want me to compare the size of my what?

Now before you go dropping your drawers and breaking out a ruler, researchers are asking you to look at your fingers. Specifically, the size of your index finger and ring finger. A professor at the University of North Dakota decided to do some research with the help of his son. They wanted to look at the ratio of index finger and ring finger lengths and how they compare on today’s athletes and if there’s a link to their overall strength.

The research done on the ratio of these two fingers has been found to relate to the overall muscular strength in boys. The professor said to, “Examine the fingers of your hand. Which is longer: the index finger—the one you use to point with—or your ring finger? 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 sports, 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.”

When looking at your hands, your ring finger should be longer than your index finger (to be considered “an athlete” or “strong”). I’m not 100% behind this study—at least not yet. For starters, it’s more of a generalization without true correlation. The research also mentioned that in a separate study done by someone else, there was a similar correlation between finger ratios in women and their basketball abilities.

Mine is bigger than yours… Good luck Tiny Tim.

So, while they seem to be onto something, deeper and more thorough research is needed to prove this to be the case. There’s a lot more that goes into being an elite athlete than the length of your fingers. You need to look at balance, speed, agility, fundamentals, hand-eye coordination, etc. Saying someone is going to be a good athlete based on their finger lengths is a shot in the dark in my opinion. I’m sure we can find people roaming through the streets who can’t even walk a straight line, yet when looking at finger lengths you’d assume they were an Olympic athlete. Let’s not all start thinking we can be professional athletes after looking at our finger lengths. There’s way more work that needs to be put in to reach that status. It’s like saying a dude with a big member is going to be amazing in bed, talk to women who have studied that correlation and you might just find out that’s not the case either.


1.) Tomkinson, Jordan, Tomkinson, Grant. “Digit ratio (2D:4D) and muscular strength in adolescent boys.” Early Human Development, 2017; 113: 7.

2.) University of North Dakota. “Athletic ability and finger length linked?” ScienceDaily. 17 August 2017.

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