The Power of the Pinky Finger

Oh man do I have something amazing to share with you guys today.  I learned it at a strength webinar last week, and if you’ve seen me since then chances are I’ve had you “donate your body to science” so that I could try this out on you and have you experience it.

Today we’re going to combine awareness, movement, and fascia to unlock the powerhouse of strength that all starts at your itty bitty pinky finger.

drevillaugh.gifPinky Power step 1: Put it towards your mouth and menacingly laugh

Feel the Power:

Let’s start off by feeling this:

  • Stand up and place one of your hands by your sides (your other hand is probably going to hold your phone to your face so you can keep reading this haha)
  • Make a fist, but only squeeze your thumb, pointer, and middle fingers first
    • Do you feel that in your bicep?
    • Squeeze more, did you feel that into your Pecs?
      • This is all because your thumb, index, and pinky finger are connected to your pectorals via the bicep
  • Now, make a fist again, but this time only squeeze your pinky finger and ring finger
    • Did you feel that in your tricep?
    • Squeeze more, did you feel your shoulders broaden as the backside of your shoulders (lats) engaged?


That’s the power I’m talking about

What did I just do?

By engaging the pinky finger and ring finger you’ve connected to the very far, or distal, end of a chain of muscles along your back body.  Hello Posterior Oblique subsystem!


Here it is in Birddog, and covered by the amazing Ray Long here.

The two big players in this subsystem are the Latissamus Dorsi, and the opposite side Glute max.  I talked about this relationship a bit more in my Get to Know Your Butt post.

The tricep is fascially connected to the Lat.  The pinky and ring finger are fascially connected to the tricep via the ulnar perosteum in the forearm.  More in depth stuff on fascial connections here.

This is all a bunch of technical anatomical jargon for: your pinky finger is connected to your opposite butt via the backside of your arm and shoulder.


Aside from all that strength, this fact makes wiping your butt so much more interesting

Now for the Fun Part:

Let’s practically apply this now.


Pullups & Pushups:

  • Do a pull up/push up by only squeezing/pressing with your thumb, index, and middle finger first
    • Did you feel your chest collapse inward, did that make the pull up feel and look horrible?
  • Now do a pull up/push up with the pinky and ring finger doing all the squeezing/pressing
    • BOOM, did you feel that power along the backside of your body?

Weight Lifting:

  • Grab some free weights, or a resistance band and try lift by just squeezing your index, thumb, and middle finger again.
    • Did you feel your chest engage and roll your shoulders in? (That’s no good brah)
  • Now do the same, squeeze the weight with your pinky and ring finger and bring your back body into it!

As you can see you’re promoting proper shoulder positioning as you lift when you engage with that simple action of squeezing/pressing with your pinky finger and ring finger!


Holy bahjeezus does this change everything when you go into twists and binds.

  • Twists:
    • Let’s try this in revolved crescent lunge:
      • Twist to one side, I’ll assume its the right for the sake of simplicity in describing what to do.  Squeeze your left (back leg) butt cheek first
      • Then roll your right shoulder open a bit more
      • Now press into just your pinky fingers with your hands together
  • Back Binds:
    • Let’s try this one in my favorite, Bound Warrior III (3rd one in that list):
      • From 1 Legged Mountain, with the right leg lifted, the left leg as your standing leg take a bind by interlacing your fingers behind your back.
      • Roll your shoulders back and press into your pinky fingers.  Then begin to descend your chest down into the pose.  Only go as far as you are able to keep the chest pointed upright, rather than having your heart shine down.
      • Keep energy in the right, floated foot, by driving the back heel behind you
      • Then roll the shoulders back and reemphasize squeezing your pinkies together.


Your reaction after you experience that explosive strength in your back

The Power is Now in Your Hands (pun intended)

I’ve only merely brushed the surface for you and your newfound pinky-finger-back-muscle-unlocking strength.  Next time you’re at the gym, grip your weights with your pinky fingers.  Next time you do yoga, squeeze with your pinky fingers in any sort of hands together or planted on the ground position.  

The possibilities are endless,

And the best part is that nothing bad is going to come from engaging this sling of muscles.  If anything you’re engaging your back muscles to reverse your troll posture from sitting and stooping over a computer/phone all day.


So take your pinkies out of your mouth and go unlock some hellacious level strength

Index fingers in tandem with pinky fingers are a pretty powerful combo too, especially when it comes to push ups, headstands, or forearm balances.  In Super Activate Your Forearms I talk all about this relationship.

Until next time,

Dr. YG

3 thoughts on “The Power of the Pinky Finger

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