The hand represents one of the most remarkable expressions of humanization of the anterior limb. The anterior limb, at first ambulatory, underwent continuous evolution acquiring innumerable new functions. In the course of human evolution the hand has undergone continual structural and functional adaptations, characterized, among others, by enrichment of peripheral innervation and further development of the thumb. This development was accompanied by important changes in the brain and the relocation of the eyes, together allowing the muscle control and stereoscopic vision, necessary for a controlled grip. The anatomy of the hand is complex, intricate, and fascinating. Its integrity is absolutely essential for our everyday functional living. It is intimately correlated with the brain, both in the evolution of the species and in the development of the individual. Actually, we can state that we “think” and “feel” with our hands, hence, their contribution is essential to the mental processes of thought and feeling. The aim of this review is to evaluate the most typical hand quality, the prehensility and hence, the possibility of manoeuvring tools. Our attention is mainly focused on the hand anatomy and prehensility during pushing and pulling motions. In particular, our attention is directed toward the relationship existing between the hand prehensility and the volume of the object to be gripped. As an example, we use a grip of the paddle and, pushing and pulling motions during kayak paddling. Indeed, we are firmly convinced that the prehensility plays a crucial role not only in performing the stylistically correct paddling, but especially in realizing a more effective and powerful paddle stroke. This review highlights a great link existing between biomechanical and anatomical notions and sporting performance.
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