Interphlalangeal Articulation (Finger Joints)

Join this free martial arts wiki & community. Add info to wiki & help beginners with Shotokan Kata, Kicks, Punches, Grappling, Taekwondo Forms & Patterns, Aikido, Goju-Ryu, Krav Maga, Bo Staff, Judo, Kyokushin, etc. Fitness experts can help with Hojo Undo, Strength Training, Core Exercises, Warm-Ups, Balance, Stretching, etc. Meet your fellow martial artists by joining our Wiki Community.

Interphlalangeal Articulation (Finger Joints)

Recap of the hand bones:

  • Carpals: The bones of the wrist.
  • Metacarpals: The bones of the center of the hand.
  • Proximal Phalanges: The first bone of each finger.
  • Intermediate Phalanges: The second bone of each finger.
  • Distal Phalanges: The third bone on the four fingers of the hand.

Ligament: There are small volar ligaments that wrap around the end of each joint binding them.

Note: Many of the tendons and muscles are the same as the Metacarpophalangeal Joint (Knuckle) the only difference being that the tendons split off to connect at different points.

Mechanics: Because of the splitting tendons multiple movements can be controlled by the same muscle. Their strength is decent, making it useful for many things that we do. We can control them more precisely when the flexors and extensors are both used at the same time on the fingers.

Range of motion: Each joint in the fingers is able to flex and then extend only about 90 degrees.


  • Smashing the fingers with an object.
  • Snapping the finger from a grab/grope.
  • Grabbing the ring finger, which constricts the axis of forearm rotation.


  • The end of the distal phalanges (in conjunction with the nails) can be useful in scratching such as a tiger claw strike.
  • Bending the distal and intermediate phalanges only makes use of the interphalangeal joint for a panther strike. This is useful in striking to the throat as it is a soft target for the small joints. This also keeps the hand "flatter" as most people keep their chin down in a fight, to actually strike to the throat when the fist wouldn't fit.
  • For a spear hand strike the proximal phalange is extended to its max while the intermediate and distal phalanges are flexed slightly, this gives the fingers a rigidness for striking that can curl into a fist if the object is too hard.

Injury: Minor injuries to the fingers are likely to occur during training (especially with weapons) and can be severely hurt during sparing if open handed techniques are not uses properly.

For information on additional joints please refer back to the Joints page.

Join our free martial arts wiki & community.
Meet other martial artists. Discuss martial arts techniques, kata, etc. Read latest comments.
You can also join via Facebook.

Black Belt Wiki - Books | DVDs | Kata | Kids | Shoes | Sparring | Uniforms | Used

Wiki Recommendations by Google

New Posts on the Wiki Community

  • Self-Defense Against A Clown Since America seems to be experiencing clown hysteria or at least a few idiots in clown suits trying to scare people, I thought you might like to watch Master Ken's latest video. Will Black Belt Wiki
  • Community Experiment I have switched the replies sorting option to most popular first (versus most recent first). Therefore, you will see the replies with the most positive/up votes first (as there were lots of great answers to questions being buried under jokes, hi my nam...
  • Sparring Gear, Medieval Armor or Industrial Footwear? You might find this an interesting "upgrade" to your existing martial arts sparring shin guards. :) Seriously, I think it is some type of industrial protective footwear. Ellwood Safety Appliance 323 Aluminum Shin-Instep Guard Amazon link to the produ...
  • The Definition of Martial Arts How would you define a martial arts in 50 words or less? Try to make your definition cover all aspects so no martial arts style is forgotten (i.e. weapon-based martial arts). Don't look at a dictionary because the answer can be incomplete as there are ...
  • A Couple of less well known Karate Techniques Here are a couple of traditional Okinawan Karate Techniques that are still practiced (to some degree) in a few styles but are on the whole forgotten!

Highly Rated Posts on the Wiki Community

At no extra cost to you, Black Belt Wiki makes a small commission if you buy products via these Amazon links. Your purchase helps keep this wiki free for all visitors. Thank you for your support!

If you spot a typo, non-working video or missing information, please tell us & we will fix immediately!
Also help beginners & add your knowledge to this free wiki.

Material on this wiki may not be copied or reproduced without the written approval of Black Belt Wiki.
All rights reserved. For other terms & conditions, please read our legal disclaimer. This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.

Join the Black Belt Wiki Community
We hope you will join our free martial arts wiki & community.
Talk to other martial artists. Help beginners. Read latest comments.
You can also join via Facebook.

Martial Arts
Products & Services