International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 5, pp 1341–1347 | Cite as

Influence of striking technique on maximum striking velocities—experimental and statistical investigation

  • Holger MuggenthalerEmail author
  • T. X. Trinh
  • S. Heinke
  • C. Rode
  • S. Schenkl
  • M. Hubig
  • G. Mall
Original Article


Forensic experts often have to assess injury and fatality risks in the context of violent blunt force trauma. Maximum striking velocities in one- and two-handed strikes with a rod-like implement can be of particular interest. Current literature lacks studies addressing this problem. The purpose of this study was therefore to measure and analyse maximum striking velocities in one-handed and two-handed strikes in female and male volunteers. We hypothesised higher striking velocities in two-handed strikes compared to one-handed strikes. Fifty volunteers performed one- and two-handed strikes from top to bottom using a steel rod of 65 cm length and 1000 g weight. A Qualisys™ Motion Analysis system registered displacements of reflecting markers fixed to the rod as well as to the volunteer’s body. In one-handed strikes, the mean maximum striking velocity was 17.2 m/s in the female sample and 23.9 m/s in the male sample. Statistically not significantly different maximum striking velocities were found in two-handed strikes with mean values of 18.3 m/s in the female sample and 24.2 m/s in the male sample. Female and male volunteers also yielded similar mean maximum striking velocities in two-handed strikes comparing ‘overhead’ and ‘overshoulder’ striking techniques. In conclusion, the striking technique did not relevantly influence maximum striking velocities in our setup.


Forensic biomechanics Motion analysis Striking velocities Striking technique 



We gratefully acknowledge the colleagues at the research workshop of the University Hospital for constructing the implements and Prof. Dr. R. Blickhan, chair of the Motionscience Department, for providing the laboratory.

Compliance with ethical standards

The ethics committee of the University Hospital Jena gave approval to conduct this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineJena University Hospital, Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Motionscience, Institute of Sport SciencesFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany

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