We’ve seen the “hands-on-hips” posture before but it resurfaces again in the aggression classification because it is ready posture. In this case, the hands on hips, feet together at attention is accompanied by leaning forward with the head and chin up, or out, and exposed. The hands-on-hips puffs the person out making them seem larger and the feet spread at shoulder width increases stability putting a person in a fighting stance.
During aggression, we might see the arms show defensive postures by becoming crossed, or dropped to the side and clenching. Fists clenching is an important cue to aggression since it indicates the underlying thought process that one is nearing physical action. Other cues in the cluster include finger pointing, overall tensing of the body or extreme body loosening to ready for fighting, tightening of the jaw and lips (called “lip occlusion”), quivering in the lips, frowning, furrowing, or lowering the eyebrows, dilated pupils, squinting of the eyes, crotch displays such as legs open, sneering or flared nostrils (nasal wing dilation).