This body position is based on
interpretation of the blood stains contained in the shroud.
By measuring the angle
of dried blood on the wrist, one can reconstruct the angle at which this
person hung from the cross. He mainly hung from a position 65 degrees from
the horizontal. But there is another angle of dried blood at 55 degrees.
This shows that this person tried to lift himself up by 10 degrees. Medical
studies show that if a person just hangs from a position of 65 degrees, he
would start to suffocate very quickly. Only if he could lift himself up by
about 10 degrees would he be able to breathe. Thus he would have to raise
himself up by this 10 degrees by pushing down on his feet which would have
to have been fixed to the cross. He would then become exhausted and fall
down again to the 65 degree position. Thus, he would continue to shift from
these two agonizing positions throughout crucifixion. That is why the
executioners of crucifixion would break the legs of their victims to speed
up death. If they could not lift themselves up to breathe, they would
suffocate very quickly.