How to Win at Arm Wrestling and Avoid Injury – Effectiviology (2022)

How to Win at Arm Wrestling and Avoid Injury – Effectiviology (1)

Arm wrestling is often used as a trial of strength, which is meant to ‘prove’ how strong you are. However, while physical strength does matter, most people have no idea how to utilize it effectively, especially in this context. This means that by making a few simple modifications to your technique, you should easily be able to win at arm wrestling, even when fighting against a stronger opponent.

In the following article, you will learn about some basic guidelines and techniques that you can use in order to gain a significant advantage in arm wrestling and reduce the risk of being injured. Note that the more of these tips you follow, the greater your advantage will be. However,even following just a few of them can be highly beneficial, especially in terms of protecting yourself from injury.

Table of contents

Tips for winning in arm wrestling

Basic arm-wrestling technique

Most people mistakenly believe that arm wrestling is just about applying side pressure to the other person’s arm, and trying to push it downward. In reality however, proper arm-wrestling technique involves a significant pulling motion, which isolates your opponent’s arm, and places it in a position where you can easily pin it.

Essentially, what you are trying to do is make a strong pulling motion, using your back and shoulders in addition to your arm, in order to get your opponent’s arm close to you and away from their body. Then, rotate your shoulder and body in the direction that you want your opponent’s arm to go, and apply downward pressure in order to finish them.

Proper body positioning and posture

To ensure that you use the right technique, you first want to make sure that your body is properly positioned. This involves doing the following things:

  • Stand so that your forward leg is on the same side as your competing hand. For example, if you’re competing with your right arm, then you should stand with your right foot forward.
  • Stand with your hip close to the table, so that your arm is near your body. This will help you use your whole body when making the pulling motion, rather than just your arm.
  • Once the contest is about to start, engage your core muscles and keep them ‘tight’. Doing this will help with the pulling motion, and will give you a minor boost in strength.

Advantageous hand position

In addition to positioning your body properly, you also want to get your hand to a position that gives you leverage over your opponent. This involves the following things:

  • Try to get your hand into the toproll position. This involves rotating your hand over your opponent’s, so that your forearm is in the proneposition (facing downward), while simultaneously twisting your wrist toward your own body.
  • You can sort of ‘climb’ with your hand over your opponent’s hand by loosening your hold a bit, and then moving your fingers forward and gripping tightly again once you’ve advanced.
  • To help strengthen your grip, you can curl your thumb and try to get it underneath your own fingers.
  • Make sure to keep a tight grip throughout the match, but don’t overdo it so much that you tire out your hand. Your goal is to keep your muscles engaged and in control, but not to try and crush your opponent’s hand.

The mental aspect

If you and your opponent are closely matched in terms of strength and technique, then the winnercould simply be the one who refuses to give up, which a lot of people do prematurely when they think that they’re about to lose, even if that’s not the case.As such, as long as you still have strength left, try to hang on, and keep the match going.

Remember that if you’re feeling tired, your opponent is likely feeling the same. This is where mind games come into play in arm wrestling. Essentially, you want to appear as confident as possible, even if you don’t feel confident in reality.

Your opponent likely won’t know how tired you are, but will probably assume that you can easily tell how tired they are. This occurs due to a cognitive bias which isknown as theillusion of transparency,that causes people to think that their feelings are more obvious to others than they are in reality.

Overall, remember that feeling and looking confident can play a huge role in beating your opponent. At the same time, you should also hang on, and not give up prematurely, before you’ve actually been defeated.

The role of strength in arm wrestling

Strength does matter in arm wrestling, and when there is a big enough difference in terms of strength, no amount of technique could help you win. To take an extreme example, a professional adult bodybuilder is going to beat a 5-year-old kid at arm wrestling, no matter how good the kid’s technique is.

However, most situations won’t be as extreme as this one, and in most cases, the difference in strength between you and your opponent should be one that you can overcome by properly using the technical tips that you saw above.

Avoiding injuries in arm wrestling (the break armposition)

Important note: the following information should not be considered medical advice. When arm wrestling, you should assume that there is always a risk of injury, regardless of the position of your arm. Before determining the best position for protecting your arm while arm wrestling, consult a professional.

Unfortunately, like other sports, arm wrestling can leadto all sorts of injuries. The most common arm wrestling injury involves a humeral fracture, which essentially means that the bone in your upper arm snaps in half; you can see what that looks like in the picture below.

How to Win at Arm Wrestling and Avoid Injury – Effectiviology (2)

The obvious and most effective way to avoid the risk of this happening is to not arm wrestle in the first place.However, if you do choose to arm wrestle with someone, you can reduce the risk of injuryby avoiding the ‘break arm’ position.

To avoid this position, you need to keep your arm in line with your shoulder, and perpendicular to your chest. This means that you should be able to look directly at your hand as it moves during the match.

In the picture below, the person on the left is in the dangerous break arm position, since his arm is rotated behind his shoulder, and is parallel to his chest, which is facing forward.Conversely, the person on the right is at the appropriate position, since his arm in line with his shoulder and perpendicular to his chest, which minimizes the risk of injury.

Accordingly, you can see that the person on the right (who is maintaining a good position) is looking straight at his hand, while the person on the left (who is at the dangerous break arm position) cannot maintain direct eye contact with his hand.

How to Win at Arm Wrestling and Avoid Injury – Effectiviology (3)

Maintaining the appropriate position is so important when it comes to protecting you from injury, that in some professional matches, the referee might stop the match if one of the contestants strays too far from this position, and gets too close to the break arm position.

Summary and conclusions

  • Strength is important in arm wrestling, but using proper technique can make a huge difference, and allow you to beat an opponent who is significantly stronger than you.
  • In terms of technique, the main thing you should focus on during the match is on making a pulling motion using your arm, shoulder, and back, in order to get your opponent’s hand away from his body in order to isolate it. Once their arm is sufficiently isolated and you’ve gained enough leverage, you can apply downward pressure on their hand in order to finish the match.
  • In terms of body position, you want to stand with the same foot forward as the hand that you’re competing with, while keeping your hip close to the table, so that your arm is near your body. In addition, make sure to engage your core muscles and keep them tense throughout the contest.
  • In terms of hand position, try to rotate your hand over your opponent’s hand, while twisting your wrist toward your own body. Make sure to maintain a tight grip throughout the match, but don’t crush your opponent’s hand so hard that you end up tiring out quickly.
  • To reduce the risk of injury while arm wrestling, avoid the ‘break arm’ position by keeping your arm in line with your shoulder and perpendicular to your body. If you’re in a good position, you should be able to look straight ahead at your arm, without twisting your head.

FAQs

What is the trick to winning arm wrestling? ›

If I can get away with it. I'll also try to come over top okay. So if I get my head in the way you

Does winning an arm wrestling mean your stronger? ›

Arm-wrestling is often used as a trial of strength, a way of proving how strong you are. However, most people have no idea how to utilise it effectively. By paying attention to the right technique, one can use it to one's advantage, even when fighting against a stronger opponent.

What muscles help you win arm wrestling? ›

Arm wrestling involves the primary use of four muscles: the Biceps brachii, Pronator teres, Pectoralis major and Flexor carpi ulnaris. Other muscles such as the deltoid, Latissimus dorsii and Triceps brachii are also used.

Can you cheat at arm wrestling? ›

It out straighten it out straight to for a second right back to back the key to this cheating is to

Does size matter in arm wrestling? ›

is bigger better? Does SIZE matter in arm wrestling? - YouTube

How often do arm wrestlers train? ›

Because hand and wrist training can be so intense and exhausting, Tullier recommends working those parts twice a week. If you're doing these workouts twice a week and practicing armwrestling once a week, he says that's sufficient. But Tullier also recommends that you keep up your regular workout regimen.

Do push ups help Arm wrestling? ›

“Cardio helps a lot,” he adds. “Thirty seconds of arm-wrestling is equivalent to a round of boxing.” He recommends starting with hand- and wrist-strengthening exercises like fingertip pull ups and push ups, as well as wrist curls.

Do long arms help in Arm wrestling? ›

And, more importantly, has your opponent got a shorter or longer forearm than you? “Arm wrestling is all about leverage,” says Pickup. “And a long forearm will give you an advantage over brute strength.” Target the short guy who spends all-day at the bench.

Why are arm wrestlers so strong? ›

Arm-wrestling requires training and strengthening of tendons, ligaments and connective tissues that are vital to being strong on the table, and controlling an opponent.

How can I increase my hand power? ›

Grip Strengthener
  1. Hold a soft ball in your palm and squeeze it as hard as you can.
  2. Hold for a few seconds and release.
  3. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each hand. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions. Don't do this exercise if your thumb joint is damaged.
5 Oct 2020

What is the most important muscle in arm wrestling? ›

What is most important muscle in arm wrestling Biceps or Forearms?

How do you increase grip strength? ›

6 Tips to Build Grip Strength
  1. Mix Up Your Handles.
  2. Take a Heavy Walk.
  3. Hang Out in a Dead Hang.
  4. Reverse Your Biceps Curl.
  5. Flip Your Kettlebell.
  6. Grab Some Battle Ropes.
27 Apr 2021

How do I get a stronger arm wrestling hook? ›

ARM WRESTLING TECHNIQUES HOW TO GET IN HOOK - YouTube

How do you counter hook for arm wrestling? ›

HOW TO BLOCK HOOK? - ARM WRESTLING TECHNIQUES

Is bending your wrist allowed in arm wrestling? ›

You'll be given a foul if you bend your wrists, move your fingers, or re-grip after a referee has set your grip. If you lift your elbow vertically off the pad to gain an advantage, you've committed a foul. Intentionally slipping out of your grip results in a foul.

Does big hands help in arm wrestling? ›

There are many variables that come into play in an armwrestling match, but one answer as to why a person with a larger hand and wrist has an advantage in armwrestling has less to do with strength, and more to do with leverage.

Is there a weight limit for arm wrestling? ›

Men: Up to 55kg, 60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 85kg, 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, & 110+ kg. Women: Up to 50kg, 55kg, 60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 80kg, and 80+kg. Men: Up to 70kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg, and 100+ kg. Women: Up to 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, and 80+kg.

Why do I have big wrists? ›

Because your body is the way it is: your bone structure defines the size of your wrists. If you were active before adulthood and practiced a physical activity involving an average or heavy use of your arms, then chances are you have average or big wrists.

Do bicep curls help in arm wrestling? ›

The brachialis muscle primarily curls the arm. Wrist strength is very important in arm wrestling.

How can I make my wrist stronger? ›

11. Grip strengthening
  1. Sit comfortably with your arm bent at a right angle, palm facing in, holding the gripper in one hand.
  2. Squeeze slowly, and release.
  3. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
  4. Only your hand should be moving, not the arm.
  5. Switch hands and repeat.
  6. When you can comfortably do 2 to 4 sets, try a gripper with more tension.
8 Jul 2019

Can you arm wrestle everyday? ›

However, you can do armwrestling specific movements every day. Just separate them: pronation/supination one day, riser/ulnar deviation another day, wrist flexion/extension another day. Train the fingers and muscles of the hand(pinky pad, thumb pad, etc) with one of the other days.

Do pullups make you better at arm wrestling? ›

We want to show to you some specific armwrestling exercises. Beginners should perform pullups at full range, as this engages the most muscle groups, and full-range movement strengthens muscle fibers in their whole length. If you're serious about armwrestling, that you should find a bar thicker than a standard.

How do you top roll in arm wrestling? ›

How to Top Roll. At go, apply backpressure to the opponents hand while simultaneously twisting your wrist/forearm towards their fingers. You should go from having the palm of your hand in a neutral position, to facing away from you.

Are shorter people better at arm wrestling? ›

I've found that there are advantages to both long and short. Short arms have an advantage with side pressure against a long arm, because the long arm has to be extended a little more against a shorter arm. The short arm can start vertical and be kept closer to the shoulder. Hooks tend to be an advantage too.

Is arm wrestling strength genetic? ›

Several factors that are favourable in Arm Wrestling are definitely related to genetics. Forearm length, muscle density and hand (palm) size are genetically obtained traits which can work to your advantage during Arm Wrestling.

Who is the strongest arm wrestler? ›

John Brzenk

Why do boxers put hands in rice? ›

Summary. Boxers put their hands in rice to toughen them and develop strength in the muscles and tendons of the hands, wrist, and forearms. Boxing is demanding on the hands. Taking good care of them and preparing them properly for combat can differentiate between losing or getting these hands raised in victory.

Do push ups increase punching power? ›

Among the most important muscles in the body for boxing are the arm, shoulder, and pectoral muscles. These are all the same muscles that get a workout when you do push-ups, which means that push-ups are a great way of building your punching power.

How do you get veiny hands? ›

A person may be able to get veiny arms by losing excess body fat through diet and exercise. Doing aerobic exercises will help a person lose excess body fat. Incorporating regular resistance training will help them build muscle that can make arm veins more prominent.

How do you train for arm wrestling at home? ›

ARM WRESTLING TRAINING AT HOME (NO SPECIAL ... - YouTube

How do I make my forearms stronger? ›

Use a pair of forearm grips or another object that you can squeeze, such as a tennis ball or a sock.
  1. Extend and then flex your fingers to squeeze the item.
  2. Hold for 3–5 seconds, then relax your grip for a few seconds.
  3. Continue for 10–15 minutes.
  4. Do this 2–3 times per day.

Why is my grip strength so weak? ›

Poor grip strength can be a sign that the muscles are wasting or shrinking. In most cases this is caused by disuse of the hands and fingers but it can also be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, cervical compression, brachial plexus syndrome, MS, parkinson's, and arthritis.

Is grip strength genetic? ›

Hand grip strength (HGS) is an inherited trait; about 65% of a person's grip strength is genetically determined, whereas the remaining 35% depends on training and developmental factors such as nutrition. Past studies have connected HGS to various measures of physical condition, including bone density and longevity.

Who has the strongest grip strength? ›

The heaviest recorded weight of a coconut crab is 4 kilograms. By extrapolating their measurements, the scientists proposed that this crab might be able to pinch with the force of 3,300 Newtons. That's stronger than the bite of any land animal except alligators.

How do you top roll in arm wrestling? ›

How to Top Roll. At go, apply backpressure to the opponents hand while simultaneously twisting your wrist/forearm towards their fingers. You should go from having the palm of your hand in a neutral position, to facing away from you.

How do you stop your arm from breaking in arm wrestling? ›

ARM WRESTLING ARM BREAK EXPLAINED (WATCH THIS FIRST)

Are shorter arms better for arm wrestling? ›

And, more importantly, has your opponent got a shorter or longer forearm than you? “Arm wrestling is all about leverage,” says Pickup. “And a long forearm will give you an advantage over brute strength.” Target the short guy who spends all-day at the bench.

How do I get a stronger arm wrestling hook? ›

ARM WRESTLING TECHNIQUES HOW TO GET IN HOOK - YouTube

Is bending your wrist allowed in arm wrestling? ›

You'll be given a foul if you bend your wrists, move your fingers, or re-grip after a referee has set your grip. If you lift your elbow vertically off the pad to gain an advantage, you've committed a foul. Intentionally slipping out of your grip results in a foul.

How many techniques are there in arm wrestling? ›

There are three main arm-wrestling techniques: "top-roll," "hook" and "press." Based on various factors, including the body size, specific areas of strength and intuition about an opponent's strategy, competitors try various tactics during the game.

How common is it to break your arm while arm wrestling? ›

Humeral shaft fractures in arm wrestling are common in amateurs. There is no association of the fracture with the position of the players or the phase of the match. However, arm wrestlers should be aware of this complication and should receive proper guidance to reduce the risk of humeral shaft fractures.

Why do some people's arms break when arm wrestling? ›

Arm wrestling puts enormous pressure/twist on the upper arm's humerus bone to a degree seen in few other physical activities. Most people's bones are not used to being so stressed in this way, and injuries can occur surprisingly easily.

Is it safe to arm wrestle? ›

Arm wrestling, considered by some as entertainment, is also recognised as a potentially dangerous form of competition with arm wrestling injuries on the rise. One of the most common injuries is a fracture of the humerus, or upper arm as former NRL player Ben Ross discovered on The Footy Show.

Is arm wrestling strength genetic? ›

Several factors that are favourable in Arm Wrestling are definitely related to genetics. Forearm length, muscle density and hand (palm) size are genetically obtained traits which can work to your advantage during Arm Wrestling.

Why are arm wrestlers so strong? ›

Arm-wrestling requires training and strengthening of tendons, ligaments and connective tissues that are vital to being strong on the table, and controlling an opponent.

Does Weight Affect arm wrestling? ›

Does lifting BIG WEIGHTS matter in ARM WRESTLING? - YouTube

How do you beat someone stronger than you in wrestling? ›

Wrestling with a bigger, stronger opponent - YouTube

Do wrestlers know who is going to win? ›

In some cases, the two wrestlers will know who's supposed to win, how long the match is supposed to take, and then plan out with their opponent the sequence of three or four moves that will make the finishing montage, ending with the pin (1-2-3), the count-out, the disqualification, or general mayhem.

What is the best age to start wrestling? ›

You might have your own ideas on the best age for kids to start wrestling. But generally, experts suggest that kids can start wrestling at around four or five.

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