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How Do You Get Stronger at Arm Wrestling?

Ok, so out of my highschool crew, I used to be one of the weakest. Ive been doing heavy basic barbell lifts for 6 months now and have found that now I can beat all my friends at arm wrestling. I want to get stronger at it now.

My question is: If I keep doing the basics will I keep getting stronger at arm wrasslin’? OR should I do some other kind of execise to get better at it?

Exercises I currently do: Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Row , Press, power clean, Chinups

This might not be answer you looking for but if you want to be good at armwrestling you have to practice it a lot. Its a lot of technique, and you will beat a lot of people stronger then you if your good.

Also forearms, wrist, and grip play a big part in armwrestling. So I would do a lot of forearm training, and for wrist maybe some basic sledge hammer levering-get a 10lb sledge hammer and hold the end and slowly lower it to your face with arm distance away, you will feel it-

If you find some people around you, like armwrestling clubs you should join them and practice as much as you can.

Isn’t it rotator cuff work, actually?

Another really important factor is reaction time off the start. Usually the guy that “get’s off” first wins.

Otherwise you should keep training your whole body the same way (generally). After you’ve been at it for a few years, some specialization work will help a lot more than it would now.

Stuff that helps:
-Bench Press
-Internal Roatation

Various isometric holds with dumbbells.

I’m a pretty good armwrestler, I can beat people with some far superior lifts (such as the bench press, curls, pulls).

In my experience, unless you’re really shoulder dominant in the bench press, its pretty worthless when it comes to armwrestling. I’ve beat people who could almost double my bench press when I was younger (note that they were also pretty much one trick ponies, haha).

One key, which someone already stated, is armwrestling ALOT. I don’t armwrestle much anymore (just whenever I find a good challenge), but when I was younger, I would armwrestle my cousin every chance I got.
Like any other lift, once your body gets comfortable with that motion, your strength is going to increase by a good amount (think about your first few weeks of bench pressing).

I think shoulders are definitely underrated in armwrestling, which is strange since I believe its the most important muscle in the movement.

Wrist strength would come second because if you can dominate the wrist, not only does it give you better leverage, if the other person’s wrist is at a weird angle, it weakens the rest of the arm. Listen to shizen and get a sledge hammer, this site has a few great exercises for it…


You could also try making a wrist roller. The wrist can really make the difference between winning and losing.

I’m not trying to bash steel nation’s post, but I’ve never found reaction time to have any effect in determining the outcome. It might appear that way only because the stronger person is going to get a better start.

watch sylvesters stalone in over the top !!


Second question down.

I’ve watched some Arm Wrestling Championships on ESPN when I have been sick before. They all say forearm is most important, then tris and chest…for overall strenght. But technique and grip are for more important than strength

Google arm wrestling and Im sure you will find info on technique and such

[quote]blazindave wrote:
Isn’t it rotator cuff work, actually?[/quote]

Very little. If you are internally rotating, your technique is wrong. This is how a beginner armwrestles, and the result is extremely weak. You are supposed to pull.

[quote]blunt wrote:
watch sylvesters stalone in over the top !![/quote]

No. It’s fake drama crap. Real matches do not look anything like that.

[quote]Naphta wrote:

Second question down.[/quote]

the machine he made was sick.

From interviews ive seen with arm wrestlers technique seems to be the most important, a lot of them didnt even seem to train that much, they just did loads of arm wrestling. A couple of tips they gave was to, as someone has already said, pull instead of rotate the shoulder and also to really start pulling when the other guy has to breath out.

I always remember an old friend of mine could always whoop my ass in an arm wrestling match despite me being twice the size as him, and all he ever did exercise wise was water ski, so i guess having a vice like grip doesnt hurt either.

thanks guys!

It has a lot to do with certain techniques… some are based on pure strength while others are used to give you a advantage when out classed Strength wise… so it is definitely worth looking into… though its pretty pointless if your only interested in besting you friends… no one really cares haha


There’s quite alot of info there. I’ve been digging around for arm wrestling training recently, I seem to bury everyone I meet. I’ve beaten quite a few adult men in bars (I’m 16 years old myself).

One more tip, build up as much pressure in your body as you can, just as you would with a max squat. NEVER let this pressure go. Also, don’t sream or grunt or whatever.

Maybe it has to do with the way your built too. Im short and compact. And I beat guys that can out curl me.

[quote]Iron-Head10 wrote:
Maybe it has to do with the way your built too. Im short and compact. And I beat guys that can out curl me.[/quote]

longer arms especailly forearms would give a greater leverage advantage and actually make it easier to win. You are probably just stronger then them, or have better reaction time/technique.

I once arm wrestled a friend of mine, and after he gently touched the back of my hand to the table he told me that I was very strong. This guy has placed top 10 in worlds, I’m blank on the federation, and has indicated that much of the training he does involves locking up with another wrestler and just pulling for time often losing skin off the hands from pulling so much.

It seems to work for him.