As an organized sport Arm wrestling began in 1952 by founder Bill Soberane, who got together with Dave Devoto to bring the sport to light when they formed the World’s Wrist Wrestling Championships, Inc…a huge success. The article is going to cover ways that a guy or girl can train for organized competition, or just the typical Thanks Giving Day, kitchen table match. Although technique is very important for winning an armwrestling match, that can be the subject of another article. This is only going to cover strength training and conditioning that will be required behind the techniques.
Hand and Finger Exercise- Hands play an important role in becoming a top notch arm wrestler. Larger hands have a distinct advantage, as control over the opponents hand position through strength and leverage can put you on top in a match. Hand grippers are the tool of choice for this all important training. Most people have seen these, or even played with them. The most common provide a resistance of about 10 to 50 pounds…baby stuff! You want to go with heavy grippers in the range of 100 to 300 pounds. If you can close the 200 pound gripper, you can crush someones hand in a handshake, and only a handful of people in the world can close a 300 pound gripper.
Wrist and Forearm Exercises- A fatigued forearm has lost many a match. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to increase the strength and stamina in this muscle group. Most exercises that build up the forearm will work as well to increase strength in the wrists. Wrist strength is important along with hand strength to control the opponents hand position and gain a leverage advantage. The best exercises are wrist curls and lever lifts. We will also get into a simple exercise called towel pull ups. These three should get your wrist and forearms in really good shape.
Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps- There are countless exercises that will focus on these muscle groups, and are probably already a part of your weekly work out. Add towel pull up exercises to your routine to target the areas to strengthen particularly for arm wrestling. A towel pull up is like an ordinary pull up, but it is done by draping a towel over the pull up bar and grasping the ends like a couple of cow utters.
Now as you do your pull ups you will be strengthening your grip as your shoulders, lats, and upper arms come into play.
Always remember to give muscle groups sufficient time to recover after a strenuous workout. Overworking a muscle can cause injury, and put you out of the game. The excellent thing about some of the exercises described in this article is that they can be performed outside of the gym. Even on the couch while watching TV. Especially the hand grip exercises. Those can even be done while driving. Make sure that you balance the workout by doing “opposite exercises” for instance, to counterbalance the hand grip exercise, try this: Make a fist, and then while digging your fingers into the palms of your hands to get some resistance, flick your fingers out straight…keep doing it. Watch how fast the tops of your forearms burn.