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How to Become a Better Armwrestler
Posted By Scott Latella
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Scott Latella

Scott Latella.

So you want to beat your buddy armwrestling but all he ever does is smash your arm thru the kitchen table. Well I’m here to help.

I’ve been a professional armwrestler for 20 years now, but it didn’t start out all trophies and gold medals. My first 2 years I struggled to just win a single match in the amateur class until I learned the sport specific training needed to become a better armwrestler.

In this article I’m going to give you the 3 basic points you need to work on to get yourself ready for an armwrestling match.

Point 1

Hand & Wrist: Yes it’s called armwrestling but it should really be called handwrestling since who ever controls the hand and the wrist in the match wins 95% of the time. You need to build up great strength in your hand and wrist so that you can defend against an opponent’s move and also enforce your move onto him.

Heavy grippers can help some, in armwrestling you need more open hand and flat finger strength. Rolling thunder lifts, Flat finger chins, Dumbbell curls and my favorite the metal gyro wristball will not only increase your power but also your holding endurance. I hit hand & wrist training 4-5 times a week and will mix it up to keep the workouts fresh.

Point 2

Pulling: If you go to an armwrestling tournament or maybe watch some matches on YouTube you will notice people calling matches pulls or hear armwrestlers being called pullers. Why?? Well the best basic move in armwrestling is to first pull your opponent’s arm back to you before trying to press sideways for the pin.

Armwrestling is a leverage sport; gain that advantage and your chances of winning skyrocket.

So when getting your grip focus on a nice tight grip, tighten your whole arm so it stays super tight at a 90% angle and then when the ref (or 3rd buddy) says go, yank his arm straight back to you (aim for your nose). If he is not ready for this his arm will open up and you will have a great leverage advantage. At this point you go for the pin and thrust sideways. Can you say winner?

Point 3

Practice: Just because you did some wristball training and have a fancy move up your sleeve doesn’t mean you should be challenging the big boys at the gym. At least not yet. The best way to improve in armwrestling is to practice armwrestling. Get some workout buddies over and practice, teach them how to get better and it will help you get better.

But let’s say you don’t have anyone to train with or once their arms hurt (and they will) they disappear. Don’t panic. Get some tubing, exercise bands or even a bike tube and tie it around a post or poll in the cellar and pull on it like someone’s arm. Lock your arm and walk backwards trying to keep your arm at 90%. Turn sideways and press like you’re going for the pin. Take a light band and practice your explosive starts.

Try all different angles and picture yourself on the table blasting your buddy down.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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  1. Monday, 28 Mar 2022 | Strength & Fitness Newsletter - […] Gem From The Vault : How to Become a Better ArmwrestlerScott LatellaDoing it the right way. […]
  2. Monday, 19 Feb 2024 | Strength & Fitness Newsletter - […] Gem From The Vault : How to Become a Better ArmwrestlerScott LatellaTime to get serious. […]

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Written By Scott Latella
Scott Latella has been a professional armwrestler for 20 years, winning 5 New York State Titles, finishing 3rd in the1998 Nationals and forming part of Team USA (who won gold) at the World Championships that same year. He now focuses on sharing fantastic wrist tools with the public.
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