Arm Wrestling Training /Techniques


How to Win at Arm Wrestling!
Gene Camp - President of the New York Arm Wrestling® Association - NYAWA
Mike Selearis NYAWA Director and New York State, World and National Champion

New York Arm Wrestling® Association *SINCE 1977
Email:  - Website:
Contacts: Gene Camp 718-544-4592 – Mike Selearis 203-815-0485


Professionally Organized Arm Wrestling - first brought to attention in 1952 at Gilardi's Saloon in Petaluma, California; the credit goes a local journalist named Bill Soberanes
Dave Devoto brought the sport to national attention on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1975.
Gene Camp founded the New York Arm Wrestling® Association in 1977
Today, arm wrestling events are held in six continents and very popular in the USA since organized arm wrestling competition is held statewide in America. Arm Wrestling is a sport where anyone can compete regardless of age, sex, weight, dexterity or experience and is a test of strength, technique, endurance, speed, tenacity and willpower. Arm Wrestling provides a family friendly platform for clean fun and wholly American product while helping to build strength, endurance, mind engagement and enhancement of one's image.  
Novice, Amateur and Professional Arm Wrestling is broken down into various weight class categories for men, women, teens and children. Arm Wrestling Tables are built for both Stand-up and Sit-Down Competitions.

Tendon Strength - Forearm Strength - Finger Strength - Wrist Strength – Endurance – Technique – Confidence – Strategy - Body Weight Control - Speed

Actual Weekly Arm Wrestling Practice – There is no better exercise or experience than actual weekly hand-to-hand arm wrestling practice on a professional arm wrestling table. Table time is essential and key to success. Of course, if you don’t have a professional arm wrestling table, any table that nearly simulates the official dimensions of 26” wide x 38" long x 40”high with 7” elbow pads, will due.
Get on the National Practice Network: Email us your Town, State, Zip to:
We will research your location a place close to someone in your area for practice. OR
Check out Arm Wrestlers Near You Website:

Fingers and Hand
A large heavy hand is a major advantage for an armwrestler from the start. As many armwrestlers know, most matches are won during the griping up which is prior to the ready go. The competitor that gets the better grip usually wins the match. The only chance for a smaller hand to neutralize the hand-size advantage is by explosively driving their opponent into a hook match. The opponent with the stronger arm often determines the winner of a hook match.
Best Hand and Finger Exercises - Hand Grips

(Increased Repetitions with various tensions Hand Grips)
The NYAWA recommends Ironmind® Captains of Crush® Hand Grippers and other specialized equipment for hand strength from Ironmind®

Wrist and Forearm
Wrist Roller                  Power Wrist Curls
<em>Wrist Roller</em>              
How to use the Wrist Roller - You should stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the device in both hands, arms extended away from the body at shoulder level. The weight should dangle in front of you directly above your shoes. Slowly roll the weight up with your wrists, using long, exaggerated up and down movements with your wrists to work the full range of motion. Do not move your body or drop your arms. When the string is completely wound around the stick, slowly lower it back to starting position and begin again. (The wrist roller is found on-line or in sporting stores)
Ligaments and Tendons - Ligament and tendon strength is one of the hardest and most important forms of strength to build up. - * Flexible Band Strength Training (Actual Pulling on Elastic/Latex /Rubber Bands) – i.e. Theraband® or various gauge Rubber Bands is one of the best exercises for tendon strength.  Heavy Gauge Bands are available from the Hygenic Corp.

Flexible Band Strength Training

Arm wrestling and band strength training is an excellent way to strengthen the ligaments and tendons. Band training delivers a constant and sustained stress on the tendons which is the best way to build tendon strength according to muscle physiologists. The arm muscles are attached to tendons and connective tissue, which run parallel to the muscle fibers that flow through the muscle. This means that in arm wrestling competition, the force is produced not just from the muscle contraction but also from a release of elastic energy from the tendon component. Tendon elastic energy release will produce more power with less muscular effort. Therefore, arm wrestlers need to perform exercises that promote stiff tendons or low hysteresis. This produces a powerful and efficient ‘muscle tendon unit’ working together as one system.

More About Tendon Strength Training:

Biceps Various Arm & Wrist Curling Exercises will condition the muscles for arm wrestling competition.

The Hammer Curl
Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, your arms hanging down to your sides and palms facing in. Keep your back straight, elbows back and chest out. Keep your upper arms at your sides parallel to your body. Raise the dumbbells until your elbows are completely bent and lower back to the starting position.

The Forearm Curl
Sit at the end of weight bench with feet slightly more than hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in your hand, with your forearm resting on top your leg with your wrist hanging over your knee so that it can move through the full range of motion, palm facing up. Curl the dumbbell up toward your body as far as you can without moving your forearm. Then lower it back to the starting position.

The Reverse Forearm Curl
 Dumbbells in each hand should hang at arms length in front of your body with your palms facing your body. Look straight ahead, tighten your abs and keep your shoulders back. You should be standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Curl the dumbbells one at a time so that the back of your hand comes up towards your shoulder and take deep breathes. Lower and repeat.


The Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Stand straight with feet, shoulder width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended down and palms facing in. Slowly curl dumbbells up toward your collarbone. As you do, rotate your arm so that your palm faces up, than slowly lower back to starting position.

There are three basic arm wrestling techniques; the Hook, Press and Top-Roll. Each technique is different and creates different leverage moves to beat your opponent. You must figure what strategy and technique is best for you to gain the advantage and leverage to win.

The Hook “Inside move” – Both arm wrestlers are in the hook position. Each of their wrists is curled in and the bones of their forearms are driving forward with all the muscles in their shoulders and back tensed up and pushing behind their arm. Usually the stronger armwrestler with greater will and determination takes the win. The Hook requires brute strength and puts immense pressure on the tendons in the elbow and shoulder.

The Press – The contestant on the right has superior upper body strength and the arm is very close to the body. With one explosive-overpowering move, the opponent is using the arm and upper body in one blazing unison motion. An experienced top roller could sometimes beat the Press technique with a quick decision to take the grip away with manipulation of finger control.

The Toproll – “Over the Top” or “Outside move” – Contestants are wrestling with toproll technique and trying to get leverage by putting pressure on each others fingers and causing the hand to open up as seen with the winning contestant on the left. Once an opponent's hand opens up, it will take the hand grip away and makes it very difficult for him to regain his hand position. The key is to be fast and powerful enough to outsmart your opponent by opening his grip and with that you will win the match. The toproll is used mostly by experienced, veteran arm wrestlers and back pressure is used which is the amount of force applied directly across the body to the pinning pad. Backpressure is pulling your opponent's arm toward your body and away from his body.

Basic Rules

2. Keep your elbow on the elbow pad at all times
3. Always keep your eyes on your hand while arm wrestling and never look away
4. In the event of a Slip Grip Arm Wrestling Straps could be applied.



5. The shoulders must be square to the table before the match and all matches are started with the ‘Ready-Go’ Call.  - See all rules at  – Menu-Rules

*Rule #1 SAFETY FIRST!     
Warming up - It is strongly advised to warm-up your arm prior to competition. Mild arm wrestling practice, hand grippers, push ups, dynamic tension, open air grip training with a partner or whatever works for you. Most injuries occur when the contestant’s arm is not properly prepared for competition. You must warm up the arm prior to competition. The track star does not come out of the locker room and run the race. The use of heat liniments, arm warmers or wrapping the arm to keep it warm is advised prior to competition.  

Safety in Arm Wrestling
REFEREE ‘STOP MATCH’ - Contestants MUST IMMEDIATELY stop arm- wrestling if referee calls a STOP MATCH.
See Photo Below: Reason for Stop Match
Contestant on the right is in an injury prone position and not looking at his hand. This will result in the referee calling “stop-match”.
(The shoulder must be in line with or behind the arm, as the contestant on the left)

NYAWA Rules and Regulations – Click Here > Rules

© 2009 The New York Arm Wrestling® Association, all rights reserved.