Tips & Tricks


1. ALWAYS look at your hand. 

This drastically lowers the chance of you breaking your arm during a match...and if you look at your hand, you focus more on the angles of attack and position of the fingers and elbows of yourself and your opponent.


2. Shoulder Distance 

Keep your shoulder and hand tight together (roughly a fist distance) at all times whether it is in the winning or losing position, this will help increase the torque you need to remain in the match, just don’t allow your shoulder to touch your hand.


3. Finger Placement 

Place your index finger on top of your thumb not below it when setting up your hand, this will allow you to finger walk more easily and also allows you to stop a person’s Top Roll.


4. TRAIN!!!

Get to a real Arm-Wrestling table as this is really the only place to really learn and better...Start hitting tournaments even though you don’t "think" you’re ready, it’s a great way to understand what you have to do to be ready.


5. Look at the referee

This is during the "ready, go", it will help you on timing it perfectly. This really does go to your advantage. Focus on those two little words and you will see great improvements.


6. Elbow Pad

You have 49 square inches of elbow pad. USE IT. So many new people plant there elbow in the centre of the pad and don’t utilize all that space. Concentrate on the angle of the arms and counter using your pad. It can change the whole outcome of the match. Practice using each corner against the same opponent to see how it feels for you, then start drag motions going from front to back in a half moon shape.


7. Losing Position

Try to always train in the losing position. I notice new people in the sport starting getting good, but when they get into the losing position, they give up because they straight out do not know what to do. Train this area to get better.


8. Joint Protection

If you are serious about staying in this sport, invest in a good joint supplement. If you are looking for an everyday health supplement with a Multi-Vitamin - ORANGE TRIAD from Controlled labs If you are looking for and everyday basic repair supplement - ANIMAL FLEX from Universal Nutrition If you are looking for a serious Supplement for tendons, ligaments, and joints for healing - SUPER CISSUS from USP Labs. It is well worth the investment


9. Dedication and Consistency = Success.

You have to really stick with this sport to be successful. Don’t expect to win the 1st tournament you go to. Some people are gifted and can, but most of us wait a year before we win our 1st event. Consistency pays off in this sport and your gains are slow at the beginning but are very recognizable when they start getting better. Always remember, you are never as good as you think you are. Anyone can be beaten at any time. Stay focused and always train to your potential.


10. The Weakest Link

Always train where you are weakest. If your hook is lacking, train it constantly at practice, vice versa with your top roll. You’re better off being really good at one move but also hold your own on other moves. Find what works and what doesn’t and use regular circuit tournaments to work on new moves. Don’t wait until a big event to try something you haven’t practiced before.


11. C*cky vs Confident

Never underestimate your opponent. There is a fine line between being confident and being thingyy. Anyone can be beaten on any given day. Don’t think you’re the best. If you’re not nervous before your event, you’re not testing yourself enough.


12. Too much Training

Listen to your body. Do not over-train; this can lead to injuries, especially in your hands, wrists, and elbows. I would rather not train in the gym and compete injury free than hit the gym for strength and compete injured. If your joints are sore going into a tourney, it will beat you mentally.


13. Mix up Your Moves

If you lose against someone, don’t keep doing the same move, try something different even if you feel weaker in that move try it. That person is bound to have a weak spot, keep trying stuff until you find it.


14. Arm Placement

Keep your non-competing arm off of the table. Having you arm lay on the table holding onto the peg at the side limits your manoeuvrability and can prevent you from pinning your opponent. Keep your elbow in the air and take it out of the picture.


15. To Counter a Hook

There are two Options for this


Option 1 

Assume a basic Arm-wrestling position

- drop your wrist downwards so the top part of your thumb is facing the ceiling not yourself

- apply pressure down on your elbow into the elbow pad

- apply pressure upwards from the thumb.

- apply a little side pressure from your wrist just below the thumb joint

- as he goes to hook, you will top-roll form the lower part of your wrist


Option 2

Assume a basic Arm-wrestling position

- keep your wrist riser in a neutral position, so not high and not low like the last option listed above

- apply lots of side pressure from the bottom of your palm where the wrist meets the palm.

- try not to squeeze with your fingers on the back of your opponents hand, instead, of pressure in your fingers and let them sit just above your opponents hand


16. Respect

Be respectful to all members at the table including the opponent across from you and mostly the referees. Remember that the referee's word is always final. Disrespect at the table whether you win or lose is the worst thing that a competitor could display at a competition


17. Recovering from the losing position in a hook

This is a tough spot but definitely recoverable. Once in the losing position you have to concentrate on your finger position. You have to drive your elbow forward to the top of the pad while turning your fingers so they are facing the ceiling and in one motion pull your opponents hand towards you using your lat for power. Almost the same idea as a chin-up using your opponents hand as the bar. This move will put you in a more offensive position.


18. Foot Positioning 

This is very under- rated. In order to generate power to its potential you must be balanced at the table. If pulling right handed, place your right foot centered under the table, your left foot should be pressed against the left outside table leg, you should have a small bend in your legs also. What you want is to feel like you would fall backwards if you let go of your opponent’s hand. When you begin, you are posting off of your right leg and assuming a squat position with your left leg, ensuring that you don’t twist your body when you drop down for the pin. Your shoulders should remain level and squared with the table at all times.


19. Power-Pulling 

As I have stated before, your hand and wrist take a lot of abuse in this sport and can fatigue very easily if you're not careful. If you would like to generate more power in a static position, i.e. losing position, centre table position, then power pulling is for you. It eliminates the pressure on your hand and wrist and allows you to train harder and longer in these positions without reaching failure.


In order to do this you must set up with your training partner (at the table) with your wrist on wrist...not grabbing each other’s hand like normal Arm-Wrestling. Just make a fist with your hand and lock wrists together. This usually puts you into a hook position.


In this position you have the ability to pull hard without fatiguing or injuring your hand and wrist. You can build a lot of stopping power using this method and I believe it should be implemented into your training schedule if you want to develop a great stopping move against your opponent.


20. Effective Strap Use

Some people never see the straps in a tournament and get confused when the referee asks if you want them high or low. Meaning the positioning of the strap on the back of your wrist. This is something that should absolutely be practiced in training. You lose your mental game when you get confused with simple questions like high or low. This gives your opponent an upper hand when he answers fast and with confidence.


When the straps are placed and the referee lets your hands go, immediately drive your elbow to the top of the pad keeping your wrist high and straight, then in the same motion, drag your arm back to centre of the pad, still with your hand and wrist high and straight. 


If you complete this move first, you will have an advantage on your opponent and his/her hand should be dropped slightly.


21. Loose Grip vs Firm Grip (To load or not to load)

This is another common question. Should I squeeze my opponents hand and show how strong I am, or should I leave my hand really loose and surprise him/her.


To a certain extent, this is by preference. The Japanese Arm-Wrestlers are well known for having an extremely loose grip where their fingers sort of hover on the back of your hand. The advantage for this is speed. 


You can practice this just sitting on your couch. Put your arm into an Arm-Wrestling position, now squeeze your hand and flex your whole arm. Now try to hit as fast as you can. Now try it with a loose grip and loose arm. You will see a huge difference.


The problem with a loose grip is that you can get caught out of position with your hand, or, if you’re not that fast, lose the ability to stop someone else’s hit.


A firm grip has pros and cons as well. By squeezing your opponent as hard as you can (primarily called loading), you can intimidate your opponent if you can generate enough pressure and it allows you to slow down an opponent’s fast hit.


The problem with a firm grip or loading is that it can tell your opponent what you are going to do. Just by the pressure of your fingers in certain areas can give away your move and give your opponent and advantage. Also with loading, you can actually burn yourself out before the match begins. 


The ideal way for me (again this is personal preference) is somewhere in between. I like to have pressure in my arm giving some back and side pressure, but with a medium grip. This allows me to have the stopping power for a fast hitter, the ability to hide what move I am trying to do, and have stamina left to pull off that move.


This is something that certainly should be tried at practice multiple times to see what works for you. It may vary from opponent to opponent.


Devon Larratt Discusses Grip



22 - Learn How to Use Your Fingers and Wrist

This is more of an exercise rather than a tip but it can be used in either application.


Arm-Wrestling (Suicides)

Pretty much 50-60% pressure from each person, moving from winning to losing position at a slow rate, building up to a fast rate never pinning the opponent just getting the motion and the pressure. Try this for 60 seconds each arm in a top-roll then switch to a hook. Complete 3 sets of each style of pulling.


When you're doing this, concentrate on how your wrist is being affected in the winning position and also the losing position. See where your fingers are and how changing the pressure on each finger can increase or decrease your leverage strength. Each time you change the area that you concentrate on with your fingers, you change the way your wrist is used during your match.


I noticed right away that in the winning position (top-roll) that I have more torque when utilizing finger pressure at the tips of the fingers where-as in the losing position, I found I was better defensively when I utilized my finger pressure not from the tips, but from the first joint down from the tips.


This exercise is also great for building up your stamina



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