Master Arm Wrestling With These 10 Effective Exercises

arm wrestling exercises

Did you know that arm wrestling dates back to 2000 BC when a painting depicting it was discovered in an ancient Egyptian tomb?

Yep, the sport that we’ve all probably tried with our buddies in an attempt to prove our dominance has been around for ages.

arm wrestling exercises

One major misconception that most of us have about arm wrestling is that we need to look like “The Hulk” to be an arm-wrestling champ. But in fact, all you need is strength and technique.

In this blog, we’ll reveal 10 powerful arm wrestling exercises that’ll target all the major muscles used in arm wrestling – your forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and wrist flexors. We’ll also share arm wrestling exercises at home to help you build a cast-iron grip that’ll leave your opponents in awe!

Let’s go!

10 Best Arm Wrestling Exercises for Strength

Want to become a pro at arm wrestling? Try these 10 best arm wrestling exercises for strength at home or the gym.

1. Strict one-arm bicep curl

This arm wrestling exercise for biceps makes it hard to cheat as your upper body is forced to remain stationary throughout the movement.

Muscles worked: Biceps

How to perform

  • Grab a dumbbell with an underhand grip and stand with your back to a wall.
  • Position your upper arm such that it is touching the wall and the dumbbell is by your thigh. Your upper arm and elbow should be stationary throughout the movement.
  • Now slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your chest.
  • Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

Related: 8 Super Effective Resistance Band Bicep Exercises

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2. Single-arm hammer curl

This arm wrestling exercise for biceps is an excellent exercise for not only increasing your bicep strength but also for enhancing wrist stability and strengthening your grip.

arm wrestling exercises

Muscles worked: Biceps, brachialis, brachioradialis.

How to perform

  • Grasp a dumbbell in one hand with a neutral grip (palms facing your leg). The dumbbell should be by the side of your thigh.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. 
  • Squeeze your core and pull your shoulders down and back.
  • Now slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulders, avoiding any rotation of the wrist. 
  • Pause for a moment and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

Related: Get Bigger Biceps: 10 Best Dumbbell Bicep Exercises

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3. Behind-the-back barbell wrist curl

This arm wrestling exercise for forearms is awesome for pumping up your forearms and improving your finger strength and grip.

Muscles worked: Forearm flexors

How to perform

  • Grasp a barbell behind you with your palms facing away from you.
  • Bend your wrists to initiate a curling movement, moving the barbell outward and away from your body.
  • Hold this position for 1-3 seconds and then lower the barbell back down.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

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4. Towel wringing

Who knew that wringing a towel was one of the best arm wrestling exercises for forearms to kick your forearm and grip strength into high gear?!

Muscles worked: Forearm flexors and extensors.

How to perform

  • Soak a towel in a bucket of water.
  • Take the wet towel out of the water and hold one end with both hands.
  • By twisting your hands, squeeze out the water from the initial portion of the towel. Then, slide your hands down a few inches and repeat the squeezing action.
  • Continue this process along the entire length of the towel until you have extracted as much water as possible.
  • Rest for a few seconds and then repeat the entire process.
  • Reverse your hand positions so that both your arms are trained equally.

5. Standing One Arm Cable Triceps Extension

This arm wrestling exercise for triceps is excellent for building tricep size and strength as the tension remains constant throughout the range of movement.

Muscles worked: Triceps

How to perform

  • Stand in front of a cable machine and grasp the handle attached to a high pulley using an underhand grip with your right hand. Keep your left arm on your waist.
  • Begin by pulling the handle down until your upper arm is firmly positioned against the side of your body, with your elbow bent at slightly less than a 90-degree angle.
  • Now fully extend your arms until your hand is beside your thigh. 
  • Feel the contraction in your triceps and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

You might like: Get Killer Arms With These 15 Most Effective Tricep Exercises

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6. Seated dumbbell overhead tricep extension

One of the best arm wrestling exercises for triceps as it recruits all 3 heads leading to a stronger upper body.

arm wrestling exercises

Muscles worked: Triceps

How to perform

  • Sit on a bench with your feet planted on the floor.
  • Grasp a dumbbell and bring it to the top of your shoulders.
  • Place both your hands around the dumbbell as shown in the video and position the dumbbell above your head. This is the starting position.
  • Using this overlapping grip, lower the dumbbell behind your head until your forearms are parallel or more to the ground.
  • Pause for a moment and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

You might like: 10 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises At Home

7. Cable Wrist curls

Get wrists of steel with this amazing arm wrestling exercise for grip strength!

Muscles worked: Forearms, wrist flexors, wrist extensors, brachioradialis.

How to perform

  • Place a flat bench about a foot in front of a low cable pulley with a straight bar attached to it.
  • Ensure the bar is allowed to swivel at the point where it attaches to the cable.
  • Hold the bar with a shoulder-width underhand grip and sit down on the bench. Ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Rest your forearms on your thighs so that your hands extend just past your knees.
  • Begin by allowing your hands to extend as low as possible while keeping the bar in the palms.
  • Now flex your wrist and bring the bar as high as possible and then lower back to the start position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

8. Wrist roller

One of the best arm wrestling exercises for grip strength, the wrist roller is excellent for improving wrist stability and also building boulder forearms.

Muscles worked: Forearm flexors and extensors.

How to perform

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grasp a wrist roller with your palms facing down, using a pronated grip. 
  • Raise both arms until they are fully extended and parallel to the floor in front of you. 
  • Individually rotate each wrist in an upward motion, rolling the rope around the roller to lift the weight towards the bar. Ensure that your entire body is stationary with only your forearms in motion.
  • Once the weight reaches the bar, slowly lower it back down by rotating your wrists in a downward motion until the weight returns to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

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9. Arnold Dumbbell Press

An excellent arm wrestling exercise for shoulder stability and strength due to the rotational movement that recruits your stabilizer muscles.

Muscles worked:  Deltoids, trapezius, triceps.

How to perform

  • Sit on a bench with back support.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you at chest level with palms facing your body and your elbows bent.
  • Your arms should be next to your torso similar to the contracted position of a dumbbell curl. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and raise the dumbbells while rotating your palms outward, until they’re facing forward.
  • Keep raising the dumbbells until your arms are extended straight above you.
  • Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position by rotating your palms towards you.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

Related: 8 Awesome Resistance Band Shoulder Workouts

10. Dumbbell upright row

Research suggests that the dumbbell upright row is one of the best arm wrestling exercises for shoulder stability and strength.

arm wrestling exercises

Muscles worked: Deltoids, trapezius, biceps.

How to perform

  • Stand with a hip-width stance and grab a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip.
  • Position the dumbbells at the top of your thighs with your arms extended and your shoulder blades pinned back. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale as you use your deltoids to raise the dumbbells vertically while bending your arms up and moving your elbows out to the sides until the dumbbells reach chest level.
  • Ensure that the dumbbells are close to your torso as you do so.
  • Squeeze your deltoids, pause for a second, and then return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

Related: 10 Effective Shoulder Exercises With Dumbbells You Can Do Anywhere

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Frequently asked questions

1. How to get better at arm wrestling exercises?

To get better at arm wrestling, focus on

  • Pronation and supination exercises using a hammer or wrist roller.
  • Wrist curls and extensions using dumbbells, barbells, or resistance bands.
  • Arm wrestling movements using an arm wrestling machine or strap training.

Here are a few more tips on how to get better at arm wrestling:

  • Practice arm wrestling techniques, such as hand positioning, wrist control, and leverage strategies. 
  • Work on your reaction time, timing, and ability to adapt to your opponent's movements. 
  • Watch arm wrestling matches and tutorials or join a local arm wrestling club to gain insights into different techniques, hand positioning, and strategies used by arm wrestling pros. 

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2. How to increase arm wrestling strength?

Here’s how you increase arm wrestling strength:

1. Focus on forearm and grip strength

A strong grip is crucial for maintaining control and leverage during arm wrestling matches. Hence you should practice exercises such as wrist curls, towel wringing, etc., and use equipment such as thick grip curl bars and grip strengtheners to improve your forearm and grip power. 

2. Concentrate on overall strength training

Incorporate compound exercises such as deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, etc. to target multiple muscle groups, including the arms, shoulders, back, and core. 

3. How to train for arm wrestling?

There are 3 main moves in arm wrestling that all depend on the strength of different muscle groups. 

Hook – This move involves the supination of the hand and forearm and largely depends on wrist and bicep strength. Exercises including wrist rolls and hammer curls are great for strengthening your wrists and biceps.

Toproll- This move involves the pronation of the hand and the forearm and requires a great deal of hand and forearm strength. Exercises such as sledgehammer pronation and supination, towel wringing, etc. are excellent for improving your hand and forearm strength.

Press – This move involves positioning your shoulder behind your hand and relies heavily on tricep and shoulder strength. Practice tricep extensions and kickbacks, dumbbell shoulder presses, etc. to enhance your tricep and shoulder strength.

There are 2 main arm wrestling styles: side pressure and back pressure.

Side pressure depends on upper body strength (chest muscles) while back pressure relies on back strength (lats). Hence you should also incorporate exercises such as chest presses, dumbbell rows, pullovers, etc. in your arm wrestling training routine to target your pectorals and lats.

 

Conclusion

So, are you ready to dominate the arm wrestling arena? 

Try these targeted arm wrestling training exercises to build unstoppable grip strength and forearm power and zoom ahead to arm wrestling glory!

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