Arm Wrestling Training

8 Best Arm Wrestling Exercises (For Unstoppable Strength)

Harvey Meale

Harvey Meale

I’ve been studying the strength training programs of the world’s elite armwrestlers for several years now…

What I’ve noticed is that many of the strongest pullers tend to base their training around very similar exercises, which we’re about to discuss today.

Please understand that there is no single best exercise, and the 8 best armwrestling exercises for one athlete may NOT be the best movements for the next guy…

Which exercises are ideal for you is a highly personal thing and will vary based on a multitude of factors.

What I do know, however, is that if you start with these base exercises and experiment with different variations from here, you’ll be on the path to success.

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    This article covers 8 different exercises targeting a wide range of body parts, each extremely important for armwrestling.

    Let’s begin!

    Beginner Armwrestling Program

    Knowing what exercises to do is one thing, but knowing how many sets and reps to perform, how frequently you should be training each week, and how much time should be spent on the table vs. in the gym is also very important.

    I’ve put together an armwrestling training program that explains far more than just what exercises to do, so I highly suggest checking that out to get a better idea of how to put everything together.

    1. Wrist Curls

    Wrist flexion, AKA cupping, is THE most important strength in the sport of armwrestling.

    You should be spending the majority of your time focusing on developing this ability to flex your wrist.

    You can do these using a dumbbell, barbell, or even a cable machine.

    You can experiment with different angles and ranges of motion, but I recommend starting with a neutral wrist and then curling inwards, and only extending back to the neutral (straight) wrist position.

    There’s not much need to extend your wrist back beyond neutral as you’ve generally already lost the match when your wrist gets cracked like this!

    2. Belt Pronation (Locked) Variations

    Using a judo belt or training strap is the easiest way to train pronation.

    I like to always start in a ‘fully pronated’ (AKA locked) position, as you should be starting an armwrestling match fully pronated to begin with.

    Almost all of my pronation work is starting in that neutral/straight wrist/locked position and working through the negative range of motion.

    I will also do pronation isolation work through the full ROM on my lower intensity days.

    You can do a huge variety of different variations here.

    I like to isolate these on a bench or hook my belt up to a cable stack and do pulses in that locked position.

    3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row

    One of the best back pressure lifts for armwrestlers is the good old bent over dumbbell row.

    This not only trains your elbow flexors, but also hits your lats and subscap muscles at the same time.

    This has surprisingly good carryover to the armwrestling table and is great for developing that raw horsepower needed to overpower your opponent.

    4. Neutral/Supinated Grip Chin Ups & Static Holds

    Really any sort of chin up is going to be highly beneficial to armwrestlers.

    If you can, opt for a neutral grip, otherwise a supinated/underhand grip is best.

    You can also do these as static holds/isometrics at the top of the movement – this fairly accurately replicates the armwrestling position on table.

    5. Hammer Curls

    Hammer curls of any variation are also excellent because they target the brachioradialis so well.

    I prefer doing them on a preacher bench, but they can be done standing or seated as well.

    You can do them with reasonably strict form, or include all the body English you like while maintaining that locked 90° position.

    Range of motion is completely up to you, but I’d recommend not doing full range and sticking to closer to the armwrestling angles.

    6. Wrist Wrench Variations

    The wrist wrench is one of the most popular pieces of armwrestling equipment because it opens your fingers up as you flex your wrist, which accurately simulates an armwrestling match.

    There’s about a hundred different ways to use a wrist wrench so experiment a bit to find what works best for you.

    This is my go-to handle when doing any sort of cupping movements.

    7. Multispinner High Wrap

    One of the most effective ways to train both cupping and pronation at the same time is to use a multispinner with a high wrap.

    This will simulate someone trying to open your arm up and I’ve found it’s absolutely ideal for top rollers.

    It’s no surprise that this is Devon Larratt’s secret weapon/his favorite movement!

    8. Belt Rising Variations

    Rising is one of the most important aspects of outside armwrestling, so every good top roller should be doing plenty of these exercises.

    You can do these by resting your elbow on your thigh, or they can even be done standing up.

    I prefer doing them with my arm supported on a bench and my wrist hanging off the edge.

    You can even do full blown hammer curls in this position if you want to train both rising as well as hammer strength/back pressure too!

    What’s The Verdict?

    So those are 8 of the most effective armwrestling exercises, many of which the world’s elite armwrestlers do on a daily basis.

    There are quite literally hundreds of different exercises and variations you can play around with, and many fantastic exercises I’ve not included in this list.

    If you want to learn more about how to program in some of the more nuanced armwrestling exercises, join our newsletter below.

      We regularly share tips and tricks for how to get the most out of these exercises and how to craft well balanced workouts.


      Harvey Meale

      I'm an arm wrestling superfan and the founder of Armwrestling Advice. I'm currently training full time to become the best puller I can be. When I'm not in the gym, you'll usually find me researching and learning about the training methods of the world's elite professional armwrestlers.

      Harvey Meale