Arm Wrestling Theory

What Is The ‘Dad Move’ In Arm Wrestling?

Harvey Meale

Harvey Meale

The dad move has become well known as one of the most humiliating ways you can defeat your opponent in arm wrestling…


The ‘dad move’ is where an arm wrestler will start creeping down the forearm of their opponent, deliberately giving themselves a leverage disadvantage.

It’s a statement which shows that they’re far stronger and in complete control of the match, and are now just toying with their opponent.

In this article we’ll look at the history of the dad move as well as exactly how to perform this move for maximum humiliation!

Why The Dad Move Is The Ultimate Display Of Superiority

One of the most humbling things you can have happen to you at the arm wrestling table is to be dad moved.

Here’s what it looks like…

If arm wrestling moves could speak, this one would say, “I’m so much stronger than you, I can completely give away my advantage and STILL beat you!”

The dad move aims to make you quit out of embarrassment!

Dad Moving Your Opponent Gives Them A Massive Leverage Advantage

To the untrained eye, it might not be immediately obvious why this is so impressive, but has to do with the position the dad mover deliberately puts themselves in.

The key to arm wrestling is establishing a leverage advantage, which means staying as high on your opponent as possible.

By deliberately creeping down the arm of your opponent (towards their elbow), you’re giving away ALL the leverage and instead relying on sheer strength to win.

That’s what makes it so impressive.

How To Do The Dad Move In Arm Wrestling

It’s really fairly simple and intuitive to perform and almost needs no explanation.

As soon as you know you’re easily going to win the match, simply start edging your fingers down the inside of your opponent’s hand and wrist.

Initiate the movement with your ring and pinky finger.

Be sure to maintain your cup as you do this. Without significant cupping strength and containment, this move is almost impossible to pull off.

Larratt says the objective of the dad move is to get as far down your opponent’s forearm toward their elbow as possible.

If you’re able to get your thumb freed up, you can use this to hook around your opponents wrist to further extend your conquest of their forearm.

High Profile Dad Move: WAL506 – Devon Larratt vs. Wagner Bortolato

In WAL506 Devon Larratt pulled off the highest profile dad move of all time against Wagner Bortolato, the Brazilian champion.

Typically the dad move is done by pros who are joking around against amateurs…

These guys are often lightyears ahead of their opponent in terms of strength, which is why it was so incredible to see someone as accomplished as Bortolato being dad moved in a professional supermatch!

Who Invented The Dad Move In Arm Wrestling?

People have been doing the dad move for decades, but it’s unclear exactly who came up with it initially.

Although it’s possible he didn’t coin the term, Devon Larratt has certainly popularized the dad move and made it into the meme that it is today.

Why Is It Called The Dad Move?

Supposedly it’s called the dad move because it makes you feel like you’re pulling your dad.

Everyone knows you can’t beat your dad in an arm wrestling match…

The old man strength is just too great!

The Ultimate Flex: Actually Getting Strong Enough To Dad Move Someone…

Whichever way you slice it, the dad move is only an option if you’re really, really strong.

Like way stronger than your opponent.

The easiest way to become way stronger than your opponents is to sign up to our free weekly newsletter, where we share training tips and advice from the greatest pullers on the planet!

    Seriously, opt in above and you’ll be dad moving your entire club in no time!


    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