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The Secret Strategies Of Arm Wrestling


The arm wrestle, a one to one test of pure brute strength and manliness. You’ve already been called on to prove your manliness, and you will be again. Here’s the thing, though, a man must be at least as clever as he is strong. So, it is very fitting that the arm wrestle should have some secret strategies that will allow you to take down opponents who are considerably stronger than you.

It’s all about getting leverage. You won’t be cheating (no table grabbing, hovering elbows, or the like), you’ll just be taking advantage of vulnerabilities you both share. To do this you’ll need to be quick. If you move slowly your opponent will have time to realize what is happening and counter. There will be 3 phases: the top-roll, the hook, and the endgame. Again, make sure that you move from each phase as quickly as possible so that you’ll be knocking knuckles onto tables like Hercules, keeping them from ever figuring out your tricks.

It will be easier to understand the purpose of each phase if I explain them out of chronological order. So, I’m going to start with phase 2, then phase 1, and I’ll finish with the endgame.

Phase 2: The hook

You may have already done this (or had it done to you) without you knowing. If your opponent’s wrist is bent back so that it is no longer straight with their forearm, you’ll find that you have gained considerable leverage. So much so that only Superman would be capable of winning an arm wrestle from this point. At phase 2, you have 1 goal: hook their hand backwards, this is going to be a battle of the wrists. Once their hand is hooked back, you’ve all but won. Careful, should they hook your hand back, you will lose.

Since it is here that arm wrestles are won and lost, you must go in with leverage already on your side. Enter the top-roll.

Phase 1: The top-roll

Many men will know of the hook, but very few will know of the top-roll. The top-roll is to ensure that you win the battle of the wrists in phase 2 by giving you command of the first point of leverage (their wrist).

The instant the judge says go both men will start pushing sideways (smart ones trying to hook each others’ wrists), but you, the clever fox, will also start pulling your hand towards you as if you are doing a bicep curl. The idea is to shuffle your hand in theirs; you want to move your hand up theirs, sliding up their thumb a little so that you can use their thumb as a lever against them.

You likely won’t get a clean hold on just their thumb, but even half an inch of wiggling north will give you decent leverage during the hook. If your grip looks like the one in the picture (you want to be the guy with a blue t-shirt), you’ve done it. As soon as you’re in this position, hook ‘em and push ‘em down!

Phase 3: Endgame

A sporting gentleman will know when he is beat, but some will cling on for dear life with their hand hovering only an inch off the table. When your opponent is in this position, they can call on more muscles and you could find yourself in a stalemate: you unable to push down that final inch and them unable to turn the battle around. Again, speed will be your best friend, momentum will make it harder for them to stop your advance and hold the line. But for good measure, let’s get you a little more leverage.

If you’re using right hands, twist your torso to the left as much as you can (if you can turn so that you are facing at 90-degree angle to your opponent’s gaze, great!). This will give bring your shoulder muscles into play and let you use some body weight.


  • Phase 1: get leverage on their wrist.
  • Phase 2: use the leverage on their wrist to get leverage on their arm.
  • Phase 3: twist, bringing more muscles into play, and don’t let them pull a stalemate.

Remember, move quickly, the faster the better. In order to do these all quickly and seamlessly, you’ll likely need to practice. So find a family kid, girlfriend, or a mate you’re willing to let in on the secret.

Best of luck!


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