In our recent ‘Strong Comment’, we welcomed a couple of new Coaches to The Commando Temple – one of them was our very own Arm Warrior Dan Thomas.
Dan is a multiple British National Championship silver medallist in the art of Armwrestling and has beaten national champions from across Europe on the ArmWars professional circuit so he knows what it is to be successful in this field.
We asked Dan to share some of his top tips with The Commando Temple Community so you too can make great gains in the sport:
My top 5 tips for Armwrestling
Dan Thomas, Commando Temple Armwrestling Coach
1. Always pull, never push
As a sport, it’s all about taking your opponent’s strength from them. We can do this by applying a little bit of physics:
If you remember back to school science classes, when we want to move a load using a lever, we want the load as close to the pivot point and as short a lever as possible. The same applies here. The pivot point is your elbow, the lever is your forearm and the load is Me pulling on your hand. If I can pull high enough into your hand, I am moving the force further away from your elbow than If I push towards it, this means you must use more force in response to what I’m doing.
2. Train your hand and wrist strength
Further to the first point, if you have a strong wrist and hand, you can prevent your opponent from pulling you away from your shoulder by controlling their hand and wrist.
To do this, you should include thick bar lifts to increase hand strength, and resistance band or cable wrist curls where you position your arm as it would be on the armwrestling table, again, use a thick handle to replicate the thickness of an opponent’s hand.
Picture A, using a 2 or a 3 inch rolling handle with a band for dynamic and static wrist curls.
3. Chest day brah!
I know it’s a sport of pulling, but you must have stability of the shoulder and the strength to maintain an internally rotated arm when hooking. So, bench press, cable fly’s and pec deck are all to be utilised, also, as an aside, don’t forget your triceps, they’re vital too in maintaining stability at the elbow.
4. Pronation and supination
There are three positions for our hand, pronation is turning the hand so the palm faces down, supination is when the palm faces up and neutral where the palms face each other.
To be an effective armwrestler, you need the ability to either supinate or pronate your hands and then the strength to maintain that position.
Picture B, Pronation drill using a belt and loading pin.
5. Train your back
Strong lats are vital in this sport and I favour heavy row variations for building monstrous strength, preferably with a thick bar.
One of my favourite variations is a single arm barbell row, gripping the collar in front of the plates, rather than the bar itself, you have the added benefit of a thicker handle which will improve your hand strength enormously.
Picture C, barbell rows gripping the collar.
Following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to beating all of your friends on the armwrestling table.
If you want to tap into Dan’s knowledge of the sport even further and put these tips into practice, Dan runs an Armwrestling Club from the Commando Temple on Saturday mornings 11:30 – 13:00 where you’ll have access to the same Mazurenko table as used by the British, European and World Armwrestling federations for all of their championships. Also, don’t forget that if this is your first class with us the first session is completely free – we just ask that you turn up 15 mins early. For more information on our classes, check out our timetable here.
Dan is also one of our Personal Training Coaches, so if you want to work on building your strength or perfecting a particular skill, you can discover more information on what he and our other Coaches have to offer here.