The Sport of Arm Wrestling
Armwrestling is another sport that traces its roots back to ancient Egypt, where only the biggest and baddest of men would engage in the game of arms. Although the sport may seem like a schoolground competition, it’s actually quite popular throughout the world -- especially in North America and Europe. The World Arm Wrestling Federation is the governing body of professional armwrestling tournaments.
How to Arm Wrestle
While there are rules and regulations to the sport of armwrestling, the objective is quite simple -- be the first one to pin your opponent in a best of three or best of five series. This may sound easy, but if you’re looking to climb up in the professional ranks, you’ll need to follow a strict set of workouts.
Professional arm wrestlers will workout virtually every muscle in their arms to compete. Arm wrestling requires world-class grip strength, bicep strength, forearm strength, and explosive rotation of your shoulders when pinning an opponent.
Rules of Arm Wrestling
- There are two different ways every arm wrestler will be positioned in a professional tournament: weight class and dominant arm. Weight classes for men: 0 to 165 lb, 166 to 195 lb, 196 to 225lb, and 226 +. For women: 0 to 135 lb, 136 to 155 lb, 156 to 175 lb, and 176+.
- Arm wrestling can be competed either individually or with a team.
- The match will take place on an arm wrestling table -- with thick padding for competitor elbows, padding for the pinning area, and a sidebar for competitor’s to grip during the match. There are no universal dimensions for this table.
- Competitors will have to rid their hands and arms of all clothing or materials that may inhibit the outcome of a match -- no gloves, pads, wraps, sleeves, etc.
- Wrists must be straight (no curling) at the start of the match. Competitors can only begin after the referee has released the grip.
- In the event of a slip, the round will go to straps -- where the grip will be locked in with a thick rubber strap.
- There are various fouls a competitor can commit, however, some of the most common are: pulling your opponent towards you, using your body weight to pin, intentionally slipping, and dropping your body weight downwards. Three fouls in a match results in a disqualification.
Even though armwrestling is a game of arms, injuries can still occur. Bleeding from a slip is common. In the event that blood is drawn, the competitor will have an allotted time to stop the blood or forfeit their turn. Muscle strains, tears, and even broken bones in the arm or wrist can result from a match.
Written by: Devin Pickell