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EricMilfeld

Beginner Questions

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What are the advantages of wrapping your thumb? Is it recommended to do so with a high hook?

I asked some experienced pullers about thumb wrapping at a training session the other day, and they suggested "leverage". So, I'm just wondering how it improves leverage, and for what moves.

I've been trying to perform a proper top roll exclusively during matches, so was surprised when an experienced puller said to me two weeks ago "nice high hook". I didn't even know I was doing it and was only vaguely familiar with what one looks like. Then this past Sunday Michael Hann was coaching me to apply a lot of upwards back pressure at the start and then flex my wrist as much as I can as I go to the pad. It felt natural. By the way, I wasn't regripping low on the hand like you would for a regular hook. So, although he didn't call it by any particular move, maybe he was showing me how to high hook. Kind of a neat coincidence. Anyways, I'm wondering if I'm better suited for high hooking, as opposed to a more conventional top roll. Do many guys make it their go to move?

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What are the advantages of wrapping your thumb? Is it recommended to do so with a high hook?

I asked some experienced pullers about thumb wrapping at a training session the other day, and they suggested "leverage". So, I'm just wondering how it improves leverage, and for what moves.

I've been trying to perform a proper top roll exclusively during matches, so was surprised when an experienced puller said to me two weeks ago "nice high hook". I didn't even know I was doing it and was only vaguely familiar with what one looks like. Then this past Sunday Michael Hann was coaching me to apply a lot of upwards back pressure at the start and then flex my wrist as much as I can as I go to the pad. It felt natural. By the way, I wasn't regripping low on the hand like you would for a regular hook. So, although he didn't call it by any particular move, maybe he was showing me how to high hook. Kind of a neat coincidence. Anyways, I'm wondering if I'm better suited for high hooking, as opposed to a more conventional top roll. Do many guys make it their go to move?

Eric, next time we meet up I will show you the difference between a high hook and a top roll.

Go to YouTube and watch some of Sonny Larson's matches and tell me what he's performing.

See you March 9th!!!

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Wrapping the thumb allows you to have more control up high on a person's hand. It also helps to protect your thumb while performing a toproll. If you grip someone unwrapped and apply posting pressure (the high back pressure with the front wrist lock that you were referring to) you will readily lose your thumb in their grip, and it feels a bit awkward. If you cap, you can touch their first knuckle joint of their index finger which aids in control and helps to prevent the awkward losing of your thumb. Mid move, your thumb is subjected to a lot of twisting; your wrap also protects you there.

I also just thought that it may have qualities similar to a hook grip in lifting. It may aid your control of the opponent's hand up top. However, it certainly weakens your control on the lower part of their hand. Don't be discouraged by that statement though. Capping is very common and is a strong move.

Recommended for high hook: yes

You were indeed training a high hook with me. I think there is strong evidence that it is the most powerful move in armwrestling. You seem to view a high hook as a variation of a hook. This is not the case; it is more of a toproll than a hook. Don't become to focused on definitions of moves. Even among toprollers there is a great amount of variation. Anthony Snook: great toproller. Sonny Larson: great toproller. Cobra Rhodes: great toproller. Travis Bagent: great toproller. All four have different styles of toprolling.

Snook uses a fisherman dropped wrist toproll. Sonny uses that high hookish, backpressure style toproll. Cobra uses a hand pronation style toproll. Travis uses a posting style toproll. All different. All effective. You can find several examples of each type. Roger Nowatske=Snook. Dave Patton=Travis for example. Engin Terzi is a good toproller to watch (similar to Sonny).

If it feels comfortable to you then use it! Don't stress over the variety of moves yet. Just pick one or two (ie toproll style and maybe hook or press) and work those without focusing on the nitty gritty yet.

That said, the main reason that high hooks don't get described as toprolls is because they don't seem to break the hand back. You apply backpressure and wrist flexion with a pronator isometric which leaves your opponent in a neutral wrist position and supinated (ie palm up...a weak position). Their wrist isn't usually broken back leading to the belief that they weren't toprolled...but the definition is a bit meaningless...if you force them to the position described above, you have basically won their wrist.

There are several pullers that make use of a high hook style toproll. We should have some armwrestling practice after the grip tournament March 9th!

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Wrapping the thumb allows you to have more control up high on a person's hand. It also helps to protect your thumb while performing a toproll. If you grip someone unwrapped and apply posting pressure (the high back pressure with the front wrist lock that you were referring to) you will readily lose your thumb in their grip, and it feels a bit awkward. If you cap, you can touch their first knuckle joint of their index finger which aids in control and helps to prevent the awkward losing of your thumb. Mid move, your thumb is subjected to a lot of twisting; your wrap also protects you there.

I also just thought that it may have qualities similar to a hook grip in lifting. It may aid your control of the opponent's hand up top. However, it certainly weakens your control on the lower part of their hand. Don't be discouraged by that statement though. Capping is very common and is a strong move.

Recommended for high hook: yes

You were indeed training a high hook with me. I think there is strong evidence that it is the most powerful move in armwrestling. You seem to view a high hook as a variation of a hook. This is not the case; it is more of a toproll than a hook. Don't become to focused on definitions of moves. Even among toprollers there is a great amount of variation. Anthony Snook: great toproller. Sonny Larson: great toproller. Cobra Rhodes: great toproller. Travis Bagent: great toproller. All four have different styles of toprolling.

Snook uses a fisherman dropped wrist toproll. Sonny uses that high hookish, backpressure style toproll. Cobra uses a hand pronation style toproll. Travis uses a posting style toproll. All different. All effective. You can find several examples of each type. Roger Nowatske=Snook. Dave Patton=Travis for example. Engin Terzi is a good toproller to watch (similar to Sonny).

If it feels comfortable to you then use it! Don't stress over the variety of moves yet. Just pick one or two (ie toproll style and maybe hook or press) and work those without focusing on the nitty gritty yet.

That said, the main reason that high hooks don't get described as toprolls is because they don't seem to break the hand back. You apply backpressure and wrist flexion with a pronator isometric which leaves your opponent in a neutral wrist position and supinated (ie palm up...a weak position). Their wrist isn't usually broken back leading to the belief that they weren't toprolled...but the definition is a bit meaningless...if you force them to the position described above, you have basically won their wrist.

There are several pullers that make use of a high hook style toproll. We should have some armwrestling practice after the grip tournament March 9th!

ABSOLUTE GREAT POST!!!

This is great information Michael has shared here!

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Joe, you're right. Michael outdid himself with the wealth of knowledge contained in that post. I'm printing it out and keeping it as a resource. Seriously. Thanks a million, Michael!

And yes, we will definitely hit the table after the contest!

And just a little anecdotal here: so far the pulling doesn't seem to be messin' up my grip training. Even though I'm sore and my tendons ache from pulling the other day, I was just now able to add another rep to my PR on the pinch block. Axle is still doing decent, too.

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Eric,

I find with armwrestling training, it is worth knowing how much training you can get away with, whilst not being crazy sore for weeks after. This is something you should learn quickly.

Now after an A/W contest or a Supermatch, where you may have had a good amount of matches and left everything on the table, I'm sore for a good week, and exercises can take up to two weeks before they are back to normal.

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Eric,

I find with armwrestling training, it is worth knowing how much training you can get away with, whilst not being crazy sore for weeks after. This is something you should learn quickly.

Now after an A/W contest or a Supermatch, where you may have had a good amount of matches and left everything on the table, I'm sore for a good week, and exercises can take up to two weeks before they are back to normal.

Thank you, David. Yeah, I'm just now starting to get a clue as to what I can get away with. But I'm sure as I adapt to all the new stresses this recovery time should change. Arm wrestling must have a very big learning/recovery curve.

I've noticed those quick matches, whether I win or lose, take almost nothing out of me.

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Great conversation guys!

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Wrapping the thumb allows you to have more control up high on a person's hand. It also helps to protect your thumb while performing a toproll. If you grip someone unwrapped and apply posting pressure (the high back pressure with the front wrist lock that you were referring to) you will readily lose your thumb in their grip, and it feels a bit awkward. If you cap, you can touch their first knuckle joint of their index finger which aids in control and helps to prevent the awkward losing of your thumb. Mid move, your thumb is subjected to a lot of twisting; your wrap also protects you there.

I also just thought that it may have qualities similar%

Wrapping the thumb allows you to have more control up high on a person's hand. It also helps to protect your thumb while performing a toproll. If you grip someone unwrapped and apply posting pressure (the high back pressure with the front wrist lock that you were referring to) you will readily lose your thumb in their grip, and it feels a bit awkward. If you cap, you can touch their first knuckle joint of their index finger which aids in control and helps to prevent the awkward losing of your thumb. Mid move, your thumb is subjected to a lot of twisting; your wrap also protects you there.

I also just thought that it may have qualities similar to a hook grip in lifting. It may aid your control of the opponent's hand up top. However, it certainly weakens your control on the lower part of their hand. Don't be discouraged by that statement though. Capping is very common and is a strong move.

Recommended for high hook: yes

You were indeed training a high hook with me. I think there is strong evidence that it is the most powerful move in armwrestling. You seem to view a high hook as a variation of a hook. This is not the case; it is more of a toproll than a hook. Don't become to focused on definitions of moves. Even among toprollers there is a great amount of variation. Anthony Snook: great toproller. Sonny Larson: great toproller. Cobra Rhodes: great toproller. Travis Bagent: great toproller. All four have different styles of toprolling.

Snook uses a fisherman dropped wrist toproll. Sonny uses that high hookish, backpressure style toproll. Cobra uses a hand pronation style toproll. Travis uses a posting style toproll. All different. All effective. You can find several examples of each type. Roger Nowatske=Snook. Dave Patton=Travis for example. Engin Terzi is a good toproller to watch (similar to Sonny).

If it feels comfortable to you then use it! Don't stress over the variety of moves yet. Just pick one or two (ie toproll style and maybe hook or press) and work those without focusing on the nitty gritty yet.

That said, the main reason that high hooks don't get described as toprolls is because they don't seem to break the hand back. You apply backpressure and wrist flexion with a pronator isometric which leaves your opponent in a neutral wrist position and supinated (ie palm up...a weak position). Their wrist isn't usually broken back leading to the belief that they weren't toprolled...but the definition is a bit meaningless...if you force them to the position described above, you have basically won their wrist.

There are several pullers that make use of a%

Wrapping the thumb allows you to have more control up high on a person's hand. It also helps to protect your thumb while performing a toproll. If you grip someone unwrapped and apply posting pressure (the high back pressure with the front wrist lock that you were referring to) you will readily lose your thumb in their grip, and it feels a bit awkward. If you cap, you can touch their first knuckle joint of their index finger which aids in control and helps to prevent the awkward losing of your thumb. Mid move, your thumb is subjected to a lot of twisting; your wrap also protects you there. I also just thought that it may have qualities similar to a hook grip in lifting. It may aid your control of the opponent's hand up top. However, it certainly weakens your control on the lower part of their hand. Don't be discouraged by that statement though. Capping is very common and is a strong move. Recommended for high hook: yes You were indeed training a high hook with me. I think there is strong evidence that it is the most powerful move in armwrestling. You seem to view a high hook as a variation of a hook. This is not the case; it is more of a toproll than a hook. Don't become to focused on definitions of moves. Even among toprollers there is a great amount of variation. Anthony Snook: great toproller. Sonny Larson: great toproller. Cobra Rhodes: great toproller. Travis Bagent: great toproller. All four have different styles of toprolling. Snook uses a fisherman dropped wrist toproll. Sonny uses that high hookish, backpressure style toproll. Cobra uses a hand pronation style toproll. Travis uses a posting style toproll. All different. All effective. You can find several examples of each type. Roger Nowatske=Snook. Dave Patton=Travis for example. Engin Terzi is a good toproller to watch (similar to Sonny). If it feels comfortable to you then use it! Don't stress over the variety of moves yet. Just pick one or two (ie toproll style and maybe hook or press) and work those without focusing on the nitty gritty yet. That said, the main reason that high hooks don't get described as toprolls is because they don't seem to break the hand back. You apply backpressure and wrist flexion with a pronator isometric which leaves your opponent in a neutral wrist position and supinated (ie palm up...a weak position). Their wrist isn't usually broken back leading to the belief that they weren't toprolled...but the definition is a bit meaningless...if you force them to the position described above, you have basically won their wrist. There are several pullers that make use of a high hook style toproll. We should have some armwrestling practice after the grip tournament March 9th!
ABSOLUTE GREAT POST!!! This is great information Michael has shared here!
Agreed - great post! Ref wrapping thumb - for me, it depends a lot on relative hand size, finger length, styles etc, so worth experimenting to find what works for you IMO. Many great top-rollers don't wrap their thumb...Ref recovery - I've found that I can effectively train hands/wrists when my elbow/bicep tendons are still sore. Getting a crazy forearm pump with volume work can help flush out achey arms. That said, I will typically have a full week of rest after a tournament or Super-match. First session after comp is always biased to technique, usually to practice newly discovered tricks and talk about how great/rubbish we were the previous weekend.

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I appreciate the further insight, Anthony. I've always learned best through experimentation, so I guess in the long-run arm wrestling will prove to be no different.

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Hey Eric don't forget there is is tournament April 13 in Lewisville. Everyone you have been pulling with will be there, not sure about Mike Hann but everyone else will be..

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Hey Eric don't forget there is is tournament April 13 in Lewisville. Everyone you have been pulling with will be there, not sure about Mike Hann but everyone else will be..

Yeah, thanks Mike, Jerry was telling me about that. I'm kinda sorta flakin' out on the arm wrestling at the moment. I'm really just trying to focus on Nationals and don't want to risk injury or overtraining. I did tell Tommy I'd pull with him once a month though as he gets ready for Europa.

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Hey Eric don't forget there is is tournament April 13 in Lewisville. Everyone you have been pulling with will be there, not sure about Mike Hann but everyone else will be..

Yeah, thanks Mike, Jerry was telling me about that. I'm kinda sorta flakin' out on the arm wrestling at the moment. I'm really just trying to focus on Nationals and don't want to risk injury or overtraining. I did tell Tommy I'd pull with him once a month though as he gets ready for Europa.

I hear ya, Good luck at Nats and hope to see ya sometime soon.

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Hey Eric don't forget there is is tournament April 13 in Lewisville. Everyone you have been pulling with will be there, not sure about Mike Hann but everyone else will be..

Yeah, thanks Mike, Jerry was telling me about that. I'm kinda sorta flakin' out on the arm wrestling at the moment. I'm really just trying to focus on Nationals and don't want to risk injury or overtraining. I did tell Tommy I'd pull with him once a month though as he gets ready for Europa.

I hear ya, Good luck at Nats and hope to see ya sometime soon.

Hey, anytime you want to come train some grip, my garage door is always open.

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Thanks, I appreciate it! I'll PM my # so you have it.

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