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14 Year Old Wanting To Seriously Improve Forearm And Wrist Strength

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I'm currently 14 years old and I'm quite interested in armwrestling. I would say my ideal armwrestling style is similar to Ivakin Taras (Except I'm not that strong :/).

My grip strength is quite weak in my opinion (40kg right. I don't know my left). My weak point is probably arm wrestling against an arm wrestler who hooks. A few days ago when I arm wrestled my friend, I wasn't able to win mainly due to the hook. One thing I keep noticing is that when he hooks, my wrist hurts quite a lot because of how much he is turning it. Also, I can't hold my opponents arm when he hooks me and it goes down very quick.

I've watched quite a few tutorials by people like Devon Larratt on how to counter the hook, but it would be even better if I could improve my forearm strength, since I think it plays a very important role in arm wrestling. My current work out includes pull ups (thinking of doing weighted soon) and hammer curls/bicep curls using a towel.

Are there any other exercises which I can do to improve my strength? Any variations of using a towel and some weights?


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Get some fatgripz for your pull up bar. Towel pull ups are great as well. Push ups on the back of the hands as well as knuckle push ups. Do not over do it. You are very young and still growing. Rope climbing is very good as well. Soak a towel and ring it out. When you are sore, let your body recover. Do not strength train more than 3 days a week.

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Evan Raftopoulos

My current work out includes pull ups (thinking of doing weighted soon) and hammer curls/bicep curls using a towel. Are there any other exercises which I can do to improve my strength? Any variations of using a towel and some weights?

at first I was thinking what is a 14 year old doing here, but then I remembered that I started weight training when I was 12, and I remember how good it felt getting stronger. So first of all good job for starting to work out at an early age. I assume that you know basic training principles, how to properly warm up and and that you don't have any pre existing problems that limit your ability to train. I feel I need to say all this because your are very young and you should be careful with what you read online, including what I'll say about exercises:

with the towel you can also do pronations which is good more for top roll.So basically hang weights from the towel, get a good grip, turn your palm facing up as a starting point, and then turn your palm facing down, flex your wrist a bit, and also the elbow going towards your opposite chest. That's basically almost the same movement as when doing a top roll.

If you want to train more for hook be careful because training hard for hook can lead to some elbow problems, easier than training top roll in my experience. Focus more on back pressure and less side pressure, that way there is less stress in the inside of the elbow which is were a lot of arm wrestlers have problems. Also wrist curls should help. One variation that might be safe even with heavier wts is the behind the back wrist curl with a bar. I think this is safer on the wrists than doing a seated wrist curl.

you can do weighted pullups as you mentioned and also one arm lock offs $$$.

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First remember about solid base http://en.armpower.net/trenings/we-are-building-a-base-in-armwrestling-ivan-matyushenkos-tra-5.html

Second remember injury in armwrestling are very specific - they can stay for forever and you will can't fight on the table

Be careful, don't be hurry.... Slowly please... Go forward step by step

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rope and/or towel pull-ups will help big time! If you can't do pull-ups do body-rows and work up to pull-ups. 

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  • 1 month later...
Adam Juncker

You're young, which is the best time to start armwrestling. You have the right ideas, on training with towels, hammer curls, etc. The important thing to remember is that armwrestling puts a lot of stress on your tendons. Flexors, extensors, pronators, suppinators.  They all hook up on your elbow, and they can cause lots of pain.

Tendons are strengthened differently than muscles - they require time under tension. They also don't heal as quickly as muscles, so you have to be careful when training. Tendons do not get near the blood supply that muscles do, so this makes it more difficult to heal from an injury. 

When training, especially pronators for top rolling, focus on high rep with light weight. Devon larrat's workout is like 5000 reps, if that tells you anything. 

If you are a natural top roller, you don't HAVE to be good in the hook. Don't let the match go there. Your setup and hit can take away from an opponents hook and keep him on your side.

The best way to train is just to armwrestle. There are tons of gadgets and tools out there to target specific areas, but armwrestling is the best.

My team practices weekly in drill sessions. There are no pins or wins, 2 guys pull for one minute straight. If one guy gets close to the pin line he let's off and brings it back to center, let's the other guy try to bring him down. We go back and forth like this for 1 minute then rest. This is the concept of time under tension, and I think it is effective.

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I have no expertise at all in armwresting, so I won't comment on training - I'm sure the others have covered off the salient points.  One thing I would add is that in order to help recovery and avoid injury generally (again, I'm not an armwrestler so if anyone with expertise has contradictory advice I'd take that into account), it would be wise to invest some time in researching how to care for your elbows and wrists.  I especially recommend checking out Kelly Starrett's MobilityWOD videos on YouTube - I suppose that as an armwrestler you might not want to be very flexible in certain directions, but he has some good advice about how to prevent elbow pain - notably by taking care of the tissues upstream and downstream (i.e. forearms and upper arms), using a lacrosse ball to help get rid of knots in the tissue and restore the sliding surfaces can be a great help. GFiven that you're only 14, injuries might not be a priority on your radar but believe me that over years of training it will make a massive difference if you take care of things from the off - biggest thing that holds committed athletes back from consistent progress IMO is injury.

Just my 2cents as someone who has had a lot of elbow problems from weighted pull-ups in the past.

Good luck with your training!

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