Arm Wrestling and its Simplistic Complexities

Arm wrestling is one of the oldest, yet actively played, tests of strength. A fairly simple game that is played between two contestants. Each player stands on opposing sides of a flat surface, typically sitting around a table or something at roughly chest height, and rests their elbows on the table with the forearm at about a 90 degree angle. The height of the surface depends on if the players intend to sit or stand during play. Then the players grasp each other’s hands and wait for the game to start. Once the call has been made for the game to progress, each player begins to press with whatever technique they have chosen, against the other player’s palm until the opponent’s wrist touches the flat surface. Whilst a simple game in concept there is more to it than a raw test of strength. One major factor that determines the success or failure of an arm wrestler is endurance, as well as strategy. One popular strategy is to let your opponent use all their strength pushing your hand while you focus more on not moving your hand than pushing their hand once they have wasted most of their energy. What is largely considered to be the most successful technique within the arm wrestling community is called the “Top Roll”. The top roll utilizes the rotation of one’s wrist in order to take down the opponent. One of the drawbacks of the top roll is that it can cause players to lose a grip of one another. In cases where players fail to maintain a constant grip, a rope or something similar may be tied around their hands as a means of constraining the pair of hands together. While being a sport that can be played by anyone, lots of vigorous training is required for victory, yet more importantly to avoid serious injury. For being such a simple game injuries can frequently occur if a player’s form is off or pressure is applied incorrectly. Due to how arm wrestlers’ arms link, the tension is mostly placed on one’s humerus, or the upper arm area. Due to this injury maybe people are deterred from arm wrestling as the recovery from a humerus fracture is not a particularly pleasant one. A large factor on if a player will endure an injury is the position of their elbow in relation to their shoulder. If a player keeps their arm straight, only bent at the elbow then they are a fairly low risk, however a player who shifts the elbow to the inside, shifts the tension that would be in the forearm into the humorous. This extra pressure makes a fracture extremely likely. Even with these risks there are enough frequent arm wrestlers that there are multiple leagues as well as a plethora of clubs all over the world. The largest United States based league is found within Chicago, Known as the World Arm Wrestling League. The World Arm Wrestling League is actively pushing for arm wrestling to be recognized as a legitimate sport.


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