A Real Life Story by Clayton Faulconer
Arm wrestling Is A Risk And Arms Do — And Will — Break.
In the Lower Mainland where I live, in 2021, six arms have been broken in a 8-month period due to arm wrestling. This is the worst I have ever seen. This is a wake-up call, as six broken arms in the last 8 months is rediculously terrible.
Talking About Potential Injury And How To Be Safe Is Necessary
Arm wrestling uses muscles and ligaments that are not normally used in any other activity other than arm wrestling. When practicing, warm up and start slow. Force yourself to stop when you feel fatigue starting. The specific muscles and ligaments that you use while arm wrestling will get stronger and build up, but it takes time. When armwrestling you typically give 110% and it is difficult to control or limit this. I recommend arm wrestling before strength training. Strength training is more controlled and understand how to force yourself to stop when your muscles are tired and before injury.
People with weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding experience seem to be at a higher risk of injury than those who do not have a strength training history. They have the mis-belief that they are physically conditioned and should be strong and ready to arm wrestle. This is often not the case; the only way to have strong tendons and ligaments that are used when arm wrestling is to develop them and make them stronger by practicing specific moves of arm wrestling.
How To Train Safely
Before each training session, talk about being safe, injuries that can happen and ways to prevent these injuries. The risk of forearm tears and other injuries such as a spiral fracture of the humerous, can be increased depending on your technique, knowledge and training. You should always include talking about the potential for injury, warm up, and try to give 50% force to start. Never getting into a “break-arm position”, and lastly, stop before you are exhausted or injured.
So What Is An "Break-Arm Position"?
An “ break-arm position” is when you turn your head away from the hand you are pulling with. It has been shown that preventing this may reduce injury. To prevent a "break-arm position”, ensure you always face your hand while pulling with.
Never turn your head away from the hand you are pulling with and ensure this is being watched by you, your opponent, and any bystanders or referees. If you or your opponent gets into a break-arm position, speak up about this to correct it or stop the match. In a tournament, a referee will advise you that you need to face your hand and if you do not follow these directions, the referee will stop the match and give you a foul. This will largely prevent it from happening again.