Posting in arm wrestling is one of the most fundamental aspects of the sport and is often a key factor to winning arm wrestling matches.
In arm wrestling, posting strength refers to elbow flexion. The objective of posting is to make a ‘post’ with your forearm by establishing an upright position and keeping your hand and knuckles as high as possible.
In this article we’ll discuss the many benefits of a strong post in arm wrestling, how to train for this specific strength, and a lot more.
What Is Posting Strength In Arm Wrestling?
Posting refers to the combination of elbow flexion and rising working together to create a ‘post’ with your forearm (a forearm as upright/vertical as possible). This enables us to get our hand higher than our opponents giving us a leverage advantage and plenty of options for where to take the match.
In the above example, you can clearly see the athlete on the left has a significantly higher hand as his forearm is more vertical or upright than his opponent’s.
Posting is considered to be one of the most fundamental aspects of the sport of arm wrestling and it’s important to understand exactly why it’s so effective.
Benefits Of Posting Strength In Arm Wrestling
I’ve mentioned these already but the primary benefits of a strong post are,
- Efficiency & leverage – Generally speaking, the more upright your forearm is, the narrower your elbow angle will be, which means the match stays closer to you and your opponent is forced to work harder to maintain their position.
- Hand height – You should be aiming to have your knuckles facing the ceiling. The closer you can get your knuckles pointing straight up, the higher your hand will be on your opponent’s. If your hand is higher, it’s easier to top roll your opponent. At the same time, it’s significantly harder for your opponent to open your hand up when your in that knuckles-up position.
- Regripping – Every time you regrip successfully, you’re gaining maybe just a couple millimeters in height which translates to leverage. Keeping those knuckles nice and high makes regripping and gaining better hand position significantly easier.
- Easier to attack opponent’s fingers – This is effectively the same thing as hand height. If you’re planning on attacking your opponent through their fingers (top roll) posting will make it a lot easier. That’s why they call it a posting top roll!
At the end of the day it all comes down to height. The higher your hand, wrist, and fingers in relation to your opponent’s, the better off you’ll be in most arm wrestling matches.
Which Athletes Are Most Suited To Posting?
All arm wrestlers need to be proficient at this movement. You can’t just be really good in certain areas but have no ability to post. That’s like a cricket player who can’t catch or throw a ball.
Posting is one of the fundamentals of arm wrestling, so it cannot be overlooked and its importance can’t be understated.
Having said all that, generally taller, longer athletes who lean towards outside pulling will benefit slightly more from being well versed in posting because their anatomy (long levers) already favors height.
I wrote an article discussing whether long arms or short arms are better for arm wrestling where I explain this in further detail.
How To Train Posting In Arm Wrestling?
The recipe for posting strength includes wrist rise, elbow flexion, and back pressure.
Rising strength AKA radial deviation refers to the wrist movement where we’re trying to get those knuckles facing the roof.
Elbow flexion is a combination of brachioradialis and biceps (think hammer curl), and back pressure more lats and rhomboids working to pull your opponent towards your side of the table.
If you get really strong at all of these things, you’ll be excellent at posting.
Work On Developing Rising Strength
The primary objective in posting is to get those knuckles facing the roof. This requires our wrist to be really strong in that hammer position.
Here you can see Devon demonstrating this rising movement and also performing one of the more effective movements you can do to train this rising strength.
Focus On Brachioradialis & Hammer Movements
The brachioradialis is arguably more important than strong biceps or back pressure when it comes to posting.
Your brachioradialis is the meaty muscle at the top of your forearm and it’s primary role is to keep the forearm close to the upper arm (elbow flexion).
This muscle is in overdrive whenever you’re performing a hammer curl (AKA posting). It’s the main muscle driving the ship when it comes to posting but works very closely with the brachialis and long head of the bicep.
Since we grip up in a neutral position and not supinated, we want to be really strong in this hammer position.
We’ll have a better chance of maintaining our riser when we’re in this neutral/hammer position. As soon as we’re forced to supinate we lose access to the brachioradialis and switch from the long head to the short head of the bicep and end up in more of a hook.
3 Best Posting Exercises In Arm Wrestling
It’s simplest if we break posting down into its three main components (rise, elbow flexion, back pressure) and pick exercises which focus on one of these major areas.
You can absolutely train these three strengths all at the same time, and this is always preferable, but each exercise will have a specific focus.
1. Rising Pulses
We already went over this one. It’s really simple and all you need is a weight plate or kettlebell and a judo belt.
Wrap the belt around your hand so that the tension is pulling downwards through your knuckles.
Perform small pulsing rising movements while keeping your forearm parallel to the ground. Focus on using the wrist to move those knucles to the roof.
2. Hammer Curls
This one’s just a simple neutral grip bicep curl. You can do these standing up resting on a bench with your opposite arm or sitting down using a preacher bench.
The key is to keep your wrist in that fully risen position throughout the range of motion.
Great way to slam your brachioradialis as well as the brachialis and long head of the bicep – the primary elbow flexors. You’ll also be hitting your rise while doing this exercise.
3. Strap Row
There’s plenty of different ways to do this sort of exercise. Effectively we’re just using a strap/belt attached to a pulley/cable machine and we’re just practicing that posting movement with an emphasis on our back.
You should think about engaging your lats to drag and pulling through your rhomboids on your back. At the same time, focus on keeping your elbow flexion and rise intact.
This exercise’s primary focus is to generate force using the back, but it’s a perfect all-in-one compound posting movement if you focus your attention on maintaining integrity throughout that entire kinetic chain (back -> elbow -> wrist).
You can use a strap or belt for this. A strap is cool because it’ll simulate being in a strap during an actual match, but you can make do with whatever cable attachment you have access to.
What Is The Difference Between Posting & Rising In Arm Wrestling?
It’s quite common to see people use the terms posting and rising synonymously. It’s effectively one and the same thing.
Technically, rising refers to the wrist movement only (ulnar deviation). That’s the wrist movement used to point our knuckles upwards.
Posting refers to the same movement but at the elbow joint, elbow flexion.
Think of posting as force at the forearm level whereas rising refers to the force at the level of the wrist.
At the end of the day, you’ll basically never see one without the other, so I don’t think anyone will shoot you if you use the terms interchangeably.
What Is A Posting Top Roll In Arm Wrestling?
All this term refers to is a top roll characterized by a very vertical forearm setup and an emphasis on rising through the fingers of your opponent.
Here you can see Travis on the left setting up his patented posting top roll. His arm is close to vertical, knuckles also pointed directly upwards.
This type of top roll, in contrast to the low hand top roll, seeks to attack your opponent’s fingers. The low hand variation, on the other hand, is more concerned with containment and wrapping around the hand to gain control.
Parting Thoughts On Posting In Arm Wrestling
Posting is one of the most important fundamental aspects of the sport of arm wrestling. It allows you to control the match through height and by attacking the fingers of your opponent.
To be proficient in posting, you need to train your rising strength, elbow flexion, and back pressure.
The posting top roll is a personal favorite move of mine. Travis Bagent managed to ascend to one of the highest peaks the sport of arm wrestling has ever seen by relying heavily on his posting top roll.
I highly recommend beginners focus on developing this strength as soon as possible because having superior height over your opponent will always be of value regardless of where you choose to take the match.