in: Featured, Fitness, Health & Fitness

• Last updated: September 25, 2021

10 Manly Feats of Strength

Two vintage gentlemen arm wrestling.

Men like to compete. Men particularly enjoy comparing and competing against one another in the area of strength. To settle disputes among your friends as to who is the strongest, you could go to the gym, slide some 45 lb plates on a bar, and see who can bench or squat the most. But that simply isn’t as fun as actually struggling and wrestling against an opponent of flesh and blood. Moreover, a gym might not be accessible or even desirable. Below are 10 manly feats of strength that can be done anywhere, anytime. The February 1933 edition of Modern Mechanix Magazine did an article highlighting eight of the ten. If you were a Boy Scout, many of these games may look familiar. All of them pit you against another man in a pure mano-a-mano showdown. All of them call on different muscles and not only require brute strength, but good balance and a bit of skill as well. So next time you and your buddies are bantering about who is the strongest, don’t settle the dispute with a cliche impromptu wrestling match. Challenge your friends to back up their bluster, move the furniture, and let the real games begin. Wearing a three piece suit is optional, but encouraged.

Arm Wrestling

Vintage arm wrestling match.

Arm wrestling. Every man has done it. This is such a popular feat of strength that an entire movie starring Sylvester Stallone was made about it. If you’ve been living under a rock your entire life and don’t know how to arm wrestle, here’s how you do it. Grasp your opponent’s hand firmly and place your elbow on a table or other flat surface. On the signal, try to force your opponent’s hand to the table.

One Legged Elbow Wrestling

Vintage one legged elbow wrestling.

See who has the best balance of the bunch with this manly feat of strength. Interlock your right elbows and hold one foot off the ground. First person to drop their foot loses.

Back Wrestling

Vintage black and white wrestling.

Vintage back wrestling.

This feat of strength tests your core, back, and arm strength. Sit on the floor with your back against your opponent’s, knees raised close to the chest. Interlock elbows as shown in the image above. On “Go!” the first person to force their opponent’s right shoulder to the ground wins.

Foot Boxing

Vintage men foot boxing early.

This feat tests a man’s stamina and balance. Clasp hands under your right knee and raise it up. Place your toes against your opponent’s toes. Push with your toes and try to force your opponent to lose his balance. First person to unclasp their hands loses.

Up and At Em’

Vintage men up and at 'em game.

This feat will test the strength of your arms, shoulders, and back. Sit on the floor facing your opponent and touching each other’s toes. Grasp your opponent’s hands or wrists. On “Go!” try to lift your opponent off the ground by pulling back. First person whose butt leaves the ground loses. You can also do this game by holding a stick between you instead of each other’s hands.

Standing Arm Wrestling

Vintage standing arm wrestling contest.

Think arm wrestling is a challenge when you’re sitting? Try doing it standing up. Not only do you have to use your shoulder and arm muscles, but you also must use your core and leg muscles to maintain balance. Stand with knees touching and grasp hands as in traditional arm wrestling. First person to force their opponent’s hand all the way down to the right wins.

Elbow Wrestling

Vintage elbow wrestling match.

Stand facing your opponent with knees touching. Place your left hand behind your back and grasp your opponent’s elbow with your right hand. First person to push their opponent off balance wins.

Indian Leg Wrestling

Indian leg wrestling contest modern men wrestling.

Opponents lie down on their backs next to each other with their legs pointing in opposite directions. On the count of one, each opponent raises their inside leg to a vertical position. On the count of two, they repeat it. On “three,” opponents lock legs and try to flip each other over backwards.

Indian Staff Wrestling

Two men indian staff wrestling outdoor wrestling.

Opponents stand in front of each other and grasp a staff between them. You can use anything for the staff: broom, baseball bat, large branch, etc. On the signal, each opponent attempts to wrestle the staff from their opponent’s grip. First person who releases both hands from the staff loses.

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