Strongwoman Gabi Dixson Sets New Thor’s Hammer Hold World Record of 49.15 Seconds

Dixson beat the former world record holder Rebecca Roberts in their heat.

The final day of the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, occurred on March 5, 2023, and featured the Rogue Record Breakers event. Strongmen and strongwomen competed across six events with the goal of eclipsing world records.

The first event of the day was Thor’s Hammer, which challenges athletes to a static front hold using an implement shaped like a giant hammer — think the Marvel superhero character “Thor” and the Hammer he uses that captures lightning. The men’s Hammer weighed 85 pounds, and the women’s Hammer weighed 50 pounds.

Gabi Dixson was in the second heat against the reigning world record holder and 2021 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) Rebecca Roberts, who had previously held the Hammer for 39.09 seconds. Dixson employed a unique technique that caught the imagination of the commentary team of Sean Woodland and Jerry Pritchett.

Dixson placed one hand under the head of the Hammer and her other hand at the bottom of the handle pushing outward to leverage against the upper hand. It was an intelligent move, scoring Dixson a new Thor’s Hammer world record of 49.15 seconds.

[Related: 2023 Arnold Strongwoman Classic Day Two Recap — Victoria Long Dominates]

Had Dixson dropped before Roberts, Roberts would have set a new world record herself. Battling in the same heat, they both eclipsed the previous mark to beat. In the post-heat interview, Dixson said that she had just learned of her capacity for static holds at that moment against Roberts. However, Dixson’s preparation for the event included a lot of lateral raises and static practice.
While Thor’s Hammer is hugely taxing on the shoulders, it also requires a firm grip to maintain the positioning as the judges have to keep an eye on the athletes’ arms, elbows, and back. The Hammer must be held above a specific angle for the clock to continue, and the athlete’s back must remain pinned to a post. Athletes are not allowed to extend their backs for additional leverage. That made Dixson’s strategy that much more creative as it moved the leverage point from the back to the bottom hand on the handle.

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Featured image: @gabigrl_prostrongwoman on Instagram