Freestyle Wrestling Techniques (9 Helpful Moves)

“Today I’d like to discuss freestyle wrestling techniques”.

First of all, welcome from the Sports page.

Freestyle wrestling is the international style of wrestling that’s practiced all across the world on the Olympic level.

We’re gonna get into to the moves that most successful wrestlers use in freestyle.

Let’s get into it.

Freestyle Wrestling Techniques

There’s 9 helpful Freestyle wrestling techniques that if learned and used effectively will help you win at a high level.

  • Reversal
  • Takedown
  • Double leg takedown
  • Cradle
  • Suplex
  • Hip Toss
  • Crossface
  • Spladle
  • Arm Throw

These are all pretty standard moves in the sport, however, it takes a career’s worth amount of time to master.

What is a Reversal Maneuver in Wrestling?

A reversal in wrestling is moving from the bottom position to the top position.

This move helps you gain control of your opponent from either on the mat or on your feet.

This move is only one of many different ways to score on your opponent, but there’s many ways to get to it as well.

Millswrestling actually has a very helpful list of different reversals you can get to from the bottom position.

Wrestling Takedowns

Let’s talk about wrestling takedowns.

A takedown is the cornerstone of all the scoring you’ll do when wrestling.

There’s 5 different takedowns that prove to be highly effective in the sport, and they’re as followed.

  • 2 on one lunge step
  • Fake single leg to an ankle pick
  • Head to chest fireman’s carry
  • Rear body lock takedown
  • Snap down

Double Leg Takedown

Here we are now talking about the double leg takedown.

The way to do a double leg is pretty standard in the sport, however, the setup’s traditionally a universal 7 step process.

  • perfect the shot step
  • get in close
  • place the lead foot in between your opponent’s legs
  • snake their legs with your hands
  • bring your back leg forward and place your order foot on the outside of their leg
  • step forward with your trailing leg and get to your feet
  • finish, making a T with your opponent’s body

Although that’s a basic setup to finish on your double leg, there’s many different double legs you can perform.

Check out the 6 types of double legs that every wrestler should know (provided by Fanatic Wrestling).

Wrestling Cradle Series

Let’s move on to the wrestling cradle series.

Ben Askren, 2x NCAA Champion, 2x Hodge Trophy Winner and 2008 Olympian was notorious for this move.

There’s typically only 2 types of cradles in the sport.

The first is the near side, where you lock up a hold around the head and closest knee of your opponent and take them to their back.

The second’s a far side cradle in where you do the same, but instead of going for the closer knee, you go for the farther one.

Ben actually shared 3 sneaky variations of this move.

They’re just a small tweak to the two traditional types, and the third is actually a type of cradle he used in the Olympics.

It happens if your opponent shoots on you and you force them into your shin to lock up a hold.

You’ll walk the near leg to the head of where your opponent’s at on your leg.

Very sneaky indeed.

Wrestling Suplex Technique

Next is the wrestling Suplex technique.

This move is performed by standing face to face with your opponent, with you standing slightly to their side.

It’s a battle to build a lock in which you’re most comfortable.

And once that lock’s reached you’ll lift your opponent up behind you for points.

If you’ve seen the USA Wrestling logo, you’ll see that it captures the image pretty well.

It’s most commonly used between Freestyle and Greco, earning you anywhere from 4-5 point depending on the arch.

Headlock Hip Toss

Let’s talk about the headlock hip toss.

Commonly referred to as just a hip toss, it’s a great feet to back move to get big points in the match.

It’s also a great move to be used in MMA, judo or even BJJ.

USA Wrestling even titles this as a Level 1 type Olympic move, further solidifying it as a high level international move.

2008 Olympic Gold medalist Henry Cejudo gives a great demonstration of this technique if you visit fanatic wrestling.

Cross Face Cradle Wrestling

Let’s talk about the cross face cradle wrestling hold.

This move is commonly used in conjunction with the cradle series we talked about earlier.

Again, a big help from Ben Askren and his brother Max is a series of DVDs that break down the different ways to use this hold.

It can get as flashy or as basic as you would like it to be.

One of the most popular crossface cradle series is the roll through.

It was actually used in the NCAA finals against Olympic Champion David Taylor by current Bellator Champion Bubba Jenkins.

The crossface can start a lot of great things in wrestling, clearly.

Spladle Wrestling Move

And let’s move onto the Spladle wrestling move.

Although this is a takedown that’s meant to be a counter, it’s still a highly effective move.

Very similar to the secret cradle that Askren uses to pin his opponents that get on his leg, I myself got some useful pins off this.

It’s useful to use as low as the high school level.

I can recall a state champ from Illinois that was known for using this move.

Even though you’re usually counting on an opponent to be offensive for it to work, it’s great to know.

All in all, it’s a very good skill to have if you’re okay with scrambling and getting in the mix with your opponent.

What Is An Arm Throw In Wrestling?

And finally we’ll be talking about what an arm throw is in wrestling.

It’s defined as a move in which a wrestler throws the opponent over his shoulder by holding the opponent’s arm.

Final thoughts

I’m a big fan of wrestling in general, but I’m still learning about this style.

My last competition was in 2020 at Senior Nationals.

There’s many different moves that can be done in freestyle.

But let’s recap on the moves that should be emphasized most in the sport.

  • Reversal
  • Takedown
  • Double leg takedown
  • Cradle
  • Suplex
  • Hip Toss
  • Crossface
  • Spladle
  • Arm Throw

If you’d like to get a guide that breaks down even more Freestyle wrestling moves, check out the book Winning Wrestling Moves.

Winning Wrestling Moves

A purchase from this post helps support the site and can guarantee more wrestling related content.

See you on the next one!

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