Basic Wrestling Moves Every Beginner Should Know

Whether you’re a wrestling enthusiast or just starting out, it’s crucial to have a solid foundation of basic wrestling moves. In this article, you’ll discover a collection of essential techniques that every beginner should be familiar with. From takedowns to escapes, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the essential knowledge to navigate the world of wrestling with confidence and skill. So, let’s get ready to explore the fundamental wrestling moves that will lay the groundwork for your success in the ring.


Headlocks are fundamental moves in wrestling that allow you to gain control over your opponent by immobilizing their head. There are different types of headlocks you can utilize depending on your position and the situation.

Front Headlock

The front headlock is a versatile move that can be used to control your opponent from the front. By wrapping your arm around their head, you can apply pressure and restrict their movement. This move is great for setting up takedowns and transitions to other techniques.

Rear Headlock

In the rear headlock, you position yourself behind your opponent and wrap your arm around their head, similar to the front headlock. This move gives you control and allows you to manipulate your opponent’s body. It’s particularly effective for takedowns and keeping your opponent off-balance.

Side Headlock

The side headlock is a valuable move that allows you to control your opponent’s head from the side. By wrapping your arm around their head, you can exert pressure and limit their options. This move is commonly used to set up throws and transitions into other moves.


Takedowns are essential wrestling moves that help you bring your opponent to the ground and gain a positional advantage. These moves require strength, technique, and timing to execute effectively.

Double Leg Takedown

The double leg takedown is one of the most powerful moves in wrestling. It involves driving your shoulder into your opponent’s midsection while simultaneously wrapping your arms around their legs. Using your momentum, you can lift and drive them to the ground, gaining control and potentially scoring points.

Single Leg Takedown

The single leg takedown is a technique that involves targeting one of your opponent’s legs and taking them down to the ground. By gripping their leg and using your bodyweight, you can destabilize your opponent and bring them down while maintaining control.

High Crotch Takedown

The high crotch takedown is another effective move that focuses on securing control of your opponent’s upper body while targeting their leg. By stepping in and connecting your hands under your opponent’s thigh, you can lift and drive them off-balance, ultimately bringing them down to the ground.

Basic Wrestling Moves Every Beginner Should Know

Pinning Techniques

Pinning techniques are vital in wrestling as they enable you to immobilize your opponent and secure a win. These moves require both technique and strength to execute correctly.


The cradle is a powerful pinning technique that involves rolling your opponent onto their back, securing their head and leg, and controlling their body. This move puts pressure on the opponent’s neck and back, making it difficult for them to escape while allowing you to control the match.

Half Nelson

The half nelson is a classic wrestling move that uses leverage to control your opponent’s upper body. By wrapping your arm under their arm and wrist, you can exert pressure, rotate their body, and potentially pin them to the mat.


The guillotine is a pinning technique that focuses on applying pressure to your opponent’s neck. By trapping their head between your arms and squeezing, you restrict their movement and immobilize them on the ground. This move is often used to transition into other pinning techniques or set up submissions.


The armbar is a versatile move that can be used for both pinning and submissions. By controlling your opponent’s arm and leveraging your bodyweight, you can apply pressure to their joint, potentially forcing a submission or securing a pin.


Escapes are crucial skills for wrestlers to develop as they allow you to break free from unfavorable positions and regain control of the match.

Stand-Up Escape

The stand-up escape is one of the most basic and effective escapes in wrestling. It involves getting to your feet from a grounded position while maintaining distance and preventing your opponent from controlling you. This escape is particularly useful when you’re on the bottom and need to escape and score points.

Switch Escape

The switch escape is a technique that allows you to quickly reverse your position when your opponent has gained control. By using a combination of hip movement and explosiveness, you can turn the tables and break free from your opponent’s hold.

Granby Roll

The Granby Roll is a dynamic escape that involves rolling out of your opponent’s control and quickly regaining a favorable position. By using your momentum and flexibility, you can evade your opponent’s grasp and potentially set up a counterattack.

Basic Wrestling Moves Every Beginner Should Know


Reversals are moves that allow you to transition from a disadvantageous position to a position of control. These techniques require timing, technique, and the ability to capitalize on your opponent’s movements.

Peterson Roll

The Peterson Roll is a reversal move where you roll through and take control of your opponent while they are trying to secure a takedown or maintain top position. By using your opponent’s momentum against them, you can surprise them and gain control.

Switch Reversal

The switch reversal is a technique used when your opponent has gained control of you from the top position. By swiftly changing your hips and positioning, you can catch your opponent off-guard and reverse the situation, potentially earning points in the process.

Hip Heist

The hip heist is a fundamental reversal move that allows you to escape from the bottom position and gain control over your opponent. By using explosive hip movement and footwork, you can quickly reverse the situation and regain your position in the match.


Throws are powerful techniques that involve using leverage, speed, and momentum to lift and manipulate your opponent, ultimately bringing them to the ground.

Fireman’s Carry

The fireman’s carry is a popular throw that requires strength and timing. By securing your opponent’s arm and wrapping your arm around their neck, you can lift and carry them over your shoulder, taking them off-balance and driving them to the ground.

Head and Arm Throw

The head and arm throw is a classic move in wrestling. It involves securing your opponent’s head and arm, using your body leverage to lift and rotate them through the air, and forcefully bringing them down to the ground.


The suplex is a high-impact throw that involves lifting your opponent off the ground and throwing them over your shoulder while maintaining control. This move requires strength and technique to execute properly and can be a game-changer in a wrestling match.

Basic Wrestling Moves Every Beginner Should Know


Clinches are positions in wrestling where two opponents are close together and vying for control. These positions often determine the outcome of a match and can be used to set up takedowns and other techniques.

Double Underhook

The double underhook clinch is a position where both of your arms are securely wrapped around your opponent’s upper body, underneath their arms. This grip allows you to control their movement and potentially set up takedowns or throws.


The over-under clinch involves having one arm positioned over your opponent’s shoulder while the other arm is positioned under their armpit. This grip gives you control over their upper body and can be used to set up takedowns or transitions to other moves.


Pummeling is a technique used in the clinch to establish control and gain advantageous positions. It involves exchanging underhooks and overhooks with your opponent, vying for better control and positioning.

Inside Tie

The inside tie involves controlling your opponent’s arm and neck from the inside position. By gripping their arm and using your forearm to control their head, you can limit their movement and potentially set up takedowns or transitions.

Outside Tie

The outside tie is the opposite of the inside tie and involves controlling your opponent’s arm and neck from the outside position. By positioning your arm across their body and using your forearm to control their head, you can manipulate their movement and potentially set up takedowns or transitions.

Collar Tie

The collar tie is a common pummeling technique that involves controlling your opponent’s head and neck by gripping their collar or the back of their neck. This grip allows you to manipulate their movements and create openings for takedowns or throws.


Sprawls are defensive moves used to counter your opponent’s takedown attempts. These techniques involve quickly dropping your hips and sprawling your legs backward, causing your opponent to lose their positioning and giving you an advantage.

Front Sprawl

The front sprawl is a defensive move used when your opponent shoots in for a takedown. By quickly dropping your hips and extending your legs backward, you can effectively block your opponent’s takedown attempt and maintain your position.

Whizzer Sprawl

The whizzer sprawl is a variation of the sprawl that involves utilizing a whizzer grip to counter your opponent’s takedown attempt. By securing their arm and using your hips to rotate, you can create a powerful counterforce and maintain control over the situation.

Pin Escapes

Pin escapes are crucial techniques used to escape from being pinned to the mat. These moves require technique, timing, and the ability to create leverage.

Bridge and Roll

The bridge and roll is a classic escape technique that involves bridging your hips off the mat and rolling your opponent over your shoulder to escape their control. By utilizing your core strength and explosive movement, you can break free from a pinning position and potentially reverse the match.

Hip Heist

The hip heist, as mentioned earlier, is not only a reversal move but also an effective escape technique. By explosively turning your hips and creating distance, you can escape from being pinned and regain a more advantageous position.

In conclusion, these basic wrestling moves provide a solid foundation for beginners to develop their skills and strategies on the mat. It’s important to practice and master these techniques to become a well-rounded wrestler capable of executing various moves and adapting to different situations. So, keep training, focus on proper technique, and always strive to improve your wrestling abilities. Good luck!