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Types of Wrestling Pins

author image MJ Knoblock
A former community newspaper reporter, columnist and photojournalist in Virginia, MJ Knoblock holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been writing for more than 20 years.
Types of Wrestling Pins
Both of your opponent's shoulders must be on the mat for a pin. Photo Credit swilmor/iStock/Getty Images


In wrestling, the object is to pin your opponent's two shoulders to the mat for five seconds. There are a number of moves used to achieve a pin. You must be in good physical shape and practice the pin moves until you become proficient enough to do it successfully in competition.

Half Nelson

One of the most basic wrestling pins in the sport, the half nelson begins with you on both knees straddling your opponent. He is beneath you, belly down on the mat. Slide your right hand under his armpit and put it on the back of his head. Push his head down as you roll your right hip down onto the mat. Slide your right shoulder under his right arm, pushing it up into his armpit. Lean forward, using your feet for traction. Roll your opponent over onto his back. Put your chest on his, resulting in a pin with his shoulders on the mat.

Cross-Face Cradle

From behind the opponent, put one arm across his face, grasping his opposite arm above the elbow at the triceps. Place your other arm between his legs, then slide your hand up, capturing his leg between your two arms. Join your hand over your wrist, which is still gripping his triceps, and don't let go. Meanwhile, move your legs into the squatting position on the side of his body. Use momentum to rock the opponent over. He lands on his back, where both shoulders are pinned.

Arm Bar With Wrist

Start in the referee position with your chin on his back. You are the wrestler on top, just to your opponent's left. Grasp his left elbow with your left hand. Put your right arm on his waist in front of his right hip. Quickly pull his left arm out while still holding on to it. Push him down with your body, using your right knee to push him forward and off-balance. Grab his right wrist with your right hand and pull it outward. His belly is now down on the mat, legs flat. You are above him with your chest several inches above his back. Your left knee holds up most of your body weight. Your right leg is extended between his legs with the ball of your foot on the floor. Curl your wrist, then enclose his left arm inside your left elbow joint. When your chest is resting on his left elbow, push his left shoulder into his ear with your body, using both of your legs for leverage. Slowly move your feet into a walking position while crouched. Walk in a circle, rolling him over onto his back without releasing his arms. Finish the pin by leaning on your knees with your chest toward the floor. His shoulders will be on the mat. Hold him down until the referee signals a pin.

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