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Indian Leg Wrestling Techniques

author image Jack Kaltmann
Jack Kaltmann is a Las Vegas-based writer with more than 25 years of professional experience in corporate communications. He is a published author of several books and feature articles for national publications such as "American Artist" and "Inside Kung-Fu." Kaltmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University and is a retired nationally certified personal trainer.
Indian Leg Wrestling Techniques
You might remember Indian leg wrestling from your childhood. Photo Credit: amyleighcook/iStock/GettyImages

While you might remember Indian leg wrestling from your childhood, the game goes way beyond that — it was played by the boys in Native Americans tribes, with the practice first recorded by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

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To wrestle, two opponents lie on their backs on the ground, side by side, with feet facing in opposite directions. Each person raises the inside leg to a count of three. On the third count, each player hooks the other player's leg behind the knee and attempts to force the other person into a backward roll.

By improving techniques in certain areas, you can be certain to emerge victorious.

Read more: Wrestling Games to Play


Forcing your opponent into a backward roll requires a strong and quick activation of your gluteal muscles. In other words, push your opponent backward by imagining you are pulling the heel of your active leg toward your opposite hip.

To develop a feel for when your glutes are engaged, lie on your back with your butt against the wall. Both legs will be on the wall. Attempt to push through the wall by contracting your glutes. This is the same set of muscles needed to successfully overpower your opponent.


Similar to arm wrestling, the fake involves pushing hard against your opponent's leg, then quickly releasing pressure. This forces your opponent's leg to suddenly move forward, followed by a reflexive retraction of the leg in the opposite direction. This happens very quickly.

As soon as the opponent's leg stops its forward momentum and begins the short retraction, reverse your leg's momentum and push forward again. If timed correctly, this will catch your opponent off guard and result in your victory.


Pulses are rapid and repetitive small fakes. Alternate pushing against your opponent's leg with short retreats. The moment you sense your opponent has relaxed leg pressure, switch from a pulse to a full-force push to secure the win.


The abductor muscles are responsible for pulling the leg toward your center line and are what will be resisting most of the force from your opponent. These muscles are particularly weak when working at an angle.

Use this to your advantage by pushing your opponent's leg outside his hip instead of straight back. This will require less force from you to roll your opponent over.

Read more: Sports & Games in Ancient Greece

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