Freestyle wrestling, a fascinating and globally respected sport, boasts a plethora of unique moves that form the bedrock of a wrestler’s skill set.

Each move, designed to pin the opponent on the mat, is a testament to the athlete’s strength, agility, and tactical brilliance.

In this exhaustive guide, we delve deep into the world of freestyle wrestling moves, offering detailed insights that will sharpen your understanding and enhance your appreciation of this awe-inspiring sport.

Introduction to Freestyle Wrestling

Freestyle wrestling represents a blend of strength, strategy, speed, and sheer will. Originating from catch-as-catch-can wrestling, it has been an Olympic staple since 1904.

The essence of freestyle wrestling lies in the freedom it offers – athletes can use their legs for offensive and defensive maneuvers, targeting any part of their opponent’s body.

The Objective of Freestyle Wrestling

The primary goal in freestyle wrestling is to force the opponent’s shoulders to the mat, achieving a ‘pin’ or ‘fall.’

This wins the match outright, regardless of the points scored. Points can be earned through a variety of techniques, each requiring a distinct set of skills and strategic foresight.

Freestyle Wrestling Moves: From Basics to Advanced Techniques

In this section, we delve into specific freestyle wrestling moves, progressing from fundamental techniques to advanced maneuvers that professional wrestlers employ in high-stakes matches.

Basic Moves in Freestyle Wrestling

In the journey to master freestyle wrestling, understanding and perfecting the basic moves is the first milestone.

Single-Leg Takedown

The single-leg takedown is a quintessential freestyle wrestling move. It involves the wrestler grabbing one of the opponent’s legs and using their own body to destabilize the opponent, forcing them down to the mat.

Double-Leg Takedown

The double-leg takedown, another fundamental move, requires the wrestler to target both of the opponent’s legs.

It involves a powerful forward movement, combined with a sweeping motion to knock the opponent off their feet.

Intermediate Moves in Freestyle Wrestling

With a solid foundation of basic moves, wrestlers can proceed to more complex techniques that offer greater control and scoring opportunities.

Fireman’s Carry

The fireman’s carry is an intermediate-level technique that requires strength and precision. The wrestler positions themselves beneath their opponent, hoisting them onto their shoulders before using momentum to flip the opponent onto the mat.

High Crotch Takedown

The high crotch takedown is a high-risk, high-reward move. It involves the wrestler penetrating deeply into the opponent’s defenses, targeting the space between their legs.

The move concludes with a powerful lift and a sweeping motion to bring the opponent down.

Advanced Moves in Freestyle Wrestling

Advanced freestyle wrestling moves require a combination of strength, skill, and strategic insight. These moves can turn the tide of a match, making them invaluable tools for professional wrestlers.


The suplex is a spectacular and highly effective move. It involves the wrestler lifting the opponent completely off the mat and throwing them over their shoulder, ideally achieving a pin in the process.

Gut Wrench

The gut wrench requires exceptional strength and technique. It involves the wrestler getting a firm grip around the opponent’s midsection, lifting them from the mat, and rolling them onto their back.

Training for Freestyle Wrestling Moves

Training for freestyle wrestling is a rigorous process, requiring dedication, discipline, and a well-designed workout regime.

Strength training, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and technique drills all play crucial roles in developing a competent freestyle wrestler.

Basic Moves for Beginners

For beginner wrestlers, the journey starts with learning the basic takedowns and throws. Essential maneuvers include the single-leg takedown and the double-leg takedown, both of which focus on destabilizing the opponent by targeting their legs.

Other basic throws include the hip toss, dump, and spin throw, each requiring a distinctive technique and aim to bring the opponent down to the mat​/

Advanced Moves for Seasoned Wrestlers

As a wrestler gains experience and polishes their basic skills, they can graduate to more advanced moves. The hip heist, arm drag, and snap down are more sophisticated techniques that can be used to take down an opponent​.

Illegal Moves

Freestyle wrestling, while intense, is governed by rules designed to ensure fair play and athlete safety.

Certain moves, such as the head butt, are considered illegal. Penalties can also be incurred for grabbing an opponent’s hair, using excessive force, biting, scratching, or striking an opponent’s genitals.

You should be aware of these rules to avoid penalties and maintain the spirit of the sport​.


Freestyle wrestling is a dynamic sport, rich in techniques and strategic maneuvers. From basic takedowns to advanced throws, mastering the myriad of freestyle wrestling moves is a journey of physical prowess, mental toughness, and tactical brilliance.

Each move contributes to the complex tapestry of this globally celebrated sport, offering a thrilling spectacle and a challenging endeavor for athletes.

As we continue to appreciate and explore the world of freestyle wrestling, we find ourselves immersed in a discipline that truly exemplifies the fusion of strength, strategy, and spirit.

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