Become A Cradle Machine With The BEST!
One of the best ways to get a pin in wrestling is with a cradle. There are generally two different types of cradles, a near side cradle and a far side cradle; the difference being in which leg you include in your cradle. Cradles are so effective, you often see them being used in the NCAA finals. So, if they work at that high of a level, you know they will work at pretty much any competition. When you start working cradles, you will soon realize there are so many opportunities to lock up a cradle during a match if you know where to look. Here are five different cradles you can add to your offense.
Far Side Cradle
The first cradle on the list is a basic far side cradle, and just like with all techniques, it is important to learn the basics first. In this video, Chael Sonnen breaks down the basic far side cradle.
Just because this is a basic cradle doesn’t mean there aren’t important technical aspects to it. The first key point is your opponent’s head and their far knee have to come close together in order for you to lock up the cradle. There are generally two different ways this can happen. The first way is for them to step their foot up and bring their knee close to their own head on their own. One common position you see this in is when a wrestler is trying to stand up from the bottom position. The second way when you forcibly bring them together. This is often done by using a crossface to drive the upper body towards the far leg. It is not a nice move, but it is highly effective.
After the cradle is locked up, the next step is to bring your opponent to their back. Watch how Sonnen brings his partner to his back and moves his bottom leg out of the way. Once he has his partner is on his back, he slides his hips back and puts the knee in the ribs and looks for the pin. This basic far side cradle is a great wrestling move that all wrestlers should know.
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Here is another far side cradle called a drop cradle. In this video, three time NCAA champion Ed Ruth Demonstrates how he used a drop cradle to earn a lot of pins during his college career.
Here are some key points when hitting this drop cradle. First, you must reach across and secure the far triceps while your opponent is based out. When you have it secured, keep pressure on your opponent, but bait them to step up with their far leg. You need to keep them bent at the waist, if they straighten up, you won’t be able to hit the cradle.
Once they step up with the far leg, keeping the triceps tight, you will slide or “drip” off to the far side and shoot your other arm under the leg and roll. When you roll, try to roll forward, not to the side and definitely not back. Watch how Ruth rolls and he tucks his head. During the roll, hunt to lock the cradle up onto your own wrist. Then from here, just work your way into a normal far side cradle finish. This cradle can also be done from the feet.
Josh Wagner Inside Cradle
In this video, Ben Askren shows a sneaky inside cradle you can hit when you are in referee’s position. If you can get this one down, your opponent won’t know what is going on until it is too late.
To hit this move, you are going to start with an elbow chop to breakdown you opponent. When you chop and drive them forward, you are going to hook your opponent’s near ankle and sit back on it to keep it trapped. From this position, you are going to hook up a power half on the opposite side, but instead of trying to crank your opponent to their back, you will pull your opponent’s head and neck into you.
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After you pull your opponent’s head into you, you are going to take a big step and use your knee to trap your opponent’s head. This will allow you to leg go of the power half and go around the head and near leg with your arms. Then just slide your chest back and lock the cradle up. Once you have it locked up, watch how Askren rolls his to their back.
Far Side Cradle From Referee’s Position
This is a pretty simple yet effective far side cradle you can hit when starting out in referee’s position. Check out this video of Hudson Taylor where he breaks down how to set this cradle up and get the pin.
This cradle starts with you on top in referee’s position. To set it up, you will need to get to a claw ride position, but instead of grabbing the neck, you will lock in the armpit on the opposite side. From here, watch how Taylor pushes the heel to the mat and drives into his partner to get the knee to come off the mat. This is very important to executing the move because if the knee does not come off the mat, there can be no cradle.
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Once the knee has popped up, all you have to do is lock up the cradle. There are multiple ways you can finish the cradle from this position. Taylor opts to straighten his leg and roll straight back which keeps his back from being exposed.
Near Side Cradle From Front Headlock
It is common to see a wrestler lock a near side cradle up from a front headlock by burying their head in the hole and chasing the near leg, but cradle is quite a bit different. Check out this video of Hudson Taylor showing his variation of a near side cradle from a front headlock.
A couple of key points when attempting this cradle. First, make sure you are reaching across and pull your opponent’s triceps across their neck. You will need to keep this pulled tight until you lock the cradle up. Next, bury you head in the hole and hunt for the near leg. Once you have it secured, drive into your opponent and roll them over their hips so you both end up on your back.
In the video, Hudson stops on his back from demonstration purposes, but when you actually hit his cradle, just keep the momentum going. Don’t stop on your back. Continue the motion so you end up belly down and you should be in the perfect position to lock up a near side cradle. Then, use whatever finish you like the most to earn the pin.
Cradles are an awesome way to get a lot of pins. If you want to get better at hitting cradles, be sure to check out “The Cradle Machine by Ed Ruth”. In this video series, Ed Ruth goes over the cradles that helped him become a three time NCAA champion. IF you want to dominate your opponent with cradles you are in the right place! Ed Ruth has the blueprint to make you into a CRADLE MACHINE!! Find the Cradle from EVERYWHERE with ED RUTH!