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How to Get Takedowns on an Opponent with a Good Sprawl and Heavy Hips

How to Get Takedowns on an Opponent with a Good Sprawl and Heavy Hips

Throughout the course of your wrestling career, you will wrestle against all different types of wrestlers. At some point you will come across an opponent who has a really good sprawl and heavy hips. It will feel like anytime you try to shoot a double leg or a straight single leg you get stuffed. It can be very frustrating to wrestle an opponent like this especially if your main offense is based around double legs, high crotches, and single legs. 

When you come across an opponent like this, there are a couple of different ways you can change your strategy up to earn takedowns. Instead of taking shots straight on, you can look for takedowns like ankle picks. Ankle picks are great takedowns because you won’t get caught underneath an opponent’s sprawl or end up in a scramble. The basic ankle pick is done by bringing your opponent’s head close to their ankle with a collar tie, then with the other hand grabbing their ankle and driving them over it, but there are a lot of variations of ankle picks and also a lot of different set ups.

Here are a couple different ankle picks you can work on. The first is an ankle pick that uses a fake out side single from a two on one. 


Here is another ankle pick from Ben Askren that you can hit if you are in a front headlock. 

This ankle pick is from an overtie position which is when you basically collar tie over top of your opponent’s collar tie.

These three ankle picks are great, but you can hit ankle picks from and underhook or just a regular collar tie.

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Another option to take guys down who have heavy hips is with front headlocks and just like with ankle picks, there are many options. With a front headlock there are two basic types: open and closed. With an open front headlock, one hand is on the chin and the other is elevating the arm. A closed headlock is when you lock your hands to enclose the head and arm. One of the great things about utilizing front headlocks is you do not end up under your opponents heavy hips. Here are a couple of great finishes using front headlocks.

This first front headlock finish is a throw by. It is simple yet highly effective and we see it being used in the highest levels of wrestling.

Here is another great finish that combines a front headlock with a near side cradle. So not only can you avoid getting stuck under your opponents heavy hips, but you can put them to their back with this finish. 

If you are wrestling a guy that has heavy hips, you may not be able to avoid taking shots. When you do, you really want to focus on outside single legs or hitting high crotches and then transition to the outside position. There are a lot of different ways to finish outside shots; here are a couple of great options. 

In this video, Ed Ruth shows a couple different ways to transition to the outside single leg position and finish a shot. 

If you are still having trouble finishing on guys with heavy hips, be sure to check out this video where Ben Askren shows multiple ways to take down guys with heavy hips. 

Being able to adapt to different opponents is a very important ability in wrestling. That is why it is so important to learn and drill a wide variety of takedowns. Hopefully this helps you be successful next time you wrestle a guy with really heavy hips.

If you have been struggling to find takedowns that work for you, Ed Ruth has you covered. Ed uses a scientific approach to taking his opponent's to the mat. Use the same precision and tactics as Ed Ruth in Scientific Shots!