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Near Side Cradles That Will Get You More Pins

Near Side Cradles That Will Get You More Pins


Cradles are a great way to get pins in wrestling. Once you really start to understand them, you will realize that there are so many opportunities during a match to lock up a cradle. There are generally two types of cradles, a far side cradle and a near side cradle. They are very similar, but the difference is which leg you lock up, the leg on the near side or the far side. So if you are looking for a way to increase the number of pins you get this wrestling season, here are some great near side cradles you can add to your offense. 

Josh Wagner Inside Cradle

This first cradle is something that Ben Askren like to use during his wrestling career. It starts with the top guy hitting an elbow chop then locking up a power half on the opposite side. You will also need to hook your opponent’s near ankle and sit back on it to trap it. With the power half, instead of cranking on your opponent’s head and neck to turn them, you will pull their head and neck into you.

From here, you are going to take a big step and use your knee to trap your opponent’s head. This brings their head and knee close together which is what you need when you are going to be locking up a cradle. Next, you will let 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 them to their back to finish the cradle. 


There are a couple of common problems you might have when trying to hit this cradle. The first is you have to hook that ankle before you pull your opponent into you. Secondly, instead of pulling your opponent into you, maybe the better term would be collapse your opponent into you. You are trying to get their head close to their knee. Lastly, once you have the cradle locked up, you can unhook the ankle and finish it any way you like. You don’t have to do a roll through finish.  

Front Headlock Roll Through Cradle

Many wrestlers like to hit a near side cradle from a front headlock by burying their head in the side and attacking the leg. That is a great cradle, but roll through cradle has some similarities to that, but also has some big differences. 

It starts with a front headlock. The next step is to bury your head in the hole and attack the leg. Be sure to stay tight on the triceps the whole time. From here, instead of locking up the cradle, you are going to bring your opponent’s upper body over their hips by rolling to your back, then you will keep your momentum going and hip heist back to belly down and lock up the cradle. 

From this position, you will have a standard near side cradle locked up. There are a lot of finishes that can be done from here, but in the video, Hudson Taylor chooses to step over the top leg with both of his legs and tripods up on his head. Watch how he takes his time when he gets the cradle locked up. If you can get this locked up and are able to step over the leg, it is extremely tight and there is little chance your opponent will be able to defend it. Just be sure you don’t rush the finish. Take your time and make sure everything is nice and tight before you finish the cradle. 

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The World’s Best Unknown Move

This last cradle is something that Ben Askren calls this move “the world’s best known move”. It is set up when your opponent shoots a low single leg on you. It works so well that Askren was able to use it to get a pin at the Olympics. 

When your opponent hits a low single leg on you, the first thing you are going to do is pressure into them with your shin and step off to the side with your free leg. This will stop their initial momentum. The next step is to pick their far leg off the mat by attacking their knee. 

When the leg is off the mat, you are going to secure it by going elbow deep with your far arm. Then just drive into your opponent and slide your other hand around their neck and to lock up the cradle. 


When you step off to the side, make sure you step far enough away so your opponent can’t grab your ankle. Lastly, make sure you are putting a lot of pressure on your opponent’s head to keep it down on the mat. This is another great example of cradles being available from many different places during a match. You just need to know where to look. 

If you really like to use cradles or would like to learn how to hit more cradles, be sure to check out “The Cradle Machine by Ed Ruth” Ruth is a three time NCAA champion from Penn State who used cradles to earn a lot of pins during his wrestling career. 

The Cradle Machine by Ed Ruth
DO 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!