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Score More Points With These Front Headlock Finishes

Score More Points With These Front Headlock Finishes


A front headlock is a great position to be in during a wrestling match. You are in a very dominant position and if you are doing it right, you are forcing your opponent to carry your weight which can be very tiring. Common ways that wrestlers end up in a front headlock are either by hitting a snap down or from defending a shot. No matter how you get there, once you have a front headlock, you should be able to use it to score a takedown and in some cases, even back points. Here are four great finishes you can use to score from a front headlock.

Front Headlock Throw By with Bekzod Abdurakhminov

One simple yet very effective way to finish a front headlock is with a throw by. Keys to being successful with a good throw by are first, you must have a good pressure on your front headlock. If you don’t, your opponent will most likely be able to drag out of it. Secondly, you must move your opponent. You have to get your opponent to circle. To this, you must chase the far leg. If they don’t circle with you, then you will easily be able to spin behind. It also helps to continue snap your opponent’s head while you circle. Once you get your opponent circling, the next step is to throw the front headlock by and you quickly circle the opposite direction. 

Check out this video of Olympian Bekzod Abdurakhminov where he demonstrates how he likes to hit a throw by. 


As you can see in the video, this is a very effective way to finish a front headlock. You will see wrestlers using this finish at the highest levels of the sport because it is so effective. Just remember, it is all about getting your opponent to circle then timing the throw by correctly. 

Front Headlock Pancake with Nick Heflin

Another great finish from a front headlock is a pancake. This is a great move because it puts your opponent to their back and you should be able to pick up a pin, or at minimum a couple back points. Another reason why this is a great finish is because you can hit this when your opponent locks onto your elbow in order to defend the front headlock. 

Check out this video of Nick Heflin demonstrating his version of a front headlock pancake.  


When you watch the video, watch how Heflin buries his shoulder then drives into his opponent to create pressure. When he feels his opponent pressure back into him, he lets the head pop out and hits the throw. This pancake is like all other throws in that when you hit it, you need to hit it at 100% in order to be successful at it. 

Head and Arm with Ed Ruth

This next finish to a front headlock can also lead to a pin. The head and arm finish uses a modified closed front headlock to hit a move similar to a gator trap. In this video, three time NCAA champion Ed Ruth breaks down the technique of a head and arm finish. 


To setup this head and arm finish, you will use a variation of a closed front headlock. Watch how Ruth reaches all the way under the chin and arm and locks on to his elbow. He basically gets an arm figure four with his opponent’s head and arm trapped inside. Also, make sure the arm that is across the back is touching the spine to ensure it stays tight. 

After you have it locked up, start to put pressure on your opponent by “sinking” off to the side you are eventually going to roll. Then use your feet to start to circle to that the same side and roll your opponent to their back. Pay attention to Ruth’s footwork through out the roll and watch the way he hip heists to end up on top. Also note that he keeps the head and arm locked up throughout the entire move. 

This is a great move to have in the third period if you are down a couple points and desperately need a pin. Guys will often stall while in a front headlock position because they think they are safe, but with this move, you can possibly pick up the pin. 

Front Headlock Near Side Cradle with Hudson Taylor

Most wrestlers know how to bury the head and lock up a cradle from a front headlock, but this near side cradle is a bit different. In this video, Hudson Taylor demonstrates his unique take on a front headlock near side cradle. Check it out!


This near side cradle is unique because you don’t actually have to have the cradle locked up before you begin the roll as long as you stay very tight on the triceps. In the video, Hudson Taylor starts the move in a front headlock position. Look how he is using his shoulder to put a lot of pressure on the base of his opponent’s neck and pulling the arm tight. This pressure allows him to circle off to the side without his opponent breaking free. 

From there he drops his head off to the side and puts his head “in the hole” and reaches to secure the leg. It is important to keep secure the leg for two reasons. First is to keep the other guy from ciricing away from you. The second reason is that you need to have control of the leg before you roll so that you can use it to lock the cradle up. Notice in the video, Taylor keeps the triceps tight and grabs on to his own wrist to lock the cradle up. 

From this position, Taylor is in a standard near side cradle. There are a lot of finishes that can be done from here, but he 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 get this locked up and step over the leg, it is extremely difficult for someone to escape. The biggest mistake people make when doing this finish is they try to rush through it and that allows space for your opponent to defend the cradle.  

Front headlocks can be extremely effective if you know how to use them properly. Incorporating these moves into you offense will really help increase you ability to score when you get in a front headlock position. 

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