Three Sneaky Cradles With Ben Askren
There are a lot of different ways to pin an opponent in wrestling. One way that has proven itself effective at the highest levels of the sport is a cradle. Now there are generally two types of cradles in wrestling: a near side cradle where the head and near side leg are locked up together or a far side cradle where the head and far leg are locked up together. Even though there are two basic types of cradles, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you can lock one up in many different positions, which is one of the reasons cradles are so dangerous. Because of these reasons, you should definitely be working to up your cradling skills to help increase your pins out on the mat this coming season. Check out these three sneaky cradles by Ben Askren.
Josh Wagner Inside Cradle
This inside cradle starts in referee’s position. 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.
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.
The Churella Cradle another sneaky cradle you can hit if when someone shoots a head inside single leg on you. When your opponent takes the shot, you will sprawl to defend and slide your back hand through your opponent’s legs and the other hand will come around the head. Then just lock your hands together to lock up the cradle. Be sure you use your leg to drive into your opponent’s head. This will help keep their head trapped when you go to lock the cradle up. Also, in the video, you can Askren uses and “S” grip to lock the cradle up, but if you can get a Gable grip locked up, that would be better.
Ready for more Ultimate Askren Wrestling? Click Learn More!!
This is a great move to have available, especially if you have long arms or are wrestling a shorter opponent. Just make sure you keep their head on the inside after they shoot on you.
If you want to see this move in action, watch this video of the 2006 NCAA finals where Ryan Churella hits this on Johny Hendricks.
The World’s Best Unknown Move
Askren calls this move “the world’s best known move”, but it is pretty much a sneaky cradle you can hit on someone after they shoot a low single leg on you. Askren even used this move to pick up a pin at the Olympics.
So when your opponent hits a low single leg on your, pressure into them with your shin and step slightly off to the side with your free leg. Then you are going to attack the far leg at the knee and pick it up off the mat. Once you have the leg off the mat, you are going to secure the leg by going elbow deep with your far arm. Then you are going to drive into your opponent and slide your other hand around their neck and look to lock the cradle up.
Make sure when you step off to the side, you step far enough that your opponent can’t grab your ankle. Also, make sure you are really using your leg to pressure your opponent’s head down the mat. Check out the video and watch how Askren locks this sneaky cradle up.
There are so many different ways to lock up a cradle. The more you start drilling cradles and hitting them in practice, the more you will start to see them in matches. Cradles are one move that you can hit on any guy at any skill level. Hopefully these cradles help you get more pins this upcoming season.
In addition to being an Olympic wrestler, Ben Askren was a four time NCAA finalist and a two time NCAA champion and is known for his amazing pinning ability. If you would like to learn more wrestling technique from Askren, be sure to check out his in depth video series titled “Ultimate Askren Wrestling by Ben Askren”.