Top and Bottom Positioning
While some wrestlers focus more on moves from the standing positions, others prefer to spend more of their time on learning how to execute moves from the bottom. However, a superior wrestler incorporates a strong combination both into their arsenal of high school wrestling moves. Here is a selection of high school wrestling moves for both the top and bottom position to increase the chances of taking the opponent down to the mat.
At the Top of their Game
These high school wrestling moves are for when the wrestler is in the top position. They aim for moving beyond the basic single and double-leg takedowns, which are somewhat predictable, and therefore easier to defend against.
Many wrestlers like to execute the fireman's carry, which begins in a similar manner to the double-leg takedown. However, instead of aiming for the opponent's legs, the attacker reaches under their opponent's arms to grab onto one arm while thrusting the other arm between their legs.
Next, the attacker lifts the opponent over their shoulder and throws them down towards the mat on their backside. Be careful when attempting the fireman's grab, since it must be performed from the knees, or else it can illegally endanger the opponent.
Next, try the headlock hip-toss, which is a crucial move for wrestlers in the heavyweight class. To begin, the attacker grabs the head and arm of their opponent. At the same time, they rotate their hip into their opponent's stomach. In effect, this causes the attacker to simply pop their helpless opponent onto the mat, landing on top of them with all their weight.
Here's another top position wrestling move called the duck-under. This move works well because it's a surprise attack that opponents are less able to predict. When the opponent reaches out one of the arms, the attacker pushes their opponent's elbow towards the ceiling, and ducks under it. From this position at their opponent's back, they can lift their opponent easily into the air, and trip them over their own outstretched leg to fall to mat for a takedown.
Wrestlers also must have a series of high school wrestling moves to use from the bottom position including the standup and the switch. For the standup or escape move, the bottom wrestler grabs their opponent's hand by the wrist and rotates it. From this position, they stand up and peel the wrist away from their stomach. When performed quickly, the top wrestler is unable to neutralize the move by grabbing onto the bottom wrestler's ankle.
The switch is an even more effective move from the bottom position because when successfully executed it earns the wrestler two points for a takedown. To begin, the bottom wrestler whips one leg under the other. This enables the wrestler to reach for their opponent's leg with their back hand, and pull themselves around to gain leverage and control of the match, forcing their opponent down to the mat.
Need Wrestling Drills?
Coach Johnston has recently published his entire arsenal of wrestling drills and practice plans online, you can access the complete set on his website:
For a limited time, all coaches will also be given Gary's unique tryout practice plan for identifying talent in the early rounds of tryouts.