Wrestling Pins

Wrestling Pins

Pins are one of the most important moves in wrestling. If a wrestler successfully pins their opponent, they win the match. There are many different types of pins in wrestling, each with its own advantages. Keep reading to learn all about using pins in wrestling.

What Is a Pin in Wrestling?

A pin is when an opponent has both shoulders forced on the mat for at least two seconds. A pin does not receive any points but instead automatically grants the win to whoever was able to successfully pin their opponent.

Types of Pins

Types of pins in wrestling include:

  • Half Nelson
  • Three-Quarter Nelson
  • Cradle
  • Armbar (“Chicken Wing”)
  • Guillotine

Half Nelson

The half nelson is one of the most famous wrestling pins. In this pin, the wrestler executing the move is on top of their opponent. Both are on the ground and face down. The pinning wrestler secures their opponent to the ground with their upper body, while one of their arms loops beneath the opponent’s arm and then over the back of their neck, exerting force to push the opponent down while simultaneously rolling them onto their back. The half nelson can be paired with hooking the opponent between the legs with the other arm to exert further control.

Three-Quarter Nelson

The three-quarter nelson uses the same arm motion as the half-nelson, but instead of using one arm, the pinning wrestler uses both, interlocking their hands over the back of the opponent’s neck before executing the roll to pin the opponent.


In a cradle pin, the wrestler grabs their opponent’s neck with one arm, and then wraps their other arm at the elbow behind the opponent's knee. They then bring their hands together and clasp them, bringing the opponent’s knee towards their face, and roll the opponent onto their back. A cradle that uses the leg nearest the pinner is called a “near-side cradle,” while a pin using the farther leg is a “far-side cradle.”

Armbar (“Chicken Wing”)

To perform an armbar, a wrestler stands to their opponent’s left, grabs their left elbow in their left hand, and places their right arm on the opponent’s waist, in front of the right hip. They then pull the opponent’s left arm outward while pushing them down to the floor with their right arm and knee. Once the opponent is on the ground, the pinner turns their left wrist and traps the opponent’s left arm in the crook of their left elbow, holding it straight.


The guillotine is a pin where both wrestlers are face down on the mat and the attacker is on top. The pinning wrestler hooks one leg around the opponent’s leg on the same side, hooking the ankle with their foot. The wrestler then reaches across and grabs the opponent’s opposite arm, pulling it backwards and slipping their head under it. The pinner then uses their head to lift and turn the opponent, roll them on their back, and lock hands behind their neck.