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How to Do a Reverse Half-nelson

Female wrestler performing reverse half-nelsonThe reverse half-nelson is an effective alternative to the traditional half-nelson. Some wrestlers actually use the reverse half as a go-to pinning combination, while others utilize it when they can’t get the standard half-nelson. Either way, in order to succeed at higher levels of wrestling, it is critical that you know how to perform this move. Read on to learn the basics of the reverse half.

1. Get into Position

There is one main difference between the traditional half-nelson and the reverse half-nelson. That is, the traditional half can be used as a turn and the reverse half is a move you use when your opponent is already on his back. The typical scenario that calls for the reverse half to be used is when you take an opponent down to his back, or when you initially turn your opponent with a regular half and he somehow frees the arm you have secured around his head. Either way, before you secure the reverse half, you must first get yourself into position by T-ing up with your opponent.

  • Keep your body perpendicular with your opponent’s body to form the shape of a “T.”
  • Keep your chest in direct contact with your opponent’s chest.
  • Stay on your toes and “sink” your hips to the mat to keep your weight on him.

2. Scoop the Head

With your closest arm, reach underneath your opponent’s head and use the bend of your elbow to “scoop” or lift his head off of the mat. For example, if you are teed up on your opponent and your right arm is closest to his head, use your right arm to scoop his head. This will keep him from bridging and will allow you to secure his body for the pin.

3. Trap the Far Arm

To keep your opponent from being able to free himself, you now need to take control of his far arm:

  • Use the hand of your free arm to grip your opponent’s far arm above the elbow, around his biceps. For example, if you used your right arm to scoop your opponent’s head, use your left arm to control his far arm. Grip his arm with your thumb facing up.
  • Reach the arm you used to scoop your opponent’s head far enough that you can lock both of your hands together. Try to keep your opponent’s far arm encircled in both arms so your lock is just behind his far arm. By doing this, you can continue to pull his arm towards you.

4. Settle for the Pin

Your opponent will be trying to fight off of his back, so you need to “settle” his body in order to get the pin. All of the basic rules of the traditional half apply here:

  • Lift your opponent’s head off of the mat so he cannot bridge.
  • Stay on your toes and keep your weight on your opponent, chest-to-chest.
  • Keep your hips to the mat to remain stable.
  • Press your opponent’s back to the mat to get the pin!

Win with Two Halves

Adding the reverse half-nelson to your arsenal will give you the ability to pin any opponent. Practice the steps in this guide to master this move. Also, make sure that you have a good understanding of the traditional half-nelson; both of these techniques are critical for success at higher levels of wrestling. For instruction on how to do the traditional half-nelson, check out iSport’s guide, How to Do a Half-Nelson. Now get out there and get on the mat!

All wrestlers should know how to do the reverse half-nelson. Check out this guide to learn how to perform this basic, yet effective pinning combination.
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