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How to Finish a Double with a Lift in Wrestling

In order to be successful in freestyle and folkstyle wrestling, you will need to know different ways to finish your takedowns. Since the most common takedown used in these styles is the double-leg takedown, this guide will provide you with an alternate way of finishing it: With a lift. All wrestlers should know how to finish a double with a lift, so keep reading to learn how!

1. Create an Angle

Shoot your double and get to your feet. As soon as you get to your feet, you want to create an angle between your and your opponent’s bodies. To create the proper angle, step behind your opponent’s near leg with your outside leg. As you step, rotate your body towards your opponent until your shoulders are perpendicular to his.

For example, if you shot your double with your head on the left side of your opponent’s body, step behind his left leg with your right leg. Then turn your body towards him; this is the angle you want. Make sure to keep your knees bent; maintaining a low stance will allow you to generate enough power to lift your opponent.

2. Change Your Grips

You will now need to switch the grips you have on your opponent’s legs to be able to lift him off the mat. First, reach your near arm in between your opponent’s legs. Then wrap your arm high around the inside of his thigh. The deeper you get your arm, the better. Essentially, you want to have the bend of your elbow on the inside of his thigh; you will use this grip to lift him.

For example, if you shot your double with your head on the left side of your opponent’s body, grip the inside of your opponent’s left thigh with your right arm.

Next, reach your far arm across the front of your opponent’s body and wrap it around his waist. You will use this arm to pull him close to you so you can lift him with your other arm. For example, if you shot your double with your head on the left side of your opponent’s body, reach your left arm across the front of his body and wrap it around his waist to keep him tight to you.

3. Pop Your Hips & Lift

Keeping your opponent tight to your body, use your legs and push off of the mat as you start to lift him. It’s important to note that you need to keep your hips underneath you in order to lift him. (How your legs and hips are positioned when lifting an opponent is nearly identical to performing a squat.) As you start to lift him, “pop” or push your hips into him. Doing so will allow you to generate enough power to finish your takedown.

4. Flare the Legs

With your opponent off the mat, you will need to turn his body mid-air to finish the takedown. This is known as “flaring” the legs. Do this by pulling the arm you have positioned on the inside of his thigh upward towards your near shoulder. Then use the arm you have wrapped around his waist to help “swing” his body towards that same shoulder. You eventually want to bring his body perpendicular to yours in the air. Don’t forget to use your head to push against his body as you swing his legs; this will help you turn his body.

For example, if you have your right arm positioned high on your opponent’s thigh and your left arm wrapped around his waist, lift both arms upwards and towards your right shoulder to turn his body. Also, push your head to your left as you swing him to help turn him.

Hot Tip: Move Forward

To help generate enough momentum to flare your opponent’s legs and turn his body, use your legs to move or “run” forward. This will allow you to put his body in position to catch him on his back!

5. Cover

Remember, it’s illegal to slam your opponent forcefully. However, you may apply pressure when finishing a lift as long as it’s within the rules. Keeping this in mind, maintain control of your opponent and use your arms to lower his body to the mat. As you lower his body, make sure to drop to at least one knee to make sure you do not get called for a slam. Furthermore, keep your legs back as you drop to your knee(s) so you can apply pressure to him as you finish.

You should land with your body perpendicular to your opponent’s. If he is experienced, he will turn to his stomach as you finish the takedown. Then all you will need to do is keep pressure on him and maintain control as he turns. However, anytime you are lifting an opponent in this manner, there is a great chance that you can catch him on his back once you have returned him to the mat. Here is how to do so:

  • Keep your chest in contact with your opponent’s midsection. Make sure your legs are extended behind you, and stay on your toes to keep pressure on him.
  • From here, “work up” your opponent’s body. Use your legs to maneuver yourself towards his head until you are chest-to-chest.
  • From here, slap on a half-nelson or another kind of pinning combination to get the pin!

Technical Strength

Knowing how to lift an opponent can come in handy. Anytime you lift your opponents off the mat, you have full control of their bodies. The likelihood that you will finish the takedown, and catch them on their backs, is extremely high. Lifting an opponent takes a great deal of core and lower body strength, so make sure you are strengthening these parts of your body constantly. Check out the Related Guides section at the top right-hand side of this page for some workouts that will help you effectively lift an opponent. Good luck!

All wrestlers should know how to finish a double-leg takedown with a lift. This guide will teach you one type of finish to use on even the toughest opponents.
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