Wrestling Offense: Gut Wrench

Performing this move can expose your opponent’s back to the mat and earn you two points.

April 09, 2019

When you have your opponent captured in the bottom position, you're the one in control. You have a chance to take charge of the match, score points and even set up for a pin.

If your opponent is on their stomach in the bottom position, you'll have an opportunity to use the gut wrench. This move can help you score points while wearing down your opponent. It's a move that many wrestlers begin to learn at a young age.

“Gut wrench is a basic freestyle and Greco [Roman] technique executed in the par terre position where you lock up your opponent and do a side roll,” former national team assistant coach Erin Vandiver says.

Note: The par terre position refers to the starting position in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. In this position, wrestlers start on the mat in top and bottom positions.


You'll perform the gut wrench from the top position. Here’s how:

  • Lock your arms around your opponent’s ribs. Note: This is an illegal move in folkstyle (collegiate) wrestling.
  • Drive your legs toward your opponent’s shoulder as you rotate your hips. This will allow your knee to slide under their hip.
  • Keep driving your feet and finish by doing a back bridge, ending back on top of your opponent.

“The gut wrench is a technique that you can do multiple times,” Vandiver says. “Every time that you expose your opponent’s back to the mat you will earn two points.”

The chop and bump breakdown can help bring your opponent down if they're on their hands and knees. This technique can be an effective way to break your opponent down flat to the mat.