Hogtying is a method of tying the limbs together, rendering the 'hogtied' victim almost immobile. Originally, it was used on pigs; now it can also be applied to human bondage (see also hogtie bondage) and a method for subduing individuals sometimes employed by the police.
The standard procedure on humans is to tie the victim's wrists together behind the back, tie the ankles together and join the wrist and ankle ties, forcing the legs to be bent double. Often, elbow bondage is used. The knees may also be tied together, the ankles may be tied crossed so that the knees are spread apart, or the knees may be held apart by a spreader bar.
Usually, the wrists and ankles are brought into close proximity but not touching. In a more stringent hogtie, they are made to touch or even overlap. This usually causes the back to arch, and it may cause severe discomfort if the bondage is prolonged.
The "Italian rope trick"
A very nasty and very lethal form of hogtie was and is used as a form of torture: the hands are tied behind the back and the feet are tied together, with one end of the latter rope around the victim's neck. The tension of the legs pulling on the neckrope can only be lifted for a limited period of time by using the muscles in the back, breast and belly. When those muscles get tired, the victim strangles him/herself. This is sometimes referred to as the "Italian rope trick" and has been used by the Mafia.