Football 4-Point Stance for Defensive & Offensive Linemen Described

John Rizzo

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Football 4-Point Stance

You must have been in different football plays where players get down on all fours before the action begins. Yes! That’s the legendary football 4-point stance, and it’s not just a position; it’s a game-changer.  

Be a player who is eager to hone his technique, a coach focused on teaching the basics, or simply a curious fan who wants to learn more, the football 4-point stance is the pivotal point, to begin with. 

Lucky for you! Today, we are about to break down what the 4-point stance is in friendly terms. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s huddle up and explore how getting low can improve the match for you.  

Key Highlights: 

  • The 4-point stance actually originated from the traditional 3-point stance, as players wanted more power and control at the line of scrimmage. 
  • While linemen often use it, linebackers and fullbacks also employ the stance for added stability and explosive starts.
  • It’s a stance built for the trenches, where linemen face off in intense physical battles to gain ground and protect their team’s interests. 
  • Balance is the most important factor of this stance. It is like a moderate explosion from a low, stable platform. 
  • The stance is often where the fate of plays is decided, whether it’s a lineman blocking for a running back or a defensive player rushing the quarterback. 

What Is Football 4-Point Stance? 

The 4-point stance is a fundamental position of football. Football players, primarily linemen of offense and defense, use this stance to gain maximum power, stability, and control at the line of scrimmage. In this stance: 

  1. Players place both hands on the ground, and their fingers point forward. It provides balance and leverage. 
  2. Just like the 3-point stance, players’ feet are firmly planted shoulder-width apart. It distributes the player’s weight evenly. 
  3. The player’s back is parallel to the ground, creating a low, powerful position. 
  4. However, the head is generally up. It offers better field vision and quick reaction to the snap of the ball. 

It’s important to note that the 4-point stance is a variation of the traditional 3-point stance. You will usually find some similarities between them.

The football’s 4-point stance successfully generates explosive force. If you plan to become a lineman, you should consider honing the skill. 

How Do I Use Football 4-Point Stance in Defense? 

How Do I Use Football 4-Point Stance in Defense? 

The 4-point stance is popular among the linemen of both teams. Defensive linemen usually use this stance over a short-distance ball movement. Here’s how you can do it, 

Get Low and Stable

First, get down on the ground with both your hands and feet touching it. Imagine you’re like a low-to-the-ground beast.

Your hands should be just outside your shoulders, and your fingers should be pointing forward. Plus, your feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Make sure your back is flat, like a tabletop. The position helps you stay strong and balanced. 

Look Up & Prepare

Lift your head up a bit to see what’s happening on the field. You want to keep an eye on the ball and your opponents. 

When the ball is snapped, it’s go-time! Push hard off your feet and use your strong stance to charge forward. 

Observe the other team’s moves. When you see someone with the ball, go after them. And in case an opponent tries to block you, use your strength and technique to get past them. 

Remember to stay low and controlled throughout the play. It helps you stay strong and hard to move. 

Mix It Up

You can adjust your stance slightly based on the game phase. For example, you might lift one hand off the ground if you need to move sideways more quickly. 

Pay attention to what the other team’s players are doing. You should take a hint on their moves and habits as it can help you predict their next move. 

The four-point stance in defense is all about being a powerhouse on the field. Strong players like defensive linemen and linebackers use this stance to make big plays. 

So, How Do I Use Football 4-Point Stance in Defense?

So, How Do I Use Football 4-Point Stance in Defense?

Your goal should be to dominate the line of scrimmage while playing as an offensive lineman. Here’s how you can do it, 

Posture: Similar to that of the defensive lineman in the four four-point stance. You generally take this position in offense when the defense 100% attempts to run. 

Your mission is as follows, 

Block and Protect: Your main job is to block the players on the other team. Use your powerful stance to keep them away from your teammates, especially the quarterback or the ball carrier

Offensive linemen often use this stance together to create a wall of protection for the quarterback or to open up running lanes for the ball carrier. It’s important to stick together and communicate for effective results. 

Football 4-Point Stance: Pros and Cons 

Look at the benefits and drawbacks of football’s 4-point stance. We will start with the benefits first. 


  • Boosts the start with greater pushing force for offensive linemen.
  • It offers more stability and makes it hard for defenders to push you off balance. 
  • Offensive linemen have the upper hand against defensive opponents with the low position. 
  • It is used by both offensive and defensive players for different strategies.


  • The prolonged low position can be physically demanding and tiring during play. 
  • Comparatively slower reaction time for pass blocking. 
  • You may face potential strain on your knees and back and difficulty changing direction quickly. 
  • Opponents may learn about your next move and anticipate it before you take action. 

In Summary,  

Football generally has two stances, and the four-point stance is one of them. It’s not too difficult to learn the two stances differently. 

It is easy to remember that in the three-point stance, one hand and two legs are used, while the four-point stance uses all four of them.  

Additionally, both stances have variations and adjustments. Over time, you should give them a try to bring out the best football player in yourself.  

So, what do you think? Football stances are easier to learn than other sports stances, right? In the comment section, let us know your thoughts on the 4-point stance. Also, share our article with others. 

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn