Football 4-Point Stance

The 4 point stance in football is a technique used occasionally by linemen on both offense and defense. Football players use different stances to better position themselves for game situations; the stance they use is also largely based on what position they're playing. The number in the stance name is determined by the number of points on the player's body that are touching the ground. This means that in the 4 point stance, the players two feet, as well as both hands are touching the ground. The 4 point stance is the least popular stance used in football. Other stances commonly used in football are the 2 point and 3 point stances.


Offensive and defensive linemen will use the 4 point stance on occasion for maximum power, leverage, and explosiveness in one direction. While the 4 point stance is one of the least used stances for linemen, it can be extremely used for short yardage or goal situations. However, it also has its limitations because players do not have as much lateral freedom of movement when using a 4 point stance.

Players are free to use other stances and may switch between various stances throughout the game. This stance can be especially important for offensive linemen when they are in a situation that requires them to make a short push forward. Likewise, it can be useful to defensive linemen when they are in a situation that requires them to stop being pushed back.

Proper Technique

Proper technique is important when utilizing a 4 point stance in a football game. To get into the 4 point stance position, most coaches will recommend players get on their hands and knees on the ground with all of your toes down on the ground as well. Next, shift your weight on to your feet and hands while lifting your hips and bringing your knees off the ground. Some players will slightly stagger their feet for extra balance and a quicker start in accordance with their position on the field and the positioning of the opposing team.

Remember to keep your knees bent and have a flat back. Balance your weight and lean into your stance, keeping in mind the goal of the 4 point stance is explosiveness. Make sure you are facing forward towards the line of scrimmage, lift your head up to see the field in front of your, and pull your shoulder blades back to widen the chest area.


Defensive linemen often use this stance when the offense is trying to move the ball only a short distance and a running play is almost certain, such as when the offense is only inches from the goal line.

Defensive players that line up closer to the sideline, such as defensive ends, who are part of the defensive line, and outside linebackers, make use of this stance in order to get to the passer/ball carrier quickly.

Defensive linemen might also set up in this stance if they want to apply a two-gap form of defense, which makes linemen responsible for the two gaps between offensive linemen in front of him that the runner might use. In this four point stance, linemen put more weight on their feet as opposed to the previous two variations of the stance in which weight is placed more on the hands. Leaning further back allows the defensive linemen to get their hands up into the offensive linemen more quickly, giving them a better chance to move into the correct position and stop the run.


Offensive linemen make use of this stance when a run play is obvious to the defense. This is because, again, this stance sets up well for a quick movement straight ahead. Additionally, blocking for the quarterback on a passing play is tougher out of the four-point stance.