How to Get in a Perfect Three-Point Stance


Used often by offensive and defensive linemen in American football, the three-point stance gives the player leverage and allows him to utilize the power in his legs at the snap of the ball. The name of the stance is indicative of the three points touching the ground; both feet and one hand. Once the three-point stance is mastered, your body is able to quickly launch forward and up with greater speed, power and agility.

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your lower back, slightly lift the chest and slide the shoulder blades down and away from your ears. Maintaining this muscle engagement can help you to remain stable in the thee-point stance.

  • Bend your knees and shift your hips back as you lower your chest toward your thighs. Place your hands on top of their respective thighs.

  • Stagger the feet so that the non-dominant foot is one-half to one foot length more forward than the other. Lift the heel of your dominant leg by approximately 1 inch. Keep the other foot flat on the ground, but bring your weight to the ball of the foot.

  • Place the dominant hand on the ground directly under the shoulder. The shoulder, elbow and wrist should all be in one line. Place the non-dominant hand on your thigh of the same side. For example if you are right handed, the right hand will be on the ground and the left hand will rest on the left thigh.

  • Distribute your weight evenly between both feet and the hand on the ground.

  • Keep your head lifted so that you can see forward and be ready for the play. Keep the shoulders pressing down your back to avoid cramping the neck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid placing most of your bodyweight on the hand that is on the ground, or the down hand. This can compromise your ability to respond and move quickly and perform moves like the hook or pull and block.
  • Ask your football coach or another team member to push you, with moderate force, forward, backward or to either side to test your balance. You will easily fall or stumble if your body is off balance.
  • Maneuver into a three-point stance by way of a four-point stance if you are having trouble obtaining the proper position. Place both hands on the ground, each in line with the shoulders, rather than just one hand. When you feel steady, lift the non-dominant hand off of the ground and place it on your thigh. The rest of the body remains in place.

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