How to Get Off of a Block in Football

Playing Football

Defensive players must be able to shed blocks in football. Offensive linemen try to block defensive linemen and linebackers so they can't get to ball carriers or rush the quarterback. Similarly, defensive backs must be able to get off blocks to make tackles in the open field. The two-point punch is one highly effective way to shed blocks for all defensive positions.

Shedding High Blocks

Align your feet with the shoulders of the blocker. This is called the “same-foot same-shoulder” principle, and will help you change direction while escaping a block.

Extend both arms fully when engaging a blocker. Using the hands effectively is one key to shedding blocks.

Strike the shoulders of the blocker with the hands. Your thumbs must be pointed up, and the strike is quick and powerful. The goal is to stop the momentum of the blocker and to not allow him to get his hands into your body. This is called “locking out.”

Disengage the backside arm. For example, if the ball carrier is running to your left, disengage your right arm from the blocker.

Push the blocker across your body and out of the way using your still-engaged arm. For example, if the ball carrier is running to your left, push the would-be blocker to your right using your left arm. You also can drive your disengaged arm through the hip of the blocker and under the opposite arm of the blocker in an uppercut motion. This is called a rip move.

Shedding Low Blocks

Focus your eyes on the blocker when he is coming in low.

Place your hands on the top of the helmet or shoulder pads of the oncoming blocker.

Thrust your feet, or hop backward. Keep your shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage. This will give you leverage on the blocker.

Push, or “stuff,” the blocker into the ground using your hands. Step 3 will give you extra momentum and leverage for doing so.

Disengage the blocker and flow to the ball.


The steps for both high blocks and low blocks all should be performed in conjunction with each other, and should all be completed as one quick, fluid motion.

Another key to defeating blocks is to engage the blocker first.