How To Stiff Arm In American Football

stiff arm

What Is a Stiff Arm?

In American football, offensive players use a stiff arm to push away or ward off defenders. This can be done with either arm, but most often, it is done with the player’s strong arm (i.e., their right arm if they are right-handed).

How To Stiff Arm In Football

Playing American football involves many ways to evade or avoid defenders. One effective method is to stiff-arm them. This involves using your arm to push away the defender while keeping your body moving forward.

To do this, extend your arm out in front of you and make contact with the defender’s chest or shoulder. Then, quickly push off with your legs and move past the defender. Remember to keep your body low and your other arm close to your side to maintain balance and stability.

Advantages & Disadvantages To Consider

When it comes to American football, the stiff arm is a move that can be both beneficial and detrimental to a player, depending on how it is used. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages:


The main advantage of using a stiff arm is that it can help a player gain extra yards. This is because the stiff arm creates more space between the player and the defender, giving the player more time and room to run. A well-executed stiff arm can also knock a defender off balance, making him easier to shake off.


For one, if a player isn’t careful, he can end up face-planting into the turf if he doesn’t make solid contact with the defender. Using it can also slow a player down, as extending the arm and making contact with the defender takes time. Finally, if a player uses it too aggressively, he risks being flagged for unnecessary roughness.

Best Times To Use During a Game

There are two main times when a stiff arm is effective: trying to maintain possession of the ball and trying to gain extra yardage. If you are trying to maintain possession of the ball, it can help keep the defenders away from your body. This will give you more time to play or find an open receiver. It is especially useful if you are being tackled from behind.

If you are trying to gain extra yardage, then using it can help you break free from the defender’s grasp. This will allow you to run for a longer distance and potentially score a touchdown. Just make sure that you do not use too much force when doing this, as it could result in a penalty.