What Is The Swim Move In American Football?

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What Is The Swim Move In Football?

A swim move is a common pass-rushing technique used by defensive players in American football. It involves the player extending one arm in order to disrupt the opposing lineman’s balance while they continue pushing forward with their shoulder and hips, mimicking a swimming motion.

By using this maneuver, the defensive player can create space among themselves and the offensive linemen while pushing through the pocket towards the quarterback. When done correctly, it can put pressure on opposing linemen and provide edge rushers an advantage in getting to the quarterback faster.

When To Use The Swim Move

The swim move can be used in a number of different situations, but it is most effective when the offensive lineman is not expecting it. For example, if you see an offensive lineman overextending himself to block someone on the other side of the line, you can use the move to slip past him and get into the backfield.

Another good time to utilize the move is when an offensive lineman is trying to block you low. In this case, you can use your arms to swim over the top of him and get into the backfield.

Executing The Swim Move

To execute the swim move properly, start by getting in a good stance. You want your feet to be shoulder-width apart and your weight balanced evenly on both feet. From there, raise your inside arm up and over the blocker’s chest while keeping your outside arm low. As you do this, explosively step across the blocker with your outside foot. This will create torque and help you shed the block more easily.

Once you’ve cleared the blocker, it’s important to stay low and keep your shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. This will help you maintain balance and avoid being knocked off your feet by the ball carrier. If you can stay low and keep your shoulders square, you’ll be in a good position to make the tackle.


The swim move is one of the most commonly used techniques by defensive players in American football, especially those playing on the line of scrimmage. It offers several advantages, such as requiring little effort from the defensive player and being versatile enough to work against various offensive linemen.

However, it comes with risks, such as leaving you vulnerable if done incorrectly or countered by someone who recognizes what you are trying to do. Ultimately, whether or not this type of move should be used comes down to personal preference and understanding how best to take advantage of its strengths while avoiding its weaknesses.