How to Do a Rip Move in Football (5-Step Guide)

By Coach Martin | Football Basics


Defenders make use of many different techniques to either overpower or trick blockers before rushing to the opposing quarterback in hopes of disrupting him or recording a sack.

How often defenders use these pass rush techniques varies from player to player, with defensive linemen utilizing them the most.

A basic technique for pass rushing that's easy to learn yet extremely effective is the Rip Move.

Below, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to execute the Rip Move in football so that you can master how to blow by blockers and get to the quarterback as quick as possible.

How to Do a Rip Move in Football (5 Steps)

The Rip Move is usually one of the first techniques that defenders learn when they first start playing football.

That's because it's not only easy to learn, but it's also extremely effective.

All defenders should master this move, especially defensive linemen who face off against offensive linemen in close range on every single play.

The Rip Move will target one of the arms of the offensive player.

They'll swing their arm underneath that arm, which will knock them off balance, push them to the side, and make for a clear path into the backfield for the defender.

Below is a 5-step guide on executing a Rip Move in football.

#1 - Stay Low

The key to a Rip Move in football is staying low at the snap.

It's always important for defenders to explode out of their stance as quick as possible, and stay as low to the ground as they can.

Doing so will help them gain and maintain leverage over blockers, especially on passing downs when offensive linemen have a tendency to stand taller than on running plays.

The first step is the key to executing a successful Rip Move.

Not only do you need to explode quick out of your stance, but you have to maintain a low center of gravity.

#2 - Take Your Second Step Quickly

While staying low on your first step gives you leverage, taking your second step quickly will put you in position to actually get by the blocker.

After the first step, your second step should go in the direction of where you intend to execute the Rip Move.

So if you want to go to your left, then you'll step at an angle with your second step toward the offensive lineman's right shoulder.

Done properly, your body position will be parallel to your blocker.

#3 - Duck Your Shoulder

In the same motion as your second step, duck your inside shoulder.

This will give you a lower level for you to "rip" up with this arm.

This also makes it more challenging for the offensive player to get his hands on your shoulder pads or square up to your chest, which would make it difficult for you to break free to execute the Rip Move.

#4 - Punch Up

Now that you're in this low position with your dipped shoulder, the hand on that arm should be much lower to the ground.

Take this hand and punch up violently.

Aim to punch through the armpit of the offensive lineman.

If you do this part correctly, then you will knock the offensive player's hands out of the best position for him to execute a block.

It'll also push him off-balance, and potentially even turn him to one side.

#5 - Beat the Offensive Player

With the blocker off-balance and his hands out of position, it's time for you to beat the offensive player and get into the backfield. 

The Rip Move will place your body right next to the offensive player's body at this point, which creates a gap between him and the next offensive player on the line.

This is the gap that you want to burst through, since there won't be anything else in your way.

Make sure to continue staying low and explode forward even after you execute the punch up.

This will put you in the best position to rush the quarterback with a lot of speed and balance, despite initiating a lot of contact prior to getting into the backfield.



The Rip Move is one of the most basic pass-rushing techniques football coaches teach their defensive players.

In fact, it's typically the first technique players learn when they begin to play the game at a young age.

You can consistently beat the offensive player assigned to block you if you're able to master the Rip Move and execute it consistently.

So, follow the basic five steps we have laid out above, and you'll be doing successful Rip Moves and getting into the backfield in no time.

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