There are three pressure points in our arms, and learning how to use these joints to create leverage against a blocker can be a huge advantage for any defensive lineman. The following defensive football drills are simple, and easy to practice – you only need a willing partner and enough space that you can both stand arms’ length away from each other.
Pressure Point Drill
There’s really no end or beginning to this drill. The concept is simple. Two players will stand facing each other, with arms interlocked. The players will grapple with each other, both constantly fighting to get the upper hand, with the goal being to put pressure on the wrist, elbows, and shoulders to quickly and efficiently regain the stronger position on their teammate.
It should be a constant, flowing battle back and forth, as players make use of subtle pushes and pulls on the arm joints to regain the position of power over their teammates. It’s not a complex
drill, but once players have developed those instincts, when trapped in a struggle with a blocker, they will naturally know how to create leverage and separation between themselves and the blocker.
Once players have the hang of the pressure point drill, I like to use this drill, which is a better representation of the kind of situation a player might see in an actual game.
Here, instead of starting the drill interlocked, we will identify one player as the blocker, and one as the defender. When the Coach calls out “Flash!”, the offensive player will bring their hands up in standard blocking position.
The defender will then immediately move towards the blocker, and use the same techniques and ideas learned in the pressure point drill to dispatch of the blockers hands and arms, moving them to a side and using that leverage to move past the defender, into what would be the backfield in a game.
Football defense is all about gaining the upper hand over the offense – literally in these last two cases. If you’re looking for more defensive tackle football drills, or just football linemen workouts for the other side of the ball, click the links and check out two of my other favorites!