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Re: Re: Re: Re: Back Elbow Down

Posted by: Mickey (drmick3@cox.net) on Fri Apr 15 12:30:03 2011

> > Well, please tell Joe Morgan, A rod, Griffey Jr. Albert Pujols, Hank
> Aaron, Manny Ramirez, D. Strawberry, List goes on, even the 2010 no 1
> pick Bryce Harper who by the way can hit over 500 ft. That they either
> have or are doing it wrong. Really back elbow down??? Amazing!! If
> only they would do it the right way.
> > I have to say elbow UP
> I believe having the back elbow up is a function of pulling the hands
> back into proper position prior to launch. If you pull the hands back
> to the catcher with the top hand and hide your hands from the pitcher,
> this will naturally extend the lead arm snugging it into the chest.
> This connects the body to the arm/bat. When the shoulders start to
> rotate, the arm/bat come along for the ride. This also causes the bat
> head to tilt back towards the pitcher and sets the batter up for some
> good THT. Elbow should not be above hands though and hands should be
> at or just below the shoulder.
> One of my favorite sayings when working w/pitchers is "let your body
> deliver your arm". That comes from Tim "the freak" Lincecum, great
> pitcher. But I think that also applies, at least somewhat, to
> rotational hitting.
> Sorry for the side-track....but just to say "keep your elbow up" is
> useless and yes I hear it all the time also.
> Getting your hands back with a low elbow, or not getting hands back at
> all, will also cause some significant flaws and slower bat speeds.
> Conclusion..... it's about getting the hands back in the proper
> position before the swing begins. This will cause the elbow to be at
> least somewhat elevated in most high level hitters.


This is by far the most succinct, accurate and practical post I've seen on the internet regarding a high right elbow.

I have said everything you said, but missed the "left arm snuggling into the chest," probably because its been my view that a proper position before the lower body makes its initial move will inevitably result in all you said

The only additional point I would make, is that the hands and arms go back even a little farther, and higher, in great hitters EVEN AFTER THE LOWER BODY STARTS. I think of the initial weight shift back, while deciding to hit or not, as "partial loading," while "full loading" occurs after the left leg/heel starts down. I prefer to call these two opposite movements of the upper and lower body as "torque," and don't see the practical need to include the forearms in generating THT. You can see the hands still rotating & moving higher in a series of still photos and a video clip of Albert Pujlos on Chris O'Leary's website at the following links:

Still Photos (Pujlos)
Video of Stills: (to see actual movement of the same swing)


Look at frames 6, 7 and 8. Check out two things: (1) height of the hands in 6 and 7, (2) hands a little higher in frame 8. Use the top of the "h" in "Chrisoleary.com" written over the stills, and its clearly higher in frame 8. Also, notice that in frames 6, 7 that the left leg and toe are turned back toward the catcher, but in frame 8 the left leg has rotated back toward the ball and the heel is now planted on the ground. Hands are higher and lower body has already started down.

It may not seem like much, distance wise, but Pujlos is so built that the build up of torque is greater in that small distance than would occur in a more supple hitter. I've heard this movement called "separation," which emphasizes the movement VISUALLY, but I prefer to use "torque" since it highlights the added force being generated, which is not visible, but creates what you want, i.e. more power and greater initial bat acceleration. You can feel this in your shoulders, arms and torso if someone keeps pulling your bat back slightly, as you begin your lower body to launch. Just be careful of the bat!

Its easier to see in the below Manny Ramirez clip, occurring about half way through his stride. In addition 1) the bat head points more toward the pitcher during this torque and 2) the right shoulder rotates more inwardly toward the dugout (something not so visible in the Pujlos).


I'd like to make the point that holding the hands higher in the stance doesn't help, and may even hurt, if hands back and lower body launch don't occur in a split-second time frame. Practically, it works best if reaching back with the right hand is not thought of as "stopping at the correct point," but just letting the movement continue, forgetting about it, and rather shifting the focus to the left foot and hips launching the hit.

Regarding the use of forearms in THT I don't see it from a practical stand point. My 11-year old grandson, who doesn't use his lower body very well, has a high right elbow in his stance. In a recent Little League game, he checked his swing and nothing moved except his forearms, bringing a vertically-held bat to a point parallel with the ground. The force used to make that movement was minuscule, and more the result of his problem of starting his arms first, since good rotational timing would have shown some lower body movement being checked as well, not just the hands and arms.

I'd interested to hear any comments you might have, since I'm always trying to 1) detect what I don't know 2) come up with simple, practical tips that work with individual hitters to bring about good rotational.



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