Wrist (In)Action

Cabrera mechanics

Here is a question I received: “What role do the wrists play in the baseball or softball swing?”

I believe and teach the wrists DO play critical role in both the baseball and softball swings. However, a better question is WHEN is wrist action needed during the swing.  Historically, coaches have taught hitters to rely on their hands at the point of impact with the ball.  The theory was that players generated power through wrist action.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard an announcer on television or radio describe the “quick wrists” of good hitters. Hitters were also taught (and still are) to depend primarily on their wrists for directional hitting. Unfortunately, by using the wrists to generate power or to hit the ball to a certain part of the ballpark, hitters are sacrificing power (batspeed) and consistency.

In my opinion, the wrists should act as powerful hinges that open violently after the independent rotation of the lower body and the upper body.  After this rotation, the arms and wrists will automatically explode into the ball, without much effort on the part of hitters. At the moment of impact, the wrists and arms should be fully extended in the “Power V” position I described in the Hitting Key titled “How to Put Lightning Into Your Baseball/Softball Swing”. https://torque-hitting.com/2013/06/16/how-to-put-lightning-into-your-baseballsoftball-swing/

The key to what I teach is after the bat makes contact with the ball at the point of full extension, the wrists should not break.  They should remain stiff and still through the remainder of the swing. The fact is batspeed and power are generated by the rotation of the body, not the speed of the wrists. By the time the wrists open up at the moment of impact, the body has already generated all the energy it needs to optimize batspeed.

It is also unnecessary for the wrists to break to drive the ball to all fields.  As I outlined in the hitting key that describes how to powerfully hit inside and outside pitches https://torque-hitting.com/2013/07/02/is-your-hitting-stuck-in-the-mud/ , reaching for the ball with the arms and wrists not only hurts batspeed, it leads to inconsistency. By adjusting to the ball with the lower body instead of the arms and wrists, hitters will more easily drive the ball with power to all fields.

If you want more batspeed, hit with your body……not your wrists!