Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Lifting the front elbow

July 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Hitting

I received an email recently from a player who said he was having trouble controlling his lead elbow on the swing.  He referred to it

Back of the bottom hand facing forward, lead elbow under control

Back of the bottom hand facing forward, lead elbow under control

as “chicken winging” which is basically lifting the lead elbow too much before and/or during the swing. As he said, this tends to make his top hand “lazy” and hurts his path to the ball as well on the swing.

Here are the two recommendations I had for him which may be of use to you or your hitters as well.  

  1. When you are hitting off a tee, machine, or in batting practice, try placing a tennis ball in your arm pit of your lead arm.  If you swing hard, the ball should not pop out until the end of the swing.  If you lift your arm (Chicken wing it) before the swing too much, the ball will pop out earlier.  Just keeping pressure on the ball to keep it under there can give you the feel of keeping your front elbow down and “connected” through the start of the swing.
  2. Look at the photo of Miguel Cabrera to the right.  When hitters have loaded up and are about to start their swing, the back of their bottom hand should be directed at the pitcher.  Some hitters get to the load position with the knob already facing the pitcher which lifts their front elbow.  They then swing from there.  Keeping the back of your bottom hand facing the pitcher more also keeps your front elbow under control.



One Response to “Lifting the front elbow”
  1. BGP says:

    I agree this is definitely an issue with young hitters. They slot early and lift that front shoulder and “flatten” their barrel. I guarantee there is no easy fix on this and you have to start with tee work, then soft toss and then live pitching. Because usually in tee work they don’t do it. But I just tried that cue and I can lift my front shoulder and still have my bottom hand pointing at the pitcher. I think ultimately it depends on the hitter to determine the fix. You have to look at video and see where it is happening. I know i have a hitter than just cueing his front elbow towards him back armpit and holding it there while he strides has helped him tremendously. But this tendency usually occurs during the stride phase of the swing so if you freeze them when their front foot lands they have completely lost the hitting position.

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