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Who said an arm bar is bad?

Jul 29, 2013
1,179
63
I think he is a little, but in a good way. He is just staying in bat lag longer. Too many arm bar hitters exhibit one of two things. Either their wrists start to snap prematurely, or they reach full, or near full extension prematurely. typically with the arms extended toward right-center field when pulling the ball. This is because the barred arm over-extends the right forearm rather than maintaining the "power-box" as in the first 3 photos of the girls. The 4th photo shows Peter Alonzo and perfect form launching the hardest hit ball I ever saw and his power-box. In the last 2 photos the batters are able to get their hands inside because they DO NOT have arm bar, there is enough flex maintained to get the hands in, out front, and maintaining that perpendicular relationship to the bat and driving through contact.

In the video his arm is not barred. It is bent enough to even allow more flex on an inside pitch to get the ball on the sweet-spot and keep it fair.
Wouldn't that be cured by turning more? Usually the hands have to make up ground when the shoulder turn is lacking.
Also, what's wrong with full extension if there's a lot of bat speed?
For a set rotational speed, a longer radius means more barrel speed, so having the hands extended out from the center of rotation would be a good thing.
 
May 12, 2016
3,661
113
There are plenty of hitters out there who arm bar their swing.. doesn't happen on every swing, but it does on others. Arm bar vs no arm bar, non teach IMO.. unless there are other important components of the swing which is causing the arm bar.. for example lead arm getting pinned against the chest due to poor sequence and bat drag. But then you would be fixing the cause of the arm bar, not the arm bar itself
 
Nov 30, 2018
183
28
Marikina, Philippines
Wouldn't that be cured by turning more? Usually the hands have to make up ground when the shoulder turn is lacking.
Also, what's wrong with full extension if there's a lot of bat speed?
For a set rotational speed, a longer radius means more barrel speed, so having the hands extended out from the center of rotation would be a good thing.

Turning more to create an angled blow to the ball does not induce the full potential power to the ball. I posted a lot about that before in post about transferring power with an angled blow. It is physically as in physics, impossible to transfer the full potential.

Full extension is wonderful. But the batter should reach full extension in the direction they hit the ball. The exception being a little, that if the ball is pulled to left-field, full extension will only be between the SS and pitcher. If it is toward RF as one video demonstrated then the ball is hooked.

If the wrists start breaking early, then that means the energy stored is expended before impact. However, the real downside is the bat head is committed earlier the longer the swing. Early commitment means reading the pitch less, getting fooled more.

In principle, I do not teach "turning more". The reason being I don't want a habit of getting out of linear hitting technique too much. I want the bat on the ball as much as possible. But if the hands stay in front of the back shoulder, with some 6-8 inches away from the shoulder, then the hands can drive in a straight path inside the ball. And no, as Antonelli talks about I do not teach pushing. That is a downward swing toward the path of the ball. The shoulder takes the hands and bat head to the proper angle to attack the pitch.

RICA'S SWING
Here is a photo of the first day of tryouts for the Junior National Team and our little SS, Rica. Rica did a total upper body twist to hit. You can see her collapsed extension, or elbows close to her body. Her bat was climbing off the plane of the pitch too early with every swing. And where does that lift take place? Near the front foot. She had been beating balls in the dirt incessantly. Two hours of private instruction ended that forever. Now she has full extension through the ball and is LONG through the ball.
 

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Jul 29, 2013
1,179
63
Turning more to create an angled blow to the ball does not induce the full potential power to the ball. I posted a lot about that before in post about transferring power with an angled blow. It is physically as in physics, impossible to transfer the full potential.

Full extension is wonderful. But the batter should reach full extension in the direction they hit the ball. The exception being a little, that if the ball is pulled to left-field, full extension will only be between the SS and pitcher. If it is toward RF as one video demonstrated then the ball is hooked.

If the wrists start breaking early, then that means the energy stored is expended before impact. However, the real downside is the bat head is committed earlier the longer the swing. Early commitment means reading the pitch less, getting fooled more.

In principle, I do not teach "turning more". The reason being I don't want a habit of getting out of linear hitting technique too much. I want the bat on the ball as much as possible. But if the hands stay in front of the back shoulder, with some 6-8 inches away from the shoulder, then the hands can drive in a straight path inside the ball. And no, as Antonelli talks about I do not teach pushing. That is a downward swing toward the path of the ball. The shoulder takes the hands and bat head to the proper angle to attack the pitch.

RICA'S SWING
Here is a photo of the first day of tryouts for the Junior National Team and our little SS, Rica. Rica did a total upper body twist to hit. You can see her collapsed extension, or elbows close to her body. Her bat was climbing off the plane of the pitch too early with every swing. And where does that lift take place? Near the front foot. She had been beating balls in the dirt incessantly. Two hours of private instruction ended that forever. Now she has full extension through the ball and is LONG through the ball.
I didn't say anything about an angled blow but since you bring it up.... As long as the incidence of contact isn't too far from the center of the ball as in a back spin or top spin scenario, an "angled blow" should have little consequence other than to create side spin and maybe reduce some distance due to a curve of the ball flight path. The ball will rebound at an angle much like a bumper shot in pool. Now if the bat is traveling along it's length, as in pulling the knob, that's a different story.

As for full extension, a longer bat is a longer lever (and so are longer arms) Breaking the wrists is only a means to accelerate the bat to top speed. Some folks think delaying breaking the wrists stores energy when, in reality, it only delays the swing(timing) and potentially limits useful acceleration distance and time. Once the bat is at speed, the only reason it will slow is if it is acted upon by a force.
Velocity and mass is power. The bend of the wrist is not.
 
Nov 30, 2018
183
28
Marikina, Philippines
Much of what you write is true; Velocity x mass = momentum. Would you agree that arms fully extended, barred, sweeping swing, are very rotational, in that they form a circular path to the ball in comparison to the .gif below demonstrates a straight path (probably as Antonelli was warning about, though I have never seen it before)? My player Rica's old swing demonstrates a very circular path of the arms and bat as you can see.

If you had two forms of contact, both starting with the same velocity and mass, therefore momentum, and one made square contact with the ball, and one was tangential in contact, in other words the contact was not square; like in a billiards experiment, the cue ball hitting the 8-ball square stops, while the 8-ball absorbs basically 100% of the cue balls original momentum. And if you hit the 8-ball off center, then both balls deflect with varying degrees of momentum depending on the angle and degree of contact. For a circular bat path where do you think the pitch and bat meet square?

There is a fundamental element to physics called the "conservation of momentum". Momentum or energy is never lost, but only transferred. In the simplest terms of softball, air density and wind direction affect how much friction the ball gets in flight. In tangential contact between two objects, like a softball with the bat, or the 8-ball with the cue ball, the transference is less than 100%. The greater the angles, the less transference, the less distance. In my opinion the only point in a circular swing where the ball is squared up is when contact is made directly opposite, generally at the belly button, the axis of rotation. The diagram can be seen as hitting above and below the center of the ball, or swinging on an inside or outside pitch, and the angle of contact resulting in "hooking" or "slicing".

It is very simple, I admit Barred Arms happen. But I believe it is a result of the reaction to a pitch, not a teaching method. And good coaches do not teach it as a fundamental element of hitting, especially if a batter is going to be well trained to hit to the opposite field when the pitch dictates. Trout and Pujols will be just fine!
 

Attachments

Jul 29, 2013
1,179
63
Much of what you write is true; Velocity x mass = momentum. Would you agree that arms fully extended, barred, sweeping swing, are very rotational, in that they form a circular path to the ball in comparison to the .gif below demonstrates a straight path (probably as Antonelli was warning about, though I have never seen it before)? My player Rica's old swing demonstrates a very circular path of the arms and bat as you can see.

If you had two forms of contact, both starting with the same velocity and mass, therefore momentum, and one made square contact with the ball, and one was tangential in contact, in other words the contact was not square; like in a billiards experiment, the cue ball hitting the 8-ball square stops, while the 8-ball absorbs basically 100% of the cue balls original momentum. And if you hit the 8-ball off center, then both balls deflect with varying degrees of momentum depending on the angle and degree of contact. For a circular bat path where do you think the pitch and bat meet square?

There is a fundamental element to physics called the "conservation of momentum". Momentum or energy is never lost, but only transferred. In the simplest terms of softball, air density and wind direction affect how much friction the ball gets in flight. In tangential contact between two objects, like a softball with the bat, or the 8-ball with the cue ball, the transference is less than 100%. The greater the angles, the less transference, the less distance. In my opinion the only point in a circular swing where the ball is squared up is when contact is made directly opposite, generally at the belly button, the axis of rotation. The diagram can be seen as hitting above and below the center of the ball, or swinging on an inside or outside pitch, and the angle of contact resulting in "hooking" or "slicing".

It is very simple, I admit Barred Arms happen. But I believe it is a result of the reaction to a pitch, not a teaching method. And good coaches do not teach it as a fundamental element of hitting, especially if a batter is going to be well trained to hit to the opposite field when the pitch dictates. Trout and Pujols will be just fine!
The tangential momentum pic shows what happens when the bat hits away from the center of the ball.
The arm bar- belly button scenario you describe would require the bat strikes the ball squarely and the bat be perpendicular to the path of the ball. That ball would return back at the pitcher (not exactly but close)
If that were true, then your statement would mean that everything that isn't hit back up the middle is less than a 100-100 impact.
It may be, but there are some awfully long balls to foul territory that lend evidence to argue that point....
and so I disagree.
Something to take into account, the longer the radius, the flatter the circular path. So the bat would stay at a near perpendicular angle to the ball flight over a longer period.
Finally, the belly button alignment would mean both arms were extended. Arm bar is the front arm extended and the rear arm bent to nearly 90 degrees. That has the bat extended straight to the side of the batter, not out front. So dragging the hands across is a big disconnected no no. Rotation is the only way to get there and then the legs and torso (big muscles) can get involved.
 
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Jan 6, 2009
3,623
113
Chehalis, Wa
I always liked this gif. One of my early creations.

They look alike except for the stride, everything else is similar.

I like how they lifted the front heel and the front knee lifted a little. Griffey’s front knee follows a pattern/path, same thing happens with a higher front knee lift.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
183
28
Marikina, Philippines
The tangential momentum pic shows what happens when the bat hits away from the center of the ball.
The arm bar- belly button scenario you describe would require the bat strikes the ball squarely and the bat be perpendicular to the path of the ball. That ball would return back at the pitcher (not exactly but close)
If that were true, then your statement would mean that everything that isn't hit back up the middle is less than a 100-100 impact.
It may be, but there are some awfully long balls to foul territory that lend evidence to argue that point....
and so I disagree.
Something to take into account, the longer the radius, the flatter the circular path. So the bat would stay at a near perpendicular angle to the ball flight over a longer period.
Finally, the belly button alignment would mean both arms were extended. Arm bar is the front arm extended and the rear arm bent to nearly 90 degrees. That has the bat extended straight to the side of the batter, not out front. So dragging the hands across is a big disconnected no no. Rotation is the only way to get there and then the legs and torso (big muscles) can get involved.
You guys act like it is dogmatically this or that! I do not think arm-bar is a sin. I think teaching locking out the front-elbow is a sin. To make it foundational creates problems. It happens all the time! I contend simply that it is a reaction to pitch situations, not some orthodoxy! See AXIS below.

I would not use the term less than 100% impact. But any other arm-barred contact would be tangential, or at some angle. As I also simply mentioned, "hook" and "slice" are the results of tangential contact. Simple basic 101 physics.

"Something to take into account, the longer the radius, the flatter the circular path." A bent elbow initiates momentum on the proper plane getting it there faster than a sweep. But you do make my argument for me. Think of the ice-skater pulling her arms and legs in, or extending them. Speed up, slow down. "Conservation of angular momentum". The shortest and quickest route between two points is a straight line. The power box maintains the plane and speed to contact. What you say might be less flawed if pitches were not on an axis, but they are in fact on a vertical and horizontal axis. And the vertical axis is not the issue with a barred arm, the horizontal axis is if you are to maintain contact on the sweet-spot. Arm-bar is effective in the very first video, though he hooks the ball, reaching, extending the arm-bar out on a pitch away. Miss-use perhaps but he got the ball on the end of the bat and hit it solid. Do you know what pitch it was? Do I? No! But my guess is one of two things: he is pull happy, or he was fooled. If Trout and Pujols believe in arm-bar orthodoxy, then they could not have gotten their hands in on the inside pitch to barrel up (sweet-spot) the ball.

Now for the more relevant issue! The earlier the commitment of the bat-head, the less evaluation time. Also the greater the essentially required adjustments to assumptions and pitch movement. Later start but on-time are best! The last argument is the reality that a lot of hitters break their wrists early with a barred arm, reducing power at contact and exacerbating contact issues I mentioned. Since the ball is in contact with the bat for about 1-2 milliseconds the bat is not accelerated through contact, but to contact. Balls have what is called in physics, "a coefficient of restitution". You see balls labeled .44 or .47 cor? That is their COR (Coefficient Of Restitution). Baseballs have a COR of .60; they are made to make up for sins more than a softball.

If true then how can the initiation of a barred arm be an advantage? You I think would agree that hitting a ball on the sweet spot of a bat is ideal? How do you do that with a barred-arm on every swing? Those inside pitch swings I showed could not be accomplished with an initial barred arm. But a barred arm as a reaction to location/speed issues is an effort to regain some pitch misconception in the batter's box.

Swings have a "power-band". The greatest power at impact is exerted at 0° wrist break to 20° wrist break. 0° degrees being palm-up/palm-down, bat perpendicular to the right forearm and squared toward the ball. A 20° wrist break propels the ball at 40° down the foul line, 5° inside the foul pole. After 20° there is a parabolic scaled loss of momentum to full extension. I have to come back later to finish this.

"Finally, the belly button alignment would mean both arms were extended." How is that? Are you saying the arms would be swinging the body? If you hit improperly and try to pull the outside pitch is that what you see? No, hitting that pitch too far out front would create the weak top-half contact. Over-rotating and hitting the ball there would simply create a disconnect with the back elbow with its proper hip connection, with the other arm fully extended. Proper mechanics would limit body rotation on outside pitches, pointing the belly-button and back knee at right field, so all contact is made with essentially the same swing, just a different depth in the hitting zone.
 
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