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Wrist Flexion and Extension

Nov 25, 2012
1,269
63
Texas
I bumped this thread awhile back but thought I would cut and past and create a new thread as a focus on the wrist and its importance. Just when you think you have everthing down from drive, to brush, to ball at 9:00, and IR, a very small difference in the angle of wrist can make a huge difference in speed. See @BoardMember posts below:

Side note on this topic.... many times we teach all kinds of different change-ups and eventually a girl will find one that works well for her. My question is how many times did we teach a regular fastball grip but simply throwing with wrist extension instead of flexion? Again, read @BoardMember posts below.

S3

Mar 31, 2013
[IMG alt="Amy in AZ."]https://www.discussfastpitch.com/data/avatars/l/0/44.jpg?1556044865[/IMG]
Amy in AZ.

May 7, 2008 8,506 48 Tucson
The above study was in 2002. I can't figure out why wrist flexion would be 32%. A wrist snap doesn't even occur.

MTR - A foul ball is a foul ball. Nothing else, just a foul ball.
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Mar 31, 2013

[IMG alt="BoardMember"]https://www.discussfastpitch.com/data/avatars/l/0/551.jpg?1554646344[/IMG]
BoardMember

Jul 14, 2008 1,794 63
Shoulder extension occurs when the humerus moves from behind you to neutral, then forward AFTER delivery...........DUH........What an epiphany to know that "completion of the arm circle from back to front" is the biggest contributor..........

Wrist flexion occurs in almost, but not every pitch delivered.........It is a force generator as the wrist moves from slightly extended or neutral to flexion through release........Wrist Flexion on it's own is a fairly weak contributor of force.......However.......Combined with INternal Rotation, wrist flexion/IR creates a "force couple" which exerts torque on the delivery system.........

This is INternal Rotation, combined with wrist flexion.........Creating torque..........



Even in my 9:00 drill I'm combining shoulder extension WITH INternal Rotation and wrist flexion to propel the ball........



One of the biggest issues one faces when teaching I/R is LACK of wrist flexion during the I/R release........This is what you see when inexperienced I/R mechanics appear to be strictly "Arm Roll"........

Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
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Mar 31, 2013

[IMG alt="BoardMember"]https://www.discussfastpitch.com/data/avatars/l/0/551.jpg?1554646344[/IMG]
BoardMember

Jul 14, 2008 1,794 63
As a side note.........MANY change ups are achieved by EXtending (lifting) the wrist through release vs. flexing the wrist during release.......

This is the exact opposite of the move that generates force which is flexion. It in fact, shuts down the force couple and takes force OUT OF the system........


Most flip changes......Back Door Changes........Horseshoe Changes.........All RELY on WRIST EXTENSION to take force/velocity from the delivery.........

Watch Michelle EXTEND her wrist during her flip change........
 
Nov 25, 2012
1,269
63
Texas
Here is another post you might find interesting about Rachel Garcia. Most of this is about her spins but if you watch Rachel she starts her backswing with "cupping" or flexion. I am not sure she keeps flexion the entire time and it flattens a bit until release but she is probably the pitcher that pops out at me when thinking about flexion.

 
Nov 25, 2012
1,269
63
Texas
Here is another post about a bent wrist and the OP stated a 5-7 mph increase in speed with a bent wrist. It sounds like he started the bent wrist at wind up and all the way through.

My guess is prior to this his DD was releasing with "extension" and then when he tried the bent wrist she found flexion. Again, just a guess...

 
May 15, 2008
1,008
83
Cape Cod Mass.
First you have to differentiate wrist flexion as an action from wrist flexion as a position, or flexing the wrist vs having a flexed wrist. Flexing the wrist brings up the spectre of wrist snaps, oh the horror!

Thinking about this solves a long standing question for me: why is it that so many high level pitchers have bullet spin fastballs? One would think that it would be top spin with the hand directly behind the ball propelling it into release.

Internally rotating the arm by itself gains you nothing in terms of velocity. If you straighten your arm by locking the elbow and IR it what do you get, basically nothing. The velocity comes from having the elbow flexed/bent so that the ball has some deviation from the axis of rotation of the upper arm. The more off the axis the ball is the greater the potential for adding velocity. In baseball the ball is generally a full 90 degrees off axis, in softball you can only go so far before you become illegal. One way to get the ball more off axis is by having the wrist cupped or flexed. The other way is to have the wrist radially deviated. Many years ago I recorded a Danielle Henderson work out. I had a good video camera with a high shutter speed. When I reviewed the video there were several frames where I caught her from the back and at the release of her fastball I noticed the radial deviation of her wrist. Danielle threw a fastball that was mostly top spin. So, wrist flexion for a bullet spin fastball, wrist radially deviated for top spin. Freeze frame Amanda Scarborough here at 37-38 seconds, even though there is not a lot of wrist flexion you can get the concept.

 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2012
1,269
63
Texas
First you have to differentiate wrist flexion as an action from wrist flexion as a position, or flexing the wrist vs having a flexed wrist. Flexing the wrist brings up the spectre of wrist snaps, oh the horror!

@armwhip GREAT POST!!!! And thanks for the comment! EXACTLY. Also, the Amanda video is a perfect one!

 
Feb 3, 2010
5,546
83
Pac NW
Here is a pretty good example of Sarah. 3rd pic in particular right as she heads into brush.

View attachment 21183
Apologies—I haven’t read much of the content of this thread yet, but wanted to point out that Sarah is warming up her curve in this series. The curve is the only pitch where maintaining flexion is important for maximum revs, but not necessarily for flat rotation.
 

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