Row Til You GO, Back Shoulder Row and More Bat Speed

Back Shoulder Row and the Top Level Swing

Baseball Rebellion Back Shoulder Row, Back Shoulder Row, Chas Pippitt, Scap LoadMany people teach a hands first downward plane swing.  As readers of the Baseball Hitting Rebellion know, we are not part of that group.  The truly amazing thing about the Top Level Swing (in baseball and softball) is that there are almost NO examples of players utilizing the knob pull or a downward swing and having any type of success, yet linear hands first hitting is the predominant thought taught at all formative levels of baseball and softball.

As I was going through the process of figuring out what I wanted to write about next, I kept coming back to the separation of the lead hip and the back shoulder.  The true engine of the Top Level Swing is the stretching action of the muscles of the torso, and how that action is created and maximized for a suddenly explosive and accelerated swing.  Paul Reddick, a former scout, starts his hitting product ‘sales pitch’ by saying, ‘everybody knows that hitting power is the result of the separation of the hips and shoulders’, and if you’ve read my stuff, you know I’m on board with that as well.

However, I think it’s really important that people understand that this torque creating move doesn’t just stop at a hip turn.

Arod Back Shoulder Row, Shoulder Row, Scap Load Hitting, Shoulder Row HittingRocco Baldelli Back Shoulder Row, Back Shoulder Row, Scap Load Hitting, Baseball Rebellion, MLB Shoulder RowAdrian Gonzalez Back Shoulder Row, Back Shoulder Row, Scap Load Hitting Adrian Gonzalez Hitting Mechanics

As the back hip begins the move inward towards home plate, a counter rotation of the upper gear must occur to help balance this move.  I call this ‘Back Shoulder Row’.  Basically it’s a move to help balance and increase the stretching action of the torso that creates even deeper and earlier bat speed and downward and sideways whip of the barrel into the zone.  The Back Shoulder Row forces a proper hand pivot by literally making it impossible to pull your knob forward as your back elbow is now blocked by your lat muscle and obliques from moving forward.

Once this blocking action occurs, you MUST pivot the barrel around your hands, whipping the barrel downward and backward towards the catcher and then sideways into the zone.  This move is very hard to pick up as you really need to know what to look for.  I have searched my library of videos extensively to give the best few examples and multiple views of back shoulder row during in game footage.  Look at where the back elbow goes…the back shoulder and scapular musculature are moving the back elbow behind the batter, towards the dugout.  It’s pretty subtle, but it’s there, and it’s needed.

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Notice that this is NOT a stiff turn of the hips that move the shoulders inward, this is a back shoulder pull, much like you’re using a rowing machine with only one arm.  Even if a hitter does turn his lead shoulder inward, like Edmunds and Adrian Gonzalez, he still rows that back elbow/shoulder backwards as his hips are beginning their inward turn.  Bonds did it too…and that guy could hit a little bit I’d say!

Barry Bonds Baseball Swing, Barry Bonds Hitting Mechanics, Barry Bonds Shoulder Row, Baseball Hitting Mechanics, Bonds Baseball SwingBarry Bonds Shoulder Row, Barry Bonds Load, Barry Bonds Hip and Shoulder Separation, Hips Lead hands, scap load hittingBarry Bonds Slow Motion Hitting, Bonds Hitting Mechanics, Shoulder Roa, Scap load hitting

Scap Load Diagram, Baseball Hitting Shoulder Row, Baseball Load Mechanics, Baseball Swing Mechanics

Most kids will try to turn their entire torso inward, showing the pitcher his or her back…That move is NOT what i’m describing, as this weird cartoon will show.

I know I said this earlier, but I can’t stress it enough:  the scap load prevents the knob pulling/arm pushing swing that most of the kids today use.  Your rear elbow will get behind your lat muscle, so you CAN’T pull the bat’s knob forward or push the handle of the bat at the pitcher – the hitter MUST pivot the hands and swing the barrel down and back to the catcher and then sideways into the path of the ball.

Your HIPS turn the swing into the ball, but your scap load (back shoulder row) and hand pivot turn the barrel back and to the side as your hips are turning inward.  Really watch these clips slowly, notice the bat head going towards the catcher and then ‘sweeping’ in behind the baseball from the side to make contact.  This depth in the barrel gives the longest possible contact point and the scap load makes it EVEN DEEPER than I’ve described in the past.

Click on the picture to see the movement.

This is a SUPER high level move, and most kids won’t understand this until they get a little more coordinated and comfortable being able to feel their own muscles work.  One of my huge concerns about talking about back shoulder row is that kids will try to do it and stiffen up.  Remain smooth and allow this transition to the highest level swing possible.  Remember it is going to take a period of time.  There is no get a scapula load quick scheme out there.  It takes hours and hours of positive practice.  My team at I.T.S. and the BHR are working tirelessly on how to use the Drive Developer and other tools to increase your scapula load and understanding of how it loads properly, the benefits of it, and how to make sure it’s not hurting you and stiffening up your easy smooth swing mechanics.

Chas Pippitt

Leader of the Baseball Hitting Rebellion

Certified I.T.S. Baseball Hitting System Instructor

Back Elbow Drill Face-On with resistance coming from backside:

Back Elbow Drill Backside with resistance coming from front:

About the Author

Chas Pippitt is the founder of Baseball Rebellion, and creator of the Baseball Rebellion / I.T.S. Baseball Hitting System. Chas has invented three hitting products, the Drive Developer, the Rebel’s Rack, and the Bat Drag Buster, which are currently used in ALL 50 states and internationally in over 10 countries. When not working on articles or doing online lessons for Baseball Rebellion, Chas Pippitt is the owner and head hitting instructor at I.T.S. Baseball. A baseball training facility, in North Carolina, which offers in-person lessons and acts as the research facility for all of Baseball Rebellion’s methodology. Chas has done over 20,000 lessons, and that practical experience has given him the unique ability to develop powerful and adjustable hitters, using his proprietary drills and special ability to explain and improve hitting techniques to hitters of all ages through video. Wish you could learn and train with Chas Pippitt? Now you can by signing up for Baseball Rebellion's Online Hitting Lessons!

90 Comments on "Row Til You GO, Back Shoulder Row and More Bat Speed"

  1. Andy November 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm · Reply

    What I tried today with a 11 year old that worked very good was to take elbow back and then elbow yourself into your backside rib cage 4 times then do 4 more but right before let your hips move your rib cage out of the way so the rib cage does not get hit and then everything flowed perfectly with the second set of 4 he did. It worked for me also. The bat went down rearward then hit the plane of the pitch from the side without me ever mentioning what I wanted the bat to do.

    • Chas Pippitt November 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm · Reply


      Can you post a video of this drill you’re describing? Lets share some REAL baseball teaching info, DRILLS THAT WORK!

      Chas —

      • Andy November 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm · Reply

        Comment on what Joey said about scapula load regarding not to stiffen up the swing especially for youth.
        Since I worked at rehab hospital for 31 years I called my friend (PT) and suggested to swing the elbow down ever so slightly and then swing up and back versus horizontally straight back. I tried it and noticed a little less tension.
        Supposedly helps the humerus turn internally in a more smoother and dynamic fashion. Maybe this will help a DD application. ?????

        • Chas Pippitt November 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm · Reply

          hard to say on that one andy, i think the more technical you get about ‘how’ you row, the tougher it may be for kids.

          that being said, I do agree that different ‘row’ motions may be less tightening. The only thing i feel when i row down then up is tension in my traps…(the football player neck muscles) that you do shrugs with…

          and i know THAT is not something anyone wants.

          We’ll figure it out, keep thinkin on it.

          Chas —

        • Joey Myers November 15, 2011 at 7:21 am · Reply

          @Andy: glad to hear you’re thinking on how to adjust the drill! You sound like Chas and I…we’d love it if you guys out there could improve on any drill we create, we’re an open door when it comes to tinkering.

          All I know is, like Chas says, anything involving stiff upper traps, is BAD. Master Kettlebell Trainer Brett Jones says shoulders are ear poison…the closer the shoulder get to the ears is NOT good.

          Great thoughts Andy!

      • Kelly April 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm · Reply

        Maybe you could share your drills.

        • Chas Pippitt April 13, 2013 at 9:52 am · Reply


          I do share my drills…they’re all through the blog…and my private clients have tons of access to me and my drills that I do not publish.


  2. Tom November 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm · Reply

    Hey is there any wrist flick in this swing??… because i was swinging off a tee and was hittinhg my best yet because of this brilliant technique. I realized how wrist flick isnt as crucial as focusing on really turning your core and having that tilt in your swing. I was pretty much pivoting the barrel backwards and my hips were turning the barrel into the ball…Am i right?? thankss

    • Chas Pippitt November 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm · Reply


      Yes, there is wrist SNAP in the swing, but the use of that snap is key. you are PURE rotational at this point but once you find the 2nd engine, the wrist snap, you can enhance a pure ‘epstien’ rotational swing exponentially.

      Chas —

      • Chas November 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm · Reply

        Hi Chas:
        Great site.
        I thought I understood what you were saying about bringing the elbow back and the wrists cocking the hands toward the catcher or actually the opposite batters slightly in getting the swing started as your Barry Bonds video perfectly depicts his rythm of the swing cocking his hands down, up , back and through. Ted Williams and Robinson Cano also created a pre-swing top hand torque load movement in getting their hands started. But then seeing your video of the back elbow drill I ddin’t see anything like that.
        One guy I’d like to see your swing thoughts on is Carlos Gonzalez.
        Thanks so much.

        • Chas Pippitt November 24, 2011 at 7:06 am · Reply


          Check the comment I wrote to Tom. If that doesn’t help then as again and I will address you directly.

          Cargo is a monster! I may case study him at some point.


          • Jay: November 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm ·

            Chas: Hope you had a great holiday weekend.
            I think a few video demos of the hands position you are identifying in a full swing would help a lot. A few pictures when addressing barrell pivot vs hand pivots and turning the barrell back could perhaps clear any confusion as to the moves you are identifying.
            Does the video above of Barry Bonds from behind represent the type of hand, shoulder, and elbow movement you like to see. Barry may drop his hands a little too much and tilt the bat slightly too forward toward the pitcher but his mechanics are superior in my opinion. I’m not sure why we don’t see more hitters at all levels use some of his swing keys more often. He is so stable. I played at a very high level D1 university in Southern Cal quite a few years ago, before Bonds was even with the Giants, but modified my swing prior to my senior year using swing mechaincs that turned out to be very similar to what he used during his career. The additional pop I produced was amazing. I was 190 lbs but could hit a ball 400 ft against very good pitching and this was before the trampoline aluminum bats that came into play up until last year.
            In the past year I have once become so interested in baseball and hitting since I have begun coaching little league and travel ball for my sons team. It’s like rediscovering the game I palyed so long all over again. I am fascinated with hitting technique and theory and experimenting with what works. Sorry for the extremely long message but I am a believer and can’t get enough hitting talk. BTW, what do you think about Ryan Braun and the position he is in when he lands. His front foot usually facing directly towards the pither. Usually we teach land about 45 degree but he lands open.

          • Chas Pippitt December 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm ·

            I’ll make a video of me doing it, it’ll be easier to see.

            Check back in a few days.


      • Sam Flamont March 23, 2012 at 11:11 am · Reply

        Chas, in my understanding the wrist snap people see in the swing is actually the opposite forces acting on the knob of the bat as the front shoulder moves up and out, which pulls the bottom hand with it, and as the back shoulder rotates toward the pitcher. The top hand actually makes sure the bat stays in the zone, and if the rotation is correct there will be a wrist snap, but it is more of an effect, not a cause.

        What are your thoughts on this, and please explain your wrist snap theory. Great site.

        • Chas Pippitt March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm · Reply


          I agree with what you said Sam, but I think you can help the move along. Pure Rotational hitters like Reggie Jackson did not use a wrist snap at all, the movement of the pelvis and then shoulders moved the bat into the zone with a wrist swivel. We at I.T.S. Baseball and BHR have seen large improvement by emphasizing the wrist snap deep in the zone even with our professional players and the cue for that is getting to palm up palm down position as early in the swing as possible with your hand as deep as possible.

          The tightness of the arms is key in releasing the barrel sideways into the hitting zone from beside the plate but on plane with the pitch and up through the path of the ball.

          Did that help?


  3. Tom November 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm · Reply

    Your HIPS turn the swing into the ball, but your scap load (back shoulder row) and hand pivot turn the barrel back and to the side as your hips are turning inward…. when you say “inward” do u mean when the hips go in for the coil or when they start thrusting in the first gear of the swing where the core goes first. The word inward is confusing me a little as to where the scap load starts Thanks!

    • Chas Pippitt November 24, 2011 at 7:04 am · Reply


      It’s a separate movement. The row happens before the downward move of the barrel or before the top hand torque begins. The row sets up the move.

      Honesty I need to re do those videos that Joey put up…not sure they really show what I want them to. I even like open up the wrist capsule and the slam it shut for even more momentum in the barrel. Many talk about a running start in hitting with the body or hips but I like the barrel to have a running start and that’s what the row move and then the downward barrel turn creates, an already moving barrel.

      Remember, objects in motion tend to stay in motion…and accelerate faster…as they already have momentum and energy in them.

      Coil is in the load and i Need to clarify that as well. ‘inward’ means toward home plate…so in a coil the front hip coils in…but barrel turn downward happens as the back hips turns in or as the hips ‘open’ and the belly button turns towards the pitcher.

      I hope that helped. Sorry for the confusion. I will be more specific in the future!


  4. Cliff Redmond November 24, 2011 at 11:02 am · Reply


    You’ve been great keeping up with all your responses. But you should take some time off today and enjoy the holiday.
    Your are the best in what you are doing.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving

    • Chas Pippitt November 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm · Reply


      Thanks for that comment. Made my day!

      Happy Thanksgiving from all of the rebels at the BHR!


  5. Greg December 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm · Reply

    When does the back (top) arm enter the slot position? If you enter the slot to soon, can this cause “bat lag”? Is there some correlation with the slot position and the hand position to produce the best swing? I am trying to fix this with a softball player.

    • Chas Pippitt December 9, 2011 at 9:45 am · Reply


      the main issue you’re probably having (total guess as I’ve seen no video) is your daughter’s back elbow is getting stuck on her hip or pushing in front of her hip and then beside her body before her hands.

      The elbow cannot lead the hands, that causes bat DRAG.

      what I like to talk about when people ask me about the slot position is getting the hands in ‘palm up palm down position as early in the swing move as possible.

      so you’ve loaded, your front foot is down, your hips are beginning to turn inward towards home plate belly button forward.

      your back shoulder is delayed and your hands should begin turning the barrel back AS your HIPS ARE TURNING INWARD. this turns your hands into palm up palm down position and opens up the wrist capsule, allowing for maximum snap and fluidity within the move.


      ps, i know that was complicated, but can you feel that?

  6. Keith December 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm · Reply

    Hey Chas, Keith

    My question on that since I do body build, it looks like similar to a dumbell row.

    Just thinking I have naturally big traps and shoulders anyway darn genetics.
    anyway just want your thought and input on that am I right or is that wrong.
    Still working on my swing but I think since I lift heavy weights, I think i normally
    feel stretch in the lats anyway. Let me know.

    • Joey Myers December 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm · Reply

      Hey Keith, yes it’s a similar feeling of a bent-over dumbbell row except you’re standing upright. I like to tell my kids to feel like they’re getting ready to punch someone REALLY hard and feel how that elbow moves behind and loads the Scap. It doesn’t have to be a high elbow either, I find that by relaxing the back shoulder and upper trap, the back elbow tends to do the motion naturally.

      Remember, shoulders are ear poison…if the traps get over-active with this movement, it won’t feel smooth.

  7. Fred December 9, 2011 at 11:13 am · Reply

    what exactly is “The full wrist snap and extension” and at what point in the swing does it happen? (during or after contact?). How do you teach/explain it.
    Thank you, Fred

    • Chas Pippitt December 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm · Reply


      Great questions.

      Full wrist snap happens SUPER early in the swing, from behind the back shoulder towards the backstop, then home plate, then is turned into the line of the pitch by the hips (this is very rarely even seen in pros, as adjustments are constantly made with the hands and arms due to pitchers changing speeds and locations.

      extension happens after contact towards the directly of the batted ball. For instance, if you pull a ball, you will extend to the pull side outfielder (assuming you didnt roll over)

      Sometimes, however, extension doesn’t happen at all (vlad g on his best hits stays pretty bend in both his arms) and too often, extension is thought of and taught AT CONTACT in Power V.

      did that help Fred?


      • CoachAb2 March 8, 2012 at 10:42 am · Reply

        Extension always happens. It just happens after contact. You should never be in the Power V at contact. That happens AFTER contact. Goes back to the Dr. Gary Ward days at Oklahoma St–Flexion to extention. Arms should always have a degree of flex at impact.

        As far as the “knob to the ball” argument goes. The greatest hitter of our generation, Tony Gwynn called this the single greatest hitting fundamental he ever learned. This teaching point is crucial for learning contact points. It should really state the knob POINTS to the ball. If the ball is on the outside corner the knob and belly buttong will lag and less rotation occurs. If the ball is inside, the knob and
        belly button will speed up. If we speed the knob and belly button up too quick on an outside pitch, we will “spin off” the pitch, etc.

        There is a common msiconception among “rotational” guys that people that don’t agree with a true rotational swing are linear guys. The fact remains the “linear” guys are not teaching a straight line to the ball. They are teaching a TRANSFER of weight THROUGH the ball at contact. You stating that we teach that hands go straight to the ball is the same thing as me saying you guys teach “squish the bug” or “Sit and spin.” The swing contains linear, rotational and weight transfer components. And a true student and teacher of hitting knows this.

        If a swing is truly rotational, why then does the swing load to back side and come COMPLETELY to the front side at impact? Look at any great hitter-their back leg is non-weight bearing. Why is this?? They have transfered weight THROUGH a combination of linear stride, and back side rotation and weight transfer.

        That is all.

        • Chas Pippitt March 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm · Reply

          I love comments like this one…

          I’m in Mexico, but I will respond DIRECTLY to this ‘extension always happens’ comment with a video…of a professional…and we’ll see of Power V/Extension ‘always happens’…

          Clearly, Tony Gwinn’s career was great, just like Derek Jeter’s is/was. However, both would be in a totally different category if they hit for POWER, which neither did/do.

          The Baseball Hitting Rebellion is not only about Bad Mechanics, but about Bad Hitting Jargon like ‘knob to the ball’ that isn’t explained fully or described correctly by ANY linear coaches or many greats of hitting (Gwinn and others).

          I want to personally (and with help from JK and Joey) eliminate incorrect and unclear hitting propoganda and terminology from the hitting landscape.

          To the ‘truly rotational’ point, I ask this: Does a hammer thrower or discus thrower have both components? Does a figure skater doing a triple axel have both components? Or do they just use fluidity of motion and relaxing and flexing muscles to create efficient force generation?

          My Real Name is Chas Pippitt, and I’m the Leader of the Baseball Hitting Rebellion.

          That is all.

          • CoachAb2 May 15, 2012 at 8:25 am ·


            Couple things:

            I am of the belief that every component of a swing is important to maximize efficiency. Extension happens in any athletic endeavor. Shoot a basketball? Throw a football? Serve a tennis ball with a racket? To reach maximum efficiency extension occurs. I agree that maximium power is acheived from the ground up and the rotational forces (torque) is a huge part of the swing.

            You mentioned “momentum” as the force that carries him to his front leg.
            Chas, momentum by definition is the TRANSFER of weight/mass by force. My contention is that this “rotational/linear” transfer must be taught or you will develop “sit and spin” hitters whose barrel enters and exits the hitting zone abruptly. I teach this through talking about “pulling the backside” to contact. This creates a rotation AND a transfer move off the backside and into front side and allows the barrel to stay on plane through the hitting zone for an extended time. I feel it’s a hybrid philosophy of both rotational and weight transfer philosphies that take the best of both worlds and apply it to the swing.

            A good way to see this is to pause the video of a great hitter at foot plant. Put a dot on the back hip. Now, watch as their backside moves FORWARD. Now rotational forces play a role in this but the fact remains great hitters are transferring weigh to the ball at impact. I know this seems like semantics and is very minute in detail, but I see hitters all the time that are taught rotational only mechanics and never get off the back side.

            Haven’t looked at the “Rebel’s Rack” yet but I will definitely check it out.

        • Chas Pippitt March 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm · Reply

          So, in response to Coachab2, I was curious if he, or anyone sees ‘extension’ ‘happening’ in this video (since extension always happens)?

          Vlad Guerrero

          To his ‘linear, rotational and weight transfer point’ I think that’s sort of a cop out. In any athletic motion, there are components of different movements from linear to rotational to up and down…its body movement. We at the Hitting Rebellion are not baseball rotational hitting zealots! In fact Mike Epstien, the most famous rotational hitting guy, and I do not agree on many things which is why many who have gone through his 7 day transformation classes come to I.T.S. Baseball and get additional bat speed from our more accurate descriptions of hitting.

          ‘Hall of Fame Player X’ saying something happens doesn’t mean our kids should listen! Rocco Baldeli formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, used to give a speech where he asked the audience: How many of you all bench press 350 lbs? How many of you all run a 4.4 forty yard dash? How many of you all jump 40 inches in the air? he asked people to raise their hands if they could do those things. Rocco’s hand remained raised. It was the only hand…his speech was about doing well in school and not copying what athletes always do as there are some reasons that kids CAN’T do what athletes do.

          This is what sets the Rebellion apart from the other sites. We don’t take words from greats as GOSPEL, we investigate the validity of everything we hear…read…see. We look for these buzzwords and talking points in video, and I just don’t see knobs point at the ball very often in a high level swing…unless it for a SPLIT SECOND after the barrel has started rearward and then has already snapped sideways into the hitting zone.

          Hopefully, Coachab2 comes back to join us! I’d love for him to learn more about the high level swing and contribute what he can for the rest of us as well. Besides, I’m always interested in what the ‘other side’ has to say about our hitting style. I’ll tell you what though, i don’t see much ‘bug squishing’ or ‘sitting and spinning’ going on in this clip either though! 🙂

          Chas —

          • Sam Flamont March 23, 2012 at 11:25 am ·


            Most greats talk about hitting in a way they did not even swing.

            Cal Ripken, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, are just a few that come to mind. I found a clip of a missle Ripken Jr. hit a long way, and then listened to him talk about hitting.

            He talked about hitting down on the ball, creating backspin, etc. but when you watched the video, he clearly came up through the ball.

            I am with you, and I usually take it one step further, I listen to great hitters talk, watch their video, and forget everything they said. Sometimes the best at doing it, are not the best at teaching it.

          • Chas Pippitt March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm ·

            Preach on Sammy! I totally agree.


          • CoachAb2 May 14, 2012 at 10:29 am ·

            Great video and yes I do see extension with his right arm after contact (Clip 65 and 66). Show the other side of that same video and you will see. With that being said, it’s an inside pitch…there is less extension on an inside pitch and more rotation just like I commented on my post. Less extension allows you to stay inside the ball and not wrap on the inside pitch allowing you to keep the ball fair. Please show me a video of ball on the outer half with the same swing mechanics. You will see less rotation to contact and more extension. Also, note the non-weight bearing back leg at impact proving that he has transferred weight through the ball at impact to his front-side.

          • Chas Pippitt May 14, 2012 at 10:36 am ·


            Extension that late in the swing is irrelevant (and in my opinion, not present as that’s just his finish). And the extension is caused by the barrel pulling his hands after he’s totally relaxed his arms. Clearly there is more extension to pitches on the outer half of the plate and further out, there’s no way to hit those pitches otherwise. Properly hit outside pitches are hit with rotation and a fully bent back arm, however in game adjustments and proper barrel release gives these guys, and hitters with top level mechanics, the capability to adjust on the fly and allow the arms to disconnect. This fluid adjustment can look like linear push…but it is not.

            Your use of the word ‘weight’ is interesting to me. I am pretty sure if his ‘weight’ were forward he would be able to stand on his front leg. His Momentum has carried him against his front leg, but not onto it, as again, without putting his back leg down on the ground, he’d fall into the catcher.

            Thanks for reading CoachAb2, what do you think of the ‘Rebel’s Rack’?


      • JERRY March 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm · Reply


  8. Greg December 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm · Reply

    Good stuff…I think she is not getting the palm up/palm down position soon enough, or she is taking a longer path to get to that position. This makes her late more often than not. Like a lot of kids, she sees others moving the bat a lot before they move to the ball, but the good hitters always get their hands back to the best starting position before moving to the ball. This position is nearly the same for all hiiters. I hope I can get in on the video lessons after Christmas, then you can tell me!

  9. JB January 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm · Reply

    Hey chas in the leap of faith day 3 webinar i heard you talking about how you and this kid did drills on the drive developer where the bands attached where acting as the pitcher. You said the kid got it right away(whatever you guys did) and felt the right hand pivot. You said he was crushing balls after. Would you be able to release some of those drills. Thanks!

  10. Chas Pippitt January 10, 2012 at 5:37 am · Reply


    I keep making Row and Hand Pivot/Barrel Tilt videos…and I haven’t liked how they look yet…

    SO…I’m going to try again today and hopefully I can make the move look like I want.


  11. Jamie February 2, 2012 at 11:21 am · Reply

    Are you still looking to post the videos and the Row/Hand Pivot and Barrell Tilt? Very much enjoyed the two webinars you and Joey have done but have some questions and think the videos may help resolve some. On JK’s video clip on hand pivot it seems like he casting his hands early. Full video would help. Thank you.

    • Chas Pippitt February 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm · Reply


      In short…yes. But this video has been a bugger to get right.

      One day I dont like the angle, next day I do it wrong (i’m not a great hitter…I just know a lot about hitting) so my demo isn’t good enough to post.

      Working on it, sorry for the delay.


  12. Gary February 25, 2012 at 3:40 am · Reply

    Guys, Just curious. I always felt like the idea of starting the swing backwards-towards the catcher, was confusing/misleading. But also correct ( is a big proponent). Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the flattening of the bat during your “bat row” stage ( which I LOVE – thank you) will cause a natural swing directly onto plane without thinking of which direction to swing. When flattening gets you on plane with the shoulders then all you have to do is get the shoulder tilt correct and turn hard, and importantly, stay connected. All I’m saying is, the idea of swinging backwards gets me fearing the feel of becoming disconnected – swinging the arms.

    • Chas Pippitt March 15, 2012 at 8:46 am · Reply


      terminology can be tough for anyone in a new style of hitting. The idea of getting the bat to go ‘Backwards’ is something that JK and I struggle with daily.

      Really, we want to keep the MOMENTUM of the barrel moving. Notice all these guys in the article have a constantly moving barrel once they start their load. We dont want to stop the barrel and then restart it. THAT move, the stop and re-start creates lots of ‘pull/push’ from the arms.

      We want the barrel to enter the hitting zone from the side, towards the opposite batter’s box instead from above down on top the the ball. This is the the act of getting the barrel in the way of the ball early, or on plane.

      I hope that helped,

      Chas —

      • Anonymous March 20, 2012 at 6:14 am · Reply


        In Ted William’s swing, often used as an example of rotational hitting, I have always been perplexed when noticing something in his bat movement, which seemed to be ignored by people when describing “how he does it”. For lack of a better term, I’m referring to the “transition wobble” of his bat as his bat transitions from backward and down direction, to more horizontal and forward.

        It seems that the backward row establishes a separate rotational plane (vertical), whose angular momentum and gyroscopic characteristics must be brought into alignment with the torso’s rotational plane (horizontal).

        1. Is the the transition from one plane to another, the part of the swing where strong wrists are helpful?

        2. Is the degree of non-alignment of the 2 planes at launch, a determining factor in the speed and force of the bat at contact? (I read an article recently which described the tendency of a gyroscope to resist tilting — but he made an interesting comment at the end of the paragraph. He said it may be possible to harness an unexpected increase in momentum of a system by a quick tilt to the desired new angle).

        • Chas Pippitt March 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm · Reply

          I understand your questions, but I had to read them a few times 🙂

          1: in the transition from one plane to another, the wrists are only a small part of the strength needed to overcome the forces acting upon the arms.

          What I think is MUCH more important, is the strength of the Biceps and Shoulders and Upper Back/Scapula to HOLD the hands in tight against the body and avoid the casting problem that many kids have when learning a powerful hip driven swing.

          2: the non-alignment of planes that I see as totally responsible for power generation is the vertical plane of the pelvis and the vertical plane of the clavicle bone (shoulders). Separation of the Pelvis and Shoulders builds torque within the obliques, front abs, and lower back to allow the stretching and firing of the torso muscles to translate into instant and immediate barrel speed rearward and then sideways into the zone (the transitional wobble) that you talk about with Williams.

          This is also present in Josh Hamilton, Barry Bonds, Jose Bautista and many many other great hitters.


  13. Anonymous August 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm · Reply

    If we are performing a back shoulder row how is the pre launch torque or angling the bat to the catcher supposed to happen.

    • Chas Pippitt August 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm · Reply


      Once you tip your barrel in, then, as the hips open, the row pulls the barrel back out of the ‘tip’ position and on plane with the pitch as the hips continue to turn.

      In the future, Please put your name, as I will no longer respond to Anonymous posts.


  14. Calvin Baxter September 11, 2012 at 7:32 am · Reply

    Hi Chas,

    I a currently trying out for the Gettysburg college team. I am a 5’7″ outfielder with 80+ batspeed becuse my hitting instructer teaches mostly everything you do. It feels great to know that peopel actually study hitting like I do in my spare time. Anyway, I read in one of your articles about how lefty-hitting-righty-throwing batters always pull very hard wit htheir right tricep. And believe it or not, I have that same problem! I still have surprising power to the middle and pull sides for my size (hit a 300ft double yesterday), but I have trouble against lefty pitchers and pitches on the outer half. Any suggestions? Also, I dont plan on changing my swing now, it is what it is. But intense work over the winter has gotten me this far.



  15. Calvin October 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm · Reply

    hey Chas,
    I’m pretty sure I just read a comment I posted about torque from last january: i’m coming back for more!
    so more about torque: I developed a leg kick last summer from watching Jose baustista and Sadaharu Oh. There were a lot of interesting angles involved. When their legs reached their highest points, they had crossed their back knee. I thought that was interesting, and what was more interesting was that the motion of the leg coming up moved the back shoulder/elbow to create the “row” you talk.
    I understand the concept of the row and that ut us a necessity in hitting, but i’m confused on how to reach it. If I just row my back shoulder, my elbow doesnt connect to my belly button and the barrel doesn’t whip for me.
    so, do you think you I can do it this way? By closing both the upper/lower body at the top of a leg kick, and then opening the lower body as you reach toe touch…as long as you keep the shoulder agle/delay when you land?



  16. jerry October 28, 2012 at 7:36 am · Reply

    HI chas …I notice from the back that you demonstrate 5 back elbow rows . in the first 2 the tip of your elbow stays more hrizontial in the next three the tip of your elbow drops. was this done on purpose ?is it the start of the elbow slotting?

  17. Bobby Craig February 28, 2013 at 10:08 am · Reply

    I just revisited the shoulder row post. I am getting more involved with youth athletic conditioning and have an exercise you may or may not know about that may help hitters (especially younger hitters) get a feel for the scapula moving. It is definitely beneficial to develop strength around that area as well as along the spine, strengthening the core (and we all know how important that is to a hitter). Start in the push up position. Instead of lowering the arms to move the torso, keep them straight and lower and raise the body (it will be a small movement, maybe an inch or two depending on the persons size) by contracting the muscles around the scapulas. This provides for a good feel for the muscles around this area and excellent for conditioning this area. Believe me it sounds easy, but you will definitely feel it if you knock out a bunch of repititions. It is one of those excercises where you realize your are missing that area with many other exercises. I can easily do 50 regular pushups in less than a minute and felt sore after the first time I added this exercise to a workout. Once again, thanks for the great info.

    • Chas Pippitt February 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm · Reply

      Awesome comment Bobby,

      We use that exercise in our programming her already, but you’re right that’d be a great way for people to feel the movement for sure. Also, wouldn’t that type of move be good from a hanging position as well? For instance, retracting the shoulder blades with straight arms to pull the body upward? Like a reverse bench press?


      • Bobby Craig February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm · Reply

        Yes, the hanging exercise would up the intensity by focusing on the negative portion of the exercise.

  18. Derek June 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm · Reply

    When does the shoulder row occur in the swing?

    • Chas Pippitt June 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm · Reply

      Sean and Derek,

      Shoulder row is a function of delaying the turn. You want your hips to go as far as they can…and the shoulders resist the entire time until they MUST turn as well. So, as the foot is coming down and the hips are turning forward…the shoulders must delay and wait as long as possible to turn. That’s when the row happens.


  19. Sean June 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm · Reply

    I’m not sure when the shoulder row occurs in the swing?

  20. Kyle August 13, 2013 at 5:58 am · Reply

    I just stumbled across your site and wanted to say this is awesome. I have never heard anyone mention this in any teachings, breakdowns, or hitting philosophies. I can’t wait to get after it in the cage tomorrow and incorporate this into my hack. My only concern is that I will bury my hands too far back and have trouble finding my elbow slot. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think. Thanks. Awesome site

    • Chas Pippitt August 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm · Reply


      I’m glad you like it. Let us know how it goes.


  21. Sean October 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm · Reply

    Is the shoulder row a arm movement or a whole body movement because I’m on my rack and I cant quite figure it out

    • Chas Pippitt October 15, 2013 at 9:44 am · Reply


      Don’t worry about the row…worry about deactivating the arms. The row happens when you delay the upper body turn as long as you can.


      • Sean October 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm · Reply

        But I thought that the delay in the shoulders and arms as well as your hips your torso are where your bat speed comes from

        • Chas Pippitt October 16, 2013 at 9:54 am · Reply


          Delay in the shoulders is helped by the pull back of the arm (row). Hips lead, then shoulders come through.


      • Sean October 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm · Reply

        Thanks for the info and don’t pay attention to the prior comment and I can’t thank you enough for creating the Rebel’s Rack its been awesome for me thanks so much

        • Chas Pippitt October 16, 2013 at 9:55 am · Reply


          I’m glad you like it. Keep reading and asking questions.


  22. Jamie October 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm · Reply

    Wanting to purchase the rebels rack / drive developer. One question , does purchase of the two come with access to all the drills and videos at drive developer . Com ?? Those currently require a member log in ..

    • Chas Pippitt October 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm · Reply


      Yes, once you purchase the products, you have full access to with a login and password to access all the drills.

      We do it that way instead of in DVD format so you can access them anywhere!


  23. colin February 5, 2014 at 8:48 am · Reply

    Hi chas,
    What exactly is the wrist snap in the swing? and from my understanding aren’t we supposed to keep our wrists locked until extension after the turn? Thanks

    • jkhittingrebel February 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm · Reply


      Chas is out of town this week so I will answer your questions.

      We promote deep barrel acceleration so that the barrel enters the path of the ball early and at high speeds. What is early? As close to the catcher’s mitt you can get without extension of the arms. In order for this to occur, the wrist snap or “flail” ideally needs to happen as soon as possible to get the barrel in line with the lead elbow. This will shoot the barrel sideways and into the path of the ball. Here is when the wrists will lock in and the body rotation will continue to turn the barrel into contact.

      Wrist snap should never happen at the ball. The writs will turn over again, but not until after the ball has been hit.

      Hope this helps!

      JK Whited-

  24. David February 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm · Reply

    What the best way to scap load? Is it while being literally being conscious of your scapula and contracting the muscle? Or by pulling your hands directly back by extending your arms? I see Griffey jr’s and Hamiltons swings and it look like they pull their hands back, which seems to work as a more relaxed way to contract the scapula. But at the same time it pulls the hands back ( which is my concern)

    • Chas Pippitt February 12, 2014 at 9:36 am · Reply


      If it feels good and you’re getting to the right spots, whatever way you choose will work.


  25. Don Ervin February 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm · Reply

    Chas, Great site.
    Shoulder row as you explain it is simply Hip to Shoulder separation, letting the hips, rotate, lead the way prior to shoulder rotation, two separate movements. Hip rotation, then simultaneous shoulder rotation.
    Now the explanation and proper execution of proper shoulder tilt comes into the equation.
    Great Baseball-N to all
    Don Ervin

    • Chas Pippitt February 13, 2014 at 9:53 pm · Reply


      Not sure I totally agree with you that shoulder row and hip and shoulder separation are the same.

      The row action for most hitters is passive, but its needed to create ultimate delay.


  26. Derek February 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm · Reply

    Hey Chas you talk a lot about eliminating arm activation which confuses me. One of my flaws is that I get long and my hands don’t catch up with my rotation and as a result I get jammed a lot. I feel I need to use my hands more so they can be caught up with my rotation. How do you eliminate arm activation while still being in sync with your rotation? Thanks!

    • Chas Pippitt February 21, 2014 at 10:07 am · Reply


      The more your hands move, the more your bat head will delay…it’s like pulling the rug out from under a standing person…the person just falls straight down (their body) as their feet come out from under them. that’s what happens when you drive the knob forward with your arms.

      The SeeSaw article that you commented on earlier shows how the bat should move. The bat movement demo is correct, but as you illuminated earlier, it’s a movement that can’t be forced in a full speed swing but one that can be practiced in slow deliberate movements.


  27. Danny February 27, 2014 at 10:31 pm · Reply

    So one reason we shouldnt be twisting our whole torso back wards is because of vision right? Our head can only turn so far to actually see the ball as its coming. The other reason is because it cuts off our front hip/foot from being able to land in fair territoryBut lets say humans had elastics necks and elastic hip sockets. Would the torso turn/load be super powerful? Because that sounds like some good deep oblique stretch to me.

    • Chas Pippitt February 27, 2014 at 10:45 pm · Reply


      Correct, we don’t want to lose vision at any cost.

      Correct, we don’t want to land in foul territory at any cost.

      Not sure on the rest.


  28. Danny March 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm · Reply

    Should the row be done as soon as possible as you rock back into the Double inside load, or as late as possible right before foot strike?

    • Chas Pippitt March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am · Reply


      As late as possible. It’s a delay mechanism to create as much shoulder/hip separation as possible.


  29. mark June 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm · Reply

    What are some drills that can help me practice and incorporate this load into my swing?

  30. Chris November 6, 2014 at 11:32 am · Reply

    I gotta say guys, your site has validated a lot of what I thought but never really followed because of the coaching I received when I was younger. In my opinion I feel like kids probably follow some of these queues naturally prior to coaching because of the bat weight (gets them on plane) but most of them don’t understand the role the lower half plays in the swing.

    I actually still play ball in a local men’s league (just cant go full softball) and your site has helped me find some kind of swing consistency in my mid 30s which I wasn’t sure was possible. I do however want to make sure I understand the rowing. This needs to happen just before the front foot lands slightly open. Is that correct?

    • jkhittingrebel November 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm · Reply


      That is awesome that you still play and continue to look for better information. We actually work with adult men’s league guys online and in-house and they love it for the same reasons you do.

      The answer to your question is yes. The back shoulder row is the stretching or “loading” part of the forward move. With the opening of the hips the backside shoulder will slightly row back away from the front side, creating the stretch.


  31. Chris November 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the quick reply JK. Now if I can only conquer the awkwardness I feel with the forward move. Probably ingrained from all the years of hearing it’s bad all these years. Keep the good fight.

    Thanks again

  32. Aaron (Los Angeles) June 10, 2015 at 2:31 am · Reply


    I tried out the (back shoulder row) at the cages and the results were amazing. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I missed a couple balls at first and I noticed my body still felt loose/strong vs. nasty/stiff. The barrel felt way faster like a sling shot or catapult to the ball with less effort. Thank you for sharing your insight!

    I started playing ball at 5, I’m 30 now. In those 25 years I unfortunately never had a coach/instructor teach me to incorporate a move like the (back shoulder row). In fact I vaguely remember in high school trying out a similar move after watching Bonds on TV with great results, and my coach told me to “cut it out and throw your hands down to the ball..bring your whole back side through at the same time.” I wish I had access to the internet and slow motion video back then so I could’ve come to my own conclusions, easier and with more conviction.

    I have one question though..
    I had mixed results when bringing the barrel rearward towards the catcher and I think I know why.
    I’m not sure when making that move if I should?

    A.) Keep arms, wrists, and hands in the same pre-swing move launch position, and lower the ‘BACK SHOULDER’ so the barrel is pointing at the catcher? ….then as the body unwinds and rotates the barrel is moving up and through the downward ball path.
    B.) Keep wrists firm and use the ‘ARMS’ (independent of the back shoulder) to bring the barrel rearward to the catcher?…then as the body unwinds and rotates the barrel is moving up and through the downward ball path.
    C.) Use the ‘WRISTS’ (independent of the arms AND back shoulder) to bring the barrel rearward to the catcher? …then as the body unwinds and rotates the barrel is moving up and through the downward ball path.

    Hope my question is clear and easy to understand. Thank you for your time.

    – Aaron

  33. keith church August 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm · Reply

    i love listening to all the theories on hitting.. it’s really interesting to me.. but it seems to me that most all the hitting techniques by the hitting “experts” out there fail to mention the one thing that is most important to being a high level successful hitter.. that’s quickness and simplicity.. what i see most out there no matter what camp your a fan of is so much stuff that is really scientifically backed and actually works.. in a cage.. the bottom line is that high level hitting requires natural quickness and mental ability.. everyone kills it in the cage and that’s where most of the coaching and teaching by these “experts” is done.. but all the twisting and turning and hand here and there stuff is nothing but overteaching the kids.. the bottom line is that each person has to find the quickest way to get the bat to the ball and have something in there move that allows for still being able to hit when everything doesn’t go perfect ( ie fastball down the middle).. i would love for someone to not cherry pick swings in the major leagues to fit their own personal teaching method and look at the 20-30 of the greatest hitters of all time and formulate some kind of theory.. but guess what.. you can’t.. because they are all different.. these hitters knew how to get the barrel to the ball in all situations… but they are all different.. people, don’t believe all the hype of all these hitting “experts”…. just watch good hitters hit and let your kids find out how they can hit.. the result (in game batting situations) is what tells us about success.. not how many bombs you can hit in a cage or batting practice…

    • Gabe Dimock August 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm · Reply


      I’m sorry you feel that way. We obviously would disagree on many of your points above based on the success we have had with our hitters. Best of luck to you.


    • jkhittingrebel August 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm · Reply


      Simply not true. All elite hitters share many of the key principles that makes them who they are. That includes players from Babe Ruth to Mike Trout. The majority of kids in athletics can’t just watch them and become an elite hitter. Dedicate some time to actually watching thousands and thousands of swings and you’ll see it too. Good luck.


  34. coach b April 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm · Reply

    Chas, i am rereading the blogs to keep my mind fresh to help my high school guys. I was watching a video of mickey mantle and it looks like he started in the row. I’ve tried it out and it looks as though it simplifies coordination issues. is this a good way to implement the row, or should it actually be a move into it?

    • Chas Pippitt April 5, 2016 at 4:29 pm · Reply

      coach B,

      Imagine the pitcher starting at his ‘landing’ or ‘foot strike’ position with his arm already up in the throwing position. Simpler? Yes. More Powerful? No.


  35. Pete May 7, 2016 at 2:45 am · Reply

    Do you guys still teach the row?

    • Chas Pippitt May 9, 2016 at 2:49 pm · Reply


      Honestly, we don’t really have to much anymore. The Rack and BDB teach it for us.


  36. Jessica August 2, 2016 at 8:35 pm · Reply

    Hi, thank you for your site. I am working on my swing and have been implementing the row in order to create hip shoulder seperation at the start of the swing. My problem is that my back elbow is continuing to stay stuck at my side until after contact. I also am not understanding the movement to pivot the hands and swing the barrel down and back to the catcher. My hands don’t seem to get into the proper position of the hand pivot until later in the swing. Your help would be greatly appreciated as I am stuck on what should be my next step in order to correct my back elbow and my hand pivot.
    Thanks so much!

    • jkhittingrebel August 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm · Reply


      Thanks for questions! We’ll tackle these one at a time starting with your back elbow.

      The fact that your back elbow is getting into that “slot” or as you say stuck in your side is a good thing. However, if it is getting into that place to early or too late, that can cause issues. When training you want to create instant barrel speed so when your back elbow goes down, so should your barrel. You must force your back elbow to stay really up for a very long time until the last possible moment. Once the ball is close the hips will fire which will pull the back shoulder/elbow into the “slot”. You have to make the back elbow feel uncomfortably high and keep it there longer than you want in order to create that instantaneous bat speed.

      The hand pivot works with the back shoulder and elbow turning into contact. I wrote an article about “barrel flail” a few years ago that does a good job of describing how the pivot allow the barrel to go faster. The hand pivot will happen differently depending on your timing with the pitch but ideally it needs to happen as early IN THE SWING as possible. As far as getting the barrel down in front of the catcher, that will come from the dropping of the back shoulder so the the “flail” that i mentioned before is down there creating the Nike check swing path.

      A lot of this is difficult to fully articulate without having seen your swing but I hope this helps!

      – JK Whited

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