The Truth about the Wrists in the Swing: Hit For More Power NOW With Less Rollovers FOREVER

Written By: Chas Pippitt
Note from the Author:  The top of this article is extremely dorky and filled with big words.  If you just want to skip ahead and learn how to train your forearms and wrists to roll over less and have more power in the swing, just click the red button below.

The Truth About Wrist Movement

At Baseball Rebellion, we commonly ignore the hands/wrists in hitting instruction.  Most of the time, when the turn is correct, the hands and wrists just fall in line. However, in some cases, a hitter has issues with how their hands help deliver force into the bat.  In those cases, after the turn has been taught, the instructor or coach must know how the wrists move and exert force in the swing.

Forearm Movements in the Swing

The forearm muscles pronate and supinate (rotate) the hand and wrist.  Often times, these movements are confused with wrist movements and in hitting when hitters 'roll their wrists, the hands are cued to fix it.  In reality, this mistake is a forearm movement and when described as hand movement cannot be easily fixed.  Inside the baseball swing, the top hand forearm supinates while the bottom hand forearm pronates simultaneously.  These movements of the top and bottom hand coupled with the body turning in the swing, turn the barrel behind the ball.  But what happens after that?   First, let's take a second and define all these terms to help understand the movements of the forearms and wrists.

Forearm: Supination


Forearm: Pronation


Wrist: Flexion

wrist flexion

Wrist: Extension

Wrist Extension

Wrist: Radial Deviation

Radial Deviation

Wrist: Ulnar Deviation

Ulnar Deviation 2

Transitioning from Supination/Pronation into Ulnar Deviation

Blending these movements is key in learning how to Turn the Barrel.  The difference between allowing the bottom hand to take over and pronate (roll over) and transitioning into ulnar deviation is the key to staying on plane.  On plane swings deliver high levels of force and represent the most efficient delivery of that force production into the ball.  Allowing the wrists and hands to stay high in the turn helps eliminate the possibility of rolling over.  Here's how proper forearm and wrist mechanics work in the swing from the top and side view.

supination:pronation into ulnar deviation
supination:pronation into ulnar deviation top

Apparently, I'm transitioning from having hair to not having hair, which is awesome!

chas is bald top

Rolling Over Defined and Demonstrated

The main mistake we are trying to identify and correct in this article is 'wrist rollover' in the swing.  Again, that is a forearm issue where the top hand takes over and pushes up and over the top hand.  This action is called 'early pronation' in the swing.

Early pronation dramatically changes the bat plane and is directly related to many mis-hits.  The body cannot support the barrel or effectively exert force on the handle of the bat if the top hand overpowers the bat and rolls over the bottom hand.  Here are some gifs of "rolling over" and after this, we will show you how we at Baseball Rebellion correct this swing flaw.

Defining Wrist Roll

Bad movements like the wrist roll are easily corrected with the Drive Developer.  Here is a wrist roll demo, notice how the band hits my side and my hands pull across my body.

barrel path- roll over

From the top view, you can see how the band hits my arm and my bat head is pulled out of the hitting zone.

roll over

Turning the mistake movements above into proper barrel turn and extension in the swing does take some time and training.

barrel path

From the top view, you can clearly see the band does not hit my body and my top hand forearm does not supinate during ulnar deviation.  This gives the bat a clean path and allows for the longest and most powerful contact zone.

barrel path

Eliminating Wrist Roll: The Drills that Pay the Bills

How do we get from the bad movements to the good ones?  We use three main drills here at Baseball Rebellion to Eliminate Wrist Roll and strengthen Ulnar Deviation in the swing.  These drills specifically target the muscles in the wrists that help the top and bottom hand works together to turn the barrel and finish extension in the swing.

Directionally, they help players drive the ball to all fields and can easily help opposite field power as well as pull side power.  Barrel direction and force generation is key in the swing, and the Drive Developer Drills we show here are a staple of exactly how we eliminate wrist roll in our players and create more power and better swing plane.  These drills and many many more come with the Drive Developer and you'll see almost immediate changes on blast, HitTrax or Rapsodo after performing these movements.

Ulnar Deviation Side View
wrist strengthening
wrist strengthening
wrist strengthening

Combining these moves with both hands on the bat handle allows for the hitter to feel the movements together.  Becoming stronger in ulnar deviation helps the body ignore the option of rolling over.  We commonly refer to this as 'turning the barrel' or "making the top hand become the bottom hand".

wrist strengthening

These drills are simple but require focus and technique to re-pattern your brain to choose ulnar deviation (a wrist movement) instead of pronation of the top hand and supination of the bottom and, both forearm movements.

Drive Developer Swing Repatterning Drills

Changing a hitter's force production pattern is only possible by making the hitter apply some force!  Many times, players will do dry movements well, and then go back to their normal patterns once they return to hitting.

How do coaches and players teach themselves to apply force to the handle of the bat accurately without the failure if hitting?  The answer is the drive developer.  At Baseball Rebellion, we have had a lot of success repatterning the upper body mechanics of players with the Drive Developer bat speed training system.

Many players have radically changed their swing plane and power efficiency with the Drive Developer.  Here are a few drills how the Drive Developer can help you or your hitters today!

These drills and many more come with the Drive Developer.  Learn to turn your barrel and deliver force!  I hope this helped people understand more about "rolling over" and how to eliminate it.  Train to deliver force the best way.  Train with the Drive Developer.

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