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Is there a good way to prevent yourself from using your left arm to pull your compound bow back? I use a right handed bow but I

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  • Is there a good way to prevent yourself from using your left arm to pull your compound bow back? I use a right handed bow but I

    Is there a good way to prevent yourself from using your left arm to pull your compound bow back? I use a right handed bow but I lock my left elbow and end up putting the stress on that arm when I should be using my right. This is only at about 20#.

  • #2
    I must be doing it wrong also then. I extend my left arm and slowly draw straight back with my right arm. Using both arms to draw would be awkward for me. Maybe I don't understand what your saying/asking.

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    • #3
      I pull back after I've extended the bow forward. I cannot recall any stress problems with my left arm. However, I never lock the elbow in my left arm. I keep it slightly bent.

      Your right arm, shoulder and back use the majority of energy to pull back. The only suggestion I can make is to not pull straight back but pull back in a small semi-circle away from the body. This will transfer the energy from your arm and shoulder into your back muscle, which is a larger muscle.

      It will be awkward at first but after much repetition you'll get use to it.

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      • #4
        The correct way to draw your bow is to push with your left arm while pulling with your right. Continue this push pull even when you are at full draw. It distributes the weight better and you will find you can pull more weight.

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        • #5
          DON'T pull back in a semi circle! Doing this can cause a tare in you rotator cuff at the inclusion of the Supraspinatus due to extra strain caused by the slight rotation of the shoulder during the draw cycle. If you fully extend your arm before the bow is fully pulled back you are also more likely to tare your labrum as well rotating you shoulder can also cause you to cant your bow without noticing it. Finally if you miss fire it may not be safe especially while on the range or with others around because you are moving your arm out of line with the target that is known to be a safe direction to shoot in.(even light bows can cause injury I have two scars on my leg from when I coached to prove it)

          Draw cycles of many people are vary different as far at timing of arm movements. When an instructor says push pull they are mostly meaning get your bow arm out to full draw(not hyper extended) and to bring the string arm back to your anchor point all in one motion. Not that they have to reach both points simultaneously.

          Hyper extension of the elbow is common among women shooters because nearly 95% of women can naturally hyper extend their elbow while less the 3% of men can. The best way to prevent hyper extension of the elbow when shooting is to make it part of you shooting check list. We all have one wether we believe it or not. Mine is hand position, bow arm extended, anchor point reached, bow level, pin placement, smooth relies. Most of these points are all mental based on feel. I don't really look at my hand position, or bow arm I just know when it feels weird. You may have to remember to add a slight bend in the elbow.

          Also you can change your hand position to help you elbow. Put your left arm straight out in front of you and rotate your hand clockwise with your palm down until you cant any more. then lightly grab the elbow preventing it from hyper extending and moving to much. Then rotate your hand as if o shake some ones hand and raise wrist slightly. This is text book bow arm and hand position.
          You can buy a PT medical band to practice this with a little resistance. they are cheep and a good way to start warming up/practice where you can't shoot a full bow.

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          • #6
            I extend my right arm fully at the same time i draw with my left(left handed) like Ncarl says he does.

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            • #7
              Interesting comments, Mike. Curious to know how taking pressure off your shoulder will harm your shoulder?

              Comment


              • #8
                I was always taught to draw by imagining that I was trying to touch my shoulder blades together. This helps you use the muscles in your back and shoulders vs pure arm strength. You will be able to draw more smoothly and keep a more stable position. Give it a shot.
                Also try and find a good coach, meaning someone with lots of archery experience and minimal ego. They can help you develop good techniques that will last you a lifetime. There a way to many people out there pulling too much weight for no good reason.
                Welcome to the world of archery, I hope it brings you as much joy as it has brought to me and so many others!

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                • #9
                  Buckhunter; it is not about taking pressure of the shoulder that is the issue but how the weight is distributed on to different muscle groups from the rotation. The major muscles used in the drawing of a bow are the Deltoid, Trapezius, and Teres minor with help from the Supraspinatus to keep the arm raised. The if you swing in a semi-circle this causes you to naturally bring your string hand ether across or away from you body during the draw cycle. this causes your shoulder to rotate ether out from you chest or back from your shoulder alignment. Both cause extra stress on your Supraspinatus where it inserts into the shoulder thus can cause a tare in your rotator cuff. Now in most cases this dose not cause a full bisection or detachment of the muscle but can cause pain and muscle weakness. which can effect you shooting and comfort of life. Keeping a straight line during your draw cycle you not only prevent this extra stress on the shoulder but it also helps you build proper shooting habits like keeping you front shoulder down and not canting your bow.

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                  • #10
                    Mike, Very interesting. Have not heard of this. We have different shooting styles. I shoot with a 15 degree cant in my bow.

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                    • #11
                      It depends on what you are shooting and the situation a hunting recurve or long bow should be canted slightly and you should be bent slightly to match the cant. This is possible because it is muscle memory and hand eye coordination but when hunting or shooting target with a sight you bow should remain straight. this is why modern sights have a level and high end sights have third axis leveling. This is especially important when shooting long distances or extreme angles such as on a steep hillside. Also if you are target shooting with an olympic style recurve or a target compound the bows are designed to sit balanced side to side ether naturally or with v/j bars and swing forward after the shot from a stabilizer. even if she is target shooting with out a sight on a recurve all beginners should shoot standing strait because starting with a cant makes it harder to prefect other parts of shooting such as coming to full draw, keeping your bow arm up and bent and follow through. Sorry if is sound a little crazy about this stuff. I love it. Having shot competitively for 12 years now and coaching for almost 10 has made me a little fanatical about proper shooting technique.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Interesting answers. I don't know a lot about bow hunting and learned a lot. I was thinking more along the lines of amputation but these other options probably make more sense. :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would just like to say that your bow arm should have a slight bend in it. If you are locking your elbow out, your draw length may be wrong. You can cause damage to your joints by locking them out under a load like that. Plus, your accuracy will suffer. Some people shoot good like that, but that's only because they've compensated for poor form and have adapted to it over time. It's still not right.
                          If it's still difficult to draw back after correcting your form, lower the draw weight and continue to develop the proper muscle memory. Then go heavier if you want.
                          A bent elbow also dies away with string slap, which is common when the forearm is locked out, moving it towards the string.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do something a little odd I guess. When I'm going in for a shot, either walking prior to standing, or already standing I start with my bow down by my right hip (I hold bow with left hand) and my arrow pointing straight at the ground. Then as when I'm ready to pull back I bring the bow straight up and out in front of me while pulling my string back to my cheek bone. Never had any problems with stress on my limbs, or muscle tears and I can shoot for quite a while before I get tired. I think it looks a little ridiculous when people start with the bow already out in front of them and pull the string straight back. You're using way more muscle than you need to...there's also the way that the Japanese Samurai shot their daiky? (Longbow). They'd start with their arrow facing the clouds, and they'd use gravity to help them pull it down while lowering their bow towards their target...and they were deadly accurate.

                            Comment

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