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Topic Archives => Shooting => Topic started by: QuailTreker on April 24, 2006, 10:32:00 PM

Title: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 24, 2006, 10:32:00 PM
Hi. I'm a recent beginning female archer and prospective bow hunter and would much appreciate an experienced female archer either putting up a shooting form video or directing me to a link where I could have a good representation to study. I know the instructions from the teacher are the same to either a male or female student, but it would be helpful to me and my daughter to see an experienced women shooting properly. Thanks so much! I really enjoy this website!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Weird Donkey on April 24, 2006, 11:20:00 PM
dont have any video or i cant exactly tell you what to do, but in my archery class we had 2 or 3 girls experiencing problems with their breast size and the bow string. but that was while shooting with an "olympic" style of form. the teacher suggested the use of a plastron or something similar. i dont know if this can be any help for you !
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 25, 2006, 12:02:00 AM
Thanks. That did come up during our first lesson and a similar fix was suggested, plus opening the stance a little more toward the target. Just hoping someone will point me toward a video.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Trevor on April 25, 2006, 12:35:00 AM
try this link, click on  Park, sung-hyun.
hope this helps
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 25, 2006, 08:04:00 AM
Wow! Great quality video and amazing young woman. Thanks so much Trevor. Very helpful. One question: Her follow-through, with breaking the wrist of the bow that typical for the bow set-up she's using?
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: the Ferret on April 25, 2006, 08:21:00 AM
Welcome Quailtreker (interesting'd ya get it?)

A lot of women's bow arms tend to bend in at the elbow towards the string causing string intereference while shooting. It's why you see a lot of women wearing armguards from their wrist to their armpit almost. You can learn to roll your forearm away from the string by holding on to a vertical pole and twisting your foroearm out of the way while keeping your hand vertically, gaining string clearance in the process. Give it a try and you will see the difference.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Terry Green on April 25, 2006, 08:24:00 AM
Where's Countrygirl, Killdeer, and Pinecone?

Then gals can fix ya up I guarantee.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 25, 2006, 08:34:00 AM
'Quail', for game birds, which I'd like to learn to hunt, and 'treker' because I like to hike up here in the Northwest.
Thanks much, Ferret and Terry, for the info and the contacts.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: GameMaster on April 25, 2006, 09:02:00 AM
Try to keep a 30 to 40 degree angle of your hand on the grip, this will also give the arm more clearance from the sting. My wife and I have been teaching the National Archery Schools Program for 4 years now and run into alot of the common problems. They also have a good DVD out on shooting form. For some reason the ladies with the longer arms will have more trouble hitting the arm with the string on release.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 25, 2006, 10:42:00 AM
For everyone's entertainment, I can try making a video of myself tonight or tomorrow. I shoot much differently.

Your form will depend a lot on what type of bow you shoot. The "Olympic" style form will not work well if you are shooting a longbow with only a slightly cut-in shelf. The arrow will keep falling off.

When I shoot, my wrist "breaks" at the end, similar to how you see in those videos, but much less dramatically. This is because you aren't just pulling on the string, you're pushing the bow away from you as well. Not just your shoulder and upper arm, but your hand also. You push as if trying to straighten your wrist so the palm would be parallel to the ground. You should feel it in your forearm muscle. When you let go of the string, the bow will naturally tip forward from this pushing motion. The dramatic tipping you see in the video is largely due to the weight of the stabilizers on the bow. Without all that weight, the bow would likely still tip a little because of form. The theory is also that you should hold the bow very loosely, if not with an open hand. The loose grip also contributes to the tipping. I personally prefer a firmer grip. I like to see the bow tip forward just a bit, the string in line with the rest, and the arrow flying, and my bow hand stock still until after the arrow hits the target. Of course, it doesn't always quite happend that way.  ;)

You also see in the Olympic style that the shooters stand just about rim-rod straight. My stance is with knees slightly bent, leaning forward at the waist, most weight on the left foot (toward the target), bow canted. It looks much more like a crouch.

As Weird Donkey mentioned, your body type / shape may dictate somewhat as well. But I certainly haven't the problem he mentioned, so I'm afraid I can't offer much advice there.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Archer 1 on April 25, 2006, 02:22:00 PM
Welcome QuailTreker,

    In Howard Hill's DVD (Howard Hill's Greatest)
He is teaching a bunch of young women how to shoot, and one of them has excelent form, and shoots very well. It's old, but it still holds true today. If you watch it, I think it may help you.
Good Luck,
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 25, 2006, 10:24:00 PM
Thanks so much to Game Master, Tamure, and Archer 1. I identified with all the problems and there are great resources suggested here, all around. Howard, I'll find it. Could be very helpful....especially for my daughter, who I think has great potential!! The more I know and study, the more I want to know and study. Tamure, put up that video!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 26, 2006, 09:19:00 AM
I find all the posts about women's bow arms getting in the way sort of interesting. I never had much of a problem with it. I still wear an armguard / bracer though, because sometimes I do something wrong and really get slapped. It depends on the bow too. I'd never shoot a Martin Stick without one. I shot my ChekMate Raven (a recurve) many times without one.

I think it also has to do with learning correct form, i.e., keep the elbow straight if not slightly bent, rather than hyperextended. The elbow-turning-in thing I think can also be caused by being overbowed. You "lock" your arm out there (which turns the elbow in) in order to hold the weight.

I didn't have time to make the video last night, but I should tonight!   :D   The weather is finally supposed to be nice too. I certainly don't claim to have perfect form, but I think watching as many other people (male or female) can be helpful for learning new techniques to try.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Frank V on April 26, 2006, 11:10:00 AM
Quailtreker, Welcome to the gang!!! Frank
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 26, 2006, 12:04:00 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words (so is a video worth a thousand pictures?)

There's nothing to shoot in my garage, but here's a few pics of me with my new Pronghorn (thanks, CJ!).

You can see how much I lean forward into it. In the first side view, it looks like my arm is locked out, and the elbow turning in. That bump at the top of my elbow is actually just my massive muscles.    "[tunglaff]"

In the front view you can see that my elbow is actually a little bent. From the back you can see why I still wear an armguard. A bow with a high-wrist grip (like many recurves have) will naturally turn your wrist/forearm more away from the string.

Anyone else with comments, please post them.  :)

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 26, 2006, 12:12:00 PM
Here's my mom with the sassy hip thing going on. She is shooting a bow with a flipper arrow rest, so she can hold it straight up, more olympic style. I think it is better to keep your back/hips in line over your feet, or else lean toward the target some.

Second picture my mom has just released. It was a good shot. Everything (bow arm, string hand) is just were it was when she pulled back and anchored. Good follow through.  :)  I love my mom.

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Shakes.602 on April 26, 2006, 03:04:00 PM
PSE has a Video "Holding Steady" that has Michelle Ragsdale Just tearing up the Xs!! It Might be worth a look if you get a chance.
      Welcome to You, and "Good Luck Finding that Special Form, that Works  JUST  for  YOU!!"  Its Great to Watch the Pros and the Not-So Pros Shoot. Everyone has Found, or is in Pursuit of Their Very Own "Groove".
     I am a Firm Believer in Learning the "Have-To-Have Good-Form", but Everyone takes those "Good Habits" and kind of Form-Fits them to what works Best for the Individual.
    Sorry  to be LongWinded, and Archery IS an Individualist Sport.
      And Please Done  EVER  Be Afraid to Ask Any and All Questions!! Glad to Have ya with us!
   :wavey:    :archer:
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 26, 2006, 07:25:00 PM
So much great info from so many great folks! It certainly is motivating to hear it and see it!  Many thanks for the input and the great pictures!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: The Whittler on April 26, 2006, 08:03:00 PM
Have you looked on womem outdoors site. Alan
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Killdeer on April 26, 2006, 08:04:00 PM
Good grief, Terry, she doesn't need any of MY shooting faults!  :knothead:  

Shanna, you never told us whether you are shooting a recurve or longbow, and what kind of grip it has. It makes a difference in how you hold the bow.

When I was starting out, they just handed me a bow and sent me outside. Later, when I was thirteen, I got a copy of Fred Bear's "The Archer's Bible", which had just come out. There are lots of books out there to learn from now, including some by Asbell and Ferguson.

Maybe I am not adequately proportioned to have the problem that typically gets discussed when the topic of female archers comes up. I have never encountered it. I taught myself to roll the elbow out of the way of the string, and never had any other part of the anatomy get in the way. I never wear a bracer unless I am shooting self bows.

About the only things that I could teach you are;
1)how to move your bowhand when you release and make the arrow "walk" far off target,
2)how to come up with a different anchor for every shot, keeping one from getting bored with consistant arrow flight,
3)making music by plucking the string,
4)how to remove freckles and moles by abrading the side of the face with the string

Care to learn any more from me? (Save yourself!! RUN!)  "[tunglaff]"  
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 26, 2006, 10:22:00 PM
Here are the movies as promised. They are Quicktime. It is probably best if you download to your computer first. I'm afraid I don't have any software to compress or edit them to make them smaller files.

Wow, I didn't know I had so many funny facial ticks!     :o  

The "form3" video (camera sitting on the target) shows my signature bad habit: letting my bow arm drift/drop, and then trying to "throw" the arrow back up at the last minute. It is easy to see if you slow it down or go frame by frame. I also see that I'm inching forward if I hold it too long, losing power that way. What's kind of neat is you can see the arrow paradox as well.  

Yea! I avoided the ultimate tamurism of shooting my camera.   :D  


 Form Movie 1  (
 Form Movie 2  (
 Form Movie 3  (
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 26, 2006, 11:13:00 PM
Killdeer, you are too funny! Thanks for the reading suggestions. I have a little recurve, don't know about the grip. (The shop's closed now or I'd call and ask them.)I am already quite familiar however with all four of your teaching points!Tamure, I'm not having luck opening your movies, so far, and that's really frustrating. Very much want to see them...and so glad you didn't shoot your camera! You girls are hilarious!
Thanks, Whittler. I'm going to check the sight you  mentioned, too. This sure beats watching the tv!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 26, 2006, 11:33:00 PM
What problem are you having with the movies?

The grip on a recurve will usually help move your wrist away from the string by making it straighter. Look at the lower picture of my mom: see how straight and fairly normal her bow arm wrist looks? Compare that to the top pic of me. My pic is a "low wrist" grip. The bottom part of my hand is much lower to make contact with the bow, thus pulling my wrist / forearm in nearer the path of the string.

You have to have a sense of humor in archery. If you don't it will drive you crazy. Or, maybe you have to be crazy in the first place. I'm not sure which.  ;)
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: kawika b on April 26, 2006, 11:40:00 PM
try saving the file then reopening it. tamure,on that 3rd clip where you shoot at the camera it looks like you have a closed stance. am i seeing things or do you? i shoot with a closed stance at times and feel very natural with it. by the way, stop criticizing yourself,lol! that's our job.aloha,,, kawika
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 27, 2006, 12:02:00 AM
My pc told me it doesn't have the stuff to run a Quicktime movie. Drag! I saved them and I'm emailing them to my workplace and my son so hopefully can open them one place or another tomorrow. Great that you made them, Tamure, and others are enjoying them, also. My grip arm looks like your mom's. Seems natural to roll the elbow for me and makes my hold on the bow more secure. I'm more often having that problem Kildeer eluded to. I'm trying different things.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 27, 2006, 12:36:00 AM
You can download the quicktime player here:

You should be able to play the movies after you install it.

kawika: Yes, I have a pretty closed stance. My right leg is actually further back than my left. I've tried "opening it up" my turning in, but it feels funky to me. I feel like I pull more with my shoulders (instead of arms) with a closed stance.

Haha, I was trying to usurp the criticism, but you saw through my plan! Drats!  ;)

Naw, I'm open to any criticisms. Boy, it sure it's odd to see yourself on video. Things look a lot different than you think they do!

QT: If you're not having the elbow issue, that's wonderful, since that does seem like a common problem. As for the other... err.. interference, an open stance, as mentioned may help. That is, turning your body slightly more toward the target, so your shoulders are not quite perpendicular. There are also (br)(ch)est protectors that you can buy that help keep things out of the way and protected. I've actually known a few guys who used them as well.

As I'm sure you're well aware, there is no one way to shoot. The "right" way is the way that works best for your personal biomechanics.

Happy shooting, welcome to the only sport that's more frustrating than golf but also more fun than... well.  ;)
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Killdeer on April 27, 2006, 05:52:00 AM
I loved watching all the videos.
Isn't it inspiring to watch the long slow arc of the Olympic shooters' arrows?
Elsewhere on this site are other videos, both of members and of archery legends of the past. Check out this wonderful resource here at Trad Gang!

  Traditional  Archery Videos (  

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Terry Green on April 27, 2006, 04:29:00 PM got country girl locked in the closet?

Kerry......mind if we add your clips to the Member Videos forum?
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 27, 2006, 04:53:00 PM
Not at all, Terry.  :)
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: countrygirl on April 27, 2006, 05:18:00 PM
Terry, I have Dina locked in at work and when she gets home I will have her read and post to this thread or I won't let her use the riding mower,Tom
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: countrygirl on April 27, 2006, 07:40:00 PM
Hey...I heard ya'll were looking for me!  

I don't have any videos of me shooting...not sure I want to make any either...I can shoot fair to middlin...some times great and some times not so great.  I shoot best while hunting!!!   ;)   I like a heavy bow weight...(I LIKE to feel a lil resistance when I draw a bow)if I have not been practicing like I should I sometimes shoot with a high elbow.  I shoot best when my elbow is not high.  I could not open Tamure's video but from her pics she looks great...I wish my elbow was always where hers it.  I also shoot instictive...look at the target...pic a spot and release.  I don't gap shoot...tried...could not figure it out.  I have an open stance with my left foot pointing at what I wanna hit.  I do wear an arm guard...but not a chest protector.  If anyone was gonna need one it should be me...but I don't...go figure.  I have seen women wear them though.  I have been shooting for about 6 years.

I have a LOT of bows...I love my Morrisons...I love my self bows....but right fav-o-rite bow is Black Widow PTFV is SWEET!

BTW...I can draw my bows fine with my elbow is when I get lazy or sloppy that it goes up.

Quailtreker...avoid the "debutante" husband broke me from doing it a long time ago.

My husband is a great coach...very honest!!!  
Even though I have a great coach...I would love to go to the Fred Asbell shooting clinic...maybe one year I will.

Thanks for missing me Terry!  This is my crazy time at work and I am not on line much this time of year.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 27, 2006, 11:04:00 PM
Hey Tamure, finally got to see your movies. Impressive! Thanks for going to the trouble...from all of us. Have you always shot the long bow? Ever the recurve? Who made your bow?
Countrygirl, thanks for the nice greeting, the bio and the shooting philosophy. I have no idea what a 'debutante stance' is but believe me, I am no debutante! There is more good personal info and reference material here than I can absorb in 6 months. All I need now is lots of time to shoot and study! Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on April 28, 2006, 10:25:00 AM
I have shot recurves too, but I just like longbows better. The grip on most recurves is uncomfortable for me, too high. There is a picture around here somewhere of a quail I shot with a ChekMate Raven recurve. When I was little I shot a fibreglass recurve, then I shot compounds for a while, and now I'm on to longbows.   :)  
That bow is a Pronghorn, made by Herb Meland of Casper, Wyoming.

I believe the "debutante stance" is like what my mom is doing in those pics: hip out, leaning sort of away from the target, standing straight up. Correct me if I'm wrong, Countrygirl.

There is indeed an incredible wealth of information here. Last summer I started to compile a bunch of it together to make a reference CD for myself. I gave up after a while, because it was simply too much! And I wasn't even including any of the stuff on making bows...
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Tom Mussatto on April 28, 2006, 02:32:00 PM
For those who cannot view QT video the clips have been combined into one and converted to Windows format. The video is also now available on the Members Video Forum.

Good stuff Kerry, thanks for sharing.  :thumbsup:  

  Kerry\\'s Shooting Form (
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: kawika b on April 29, 2006, 02:32:00 AM
that last bit where kerry shoots "at" the camera is too i know how my deadstop feels,lol.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Numitokayo on April 29, 2006, 11:20:00 AM
Hey, the wife says I shoot like a " Girly Man"...LOL  There must be a message in there...LOL

She still whoops me silly...   :)    :)

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Dave of the North on April 29, 2006, 03:12:00 PM
You're pretty big and scary for a "girly-man", Dan!  :D  

Seriously, Lady Marian should post a couple of photos to this thread; her form is great, and you can't argue with her results.  ;)  

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Pinecone on April 29, 2006, 04:23:00 PM
Okay...I'm late on this one and haven't read all of the posts, but I suspect there has been a mountain of good and useable advise already provided.  
QuailTreker, if you have not already found a female archer to act as your "tour guide", I'd be happy to offer my assistance.  I don't currently have a video, but could probably put one together for you within a few weeks.  As some others have no doubt mentioned, however, gender as well as individual body shape, grip preferences, etc. can all act upon a person's develpment of stance, bow arm extension/flexion, bending at the waist, etc.  
Two shooting characteristics that are the same for all of us are that the bow arm must point solidly on the target, and the follow through of the string hand must be straight back in the opposing direction from the target.  This relationship creates the alignment that directs the arrow.
From my point of view, the hunting archer has a good bit of latitude to develop a particular personal style as it relates to shooting the bow and arrow.  However, the non-negotiables (in my opinion) are rock solid bow arm and rock solid follow through.
Feel free to PM me if I can be of assistance.  I'd be more than happy to help in any way that I can!

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 29, 2006, 06:11:00 PM
Thanks much, Claudia. I think it would be wonderful if all the more experienced shooters put together their form videos to share. I have several on my desktop now, including Kerry's, Rod Jenkin's and that young woman that took the gold in '04. I can look at one or a couple quickly before heading to the backyard to shoot. I've made a little one of myself that painfully illustrates how far I have to go. But I'm certain that seeing it done right repeatedly is a great least for me...and I'll improve faster than would have otherwise.
Shot my first 3-D funshoot today. Did't even carry a scorecard because it was non-competitive, met the nicest folks. They didn't mind me moving closer than the stakes, helped me look for my arrows, cheered me on mightily when I made a good hit. Most of them were shooting compounds, and the women and girls were commenting on how strong they thought I must be to "hold the draw so long", (it really wasn't that long), and how difficult to shoot a traditional bow. Have to admit to some prideful feelings from that! I got a lot better by the end of the day. What fun!!
Thanks again for the input. I'll read your postings for more!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Traxx on April 30, 2006, 09:09:00 PM
Kerry showed her form today,at our Bowhunter bonanza shoot today.She was on FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!
She won't tell yall about it herself,so i will.She shot the highest longbow score of the shoot.Her score was higher than the winning mens score,and i know,cause i was callin em.She earned every point,and some of the distances were,right at the almost too far range.Didn't slow her down any.I was downright impressed.Congrats.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: SHOOTO8S on April 30, 2006, 09:40:00 PM
Originally posted by QuailTreker:
 I've made a little one of myself that painfully illustrates how far I have to go.
Don't worry about how far you have to go.....once you get "there" you will look back and realize, getting"there" was more fun! Always remember, in times of frustration....everyone WAS a beginner!

 Good luck on your journey !

Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on April 30, 2006, 10:43:00 PM
Wow! Thanks Rod. I'm feeling rather star-struck to have received a reply from you. And  congratulations to Kerry on such an outstanding performance today, plus thanks to 2Traxx for letting us all know about it! Would love to have seen that!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Strawberry Roan on April 30, 2006, 11:00:00 PM
For what it's worth, I found the books "Core Archery" and "Precision Archery" to be extremely helpful, especially on how to use your body's structure to best advantage and reducing stress and fatigue.  Of course I've also had a lot of coaching from some great guys, Rod included (Hi there!)   :)   It's great to see some more gals get involved and just as great that the guys are welcoming us in!
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Roadkill on May 01, 2006, 12:52:00 AM
Kerry, I didn't get to shoot today-trip to DC, but I heard you smoked everyone with your new Pronghorn-beat all the men too. I heard from a relaible source.  good on ya, girl.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: tamure on May 01, 2006, 10:20:00 AM
:)  Thanks Skip and Todd. I blame it all on the new Pronghorn.  ;)

QuailTreker, taking videos of yourself I think is a very good way to learn! Boy did I learn a lot from those videos I just made. Things look completely different than they feel sometimes.

Sounds like you are very fired up! That is good! Just don't over do it to the point that you get frustrated, burned out, or worse, develop tendonitis.    :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: QuailTreker on May 02, 2006, 07:45:00 AM
Thanks again, tamure, for the good advice. How did you know? My shoulers are so sore from doing modified push-ups and planks, I can barely pick up a bow! I am honored and encouraged by all the great shooters, like yourself, who have replied to this string. I especially want to thank my good friend and highly accomplished archer, 'Gitnbetr', for suggesting I check out this website.
Title: Re: Women's Shooting Form
Post by: Terry Green on May 02, 2006, 07:45:00 PM
Nice thread for the ladies!!!!   :thumbsup: