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Author Topic: Bow arm  (Read 1219 times)

Offline the rifleman

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Bow arm
« on: July 16, 2018, 04:59:36 PM »
Ive spent the last several months really working on my form.  Ive gotten to where i can really feel the anchor in my back ( the feeling of let off in bow weight occurs).  Alignment and consistency have really improved.  About 2 weeks ago i started shooting a bow about 5# s heavier-- still only 42@28.

My issue is that after shooting the heavier bow i experience an ache in the muscles of my bow arm forearm.  I believe i have a med wrist hold.  I use an open stance.  Any ideas on what i may be doing to cause this and how to correct?  It is not a problem with my lighter bow.

Online McDave

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 05:59:49 PM »
It possibly could be tennis elbow.  Tennis elbow is caused by repeated shocks in the elbow joint that result in inflammation and microtears in connective tissue.  It is aggravated by hand shock.  If your heavier bow has more hand shock than your other bow, it could be a cause, or it could be that it was getting ready to happen anyway at the time you made the switch.  You shouldn’t keep using a bow that has enough hand shock to cause tennis elbow.  If you lock out your elbow, try shooting with it unlocked, as this will cushion the impacts some.  You may have to reduce the amount you shoot for a while, as tennis elbow is a repetitive injury.  There are exercises you can find on the internet that help it heal.  Nip it in the bud and take care of it; you don’t want it to become chronic.  Interestingly, inactivity is also not a good idea, as it makes it more likely you will reinjure the joint when you resume activity than if you just reduce the amount and impact level of what caused the problem.
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Offline the rifleman

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 09:22:13 AM »
Thanks McDave.  My bow has no discernable hand shock.  I figure that with such a light bow there could be some small form change needed on my part.  I have no issues with the lighter bow.

Online McDave

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 11:16:47 AM »
Properly executed, there shouldn’t be much movement in the bow arm.  Whether using the swing draw or the rotational draw, the bow arm is held in the same extended position, whether locked or unlocked, throughout the draw.  In the final expansion phase, the shoulders are rotated into alignment which pushes the bow arm toward the target, but this is a reaction to shoulder rotation and not an independent movement of the bow arm itself.

The only exception would be if the bow arm elbow needed to be rotated into a vertical position.  Many people extend their bow arms with the elbow in a near vertical position naturally, and those who don’t usually end up hitting their bow arms near the elbow with the string, and can be taught to rotate their bow arm elbows into a vertical position.  Rotating the bow arm elbow into a vertical position also tends to tighten the triceps, which is desirable and helps keep the bow arm solid.

If you’re drawing with a fixed bow arm, nothing occurs to me that would result in a sore bow arm forearm, other than possibly over-rotating the bow arm elbow, but I don’t see how you could be doing that without being aware of it.

If you don’t have tennis elbow, hopefully your soreness is just a result of some muscle stress from switching to a heavier bow.  If if recurs after a couple of days rest and some anti-inflammatories, then I would still suspect tennis elbow, even though you don’t have any obvious hand shock.
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Online moebow

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 12:45:37 PM »
Sore bow forearm COULD be gripping the bow too tightly.  Tension in the forearm will place unneeded and unwanted tension on the tendons running to and through the elbow.  Relax!!

Arne
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Offline the rifleman

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 06:22:43 PM »
Thanks McDave and Arne.  I will consentrate on trying to maintain a relaxed bow arm and grip.  My grip consists of index finger over back of riser and other fingers curled along the side.  Even so I could be putting too much pressure forth.

I very much appreciate the guidance---it has made a world of difference in my shooting.

Offline BWallace10327

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2018, 11:08:54 PM »
I have had this issue and it stemmed from my clenching my bow arm.  I wasn't choking my bow, but I was still flexing my arm as I drew and shot.  Relax may be the most important  word in all of traditional archery. 
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Offline Twostrings2

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 09:44:40 AM »
   " I use an open stance."

  Same as the other guy, close your stance to get your bow arm pointing straight at the target.  More compression on the bones, less muscle.  It's an easy experiment.

Offline Duckcreek_archer777

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 08:23:38 AM »
I never post but I this helped me .
Put some lotion on your forearm muscle where it's aching.
now with the handle end of a butter knife gently rub back and forth with the handle end barely touching and you will feel what I described as rocks or bumps under the skin in the muscle tissue.
do not apply any kind of pressure just back and forth do this for about 3 to 5 minutes do it everyday and it will go away!
hope it helps

Offline the rifleman

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2018, 09:36:03 AM »
I paid attention and found that I was actually gripping the bow tighter than I had thought.  I have been working on keeping a relaxed bow hand and arm.

I also began using a compression wrap with a small altoids tin placed under it and against the tendon.

Finally---I used Duck's butter knife treatment and it has really seemed to make a very quick difference.  Not sure exactly what it does, but I'm not questioning it---the pain seemed to subside quickly.

Thanks for the advice on this.

Online McDave

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 12:19:42 PM »
“I have been working on keeping a relaxed bow hand and arm.”

Bow hand, yes relaxed.  Bow arm, I don't think so.  From what I understand and do myself, it is desirable to maintain tension in the triceps to have a solid bow arm.  When I draw the bow, my bow arm elbow is about 80% vertical naturally.  I have been advised to rotate it a little further to maybe 90% vertical in order to get a little more tension in my triceps.
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Online moebow

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Re: Bow arm
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 01:23:08 PM »
You are right Dave!  The triceps has some tension in it but you get exactly the right amount of tension in the triceps by simply pronating the elbow as you describe.  No further "flexing" of the triceps is needed.  Many though also tense up the bow forearm muscles and that is not good. Mostly caused by too tight a grip on the bow.  We want no tension in the forearm -- you aren't trying to choke a snake.   :biglaugh:

Arne
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