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Author Topic: Getting off the string  (Read 665 times)

Online the rifleman

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Getting off the string
« on: December 14, 2018, 06:17:23 PM »
Hope this post belongs here if not---I understand if it is moved.

I have been shooting a very light bow for quite sometime---34 pounds at my draw length.  Lately my shooting has gone downhill a bit with this bow and I'm seeing issues with rights and lefts---mostly lefts and I shoot left handed.  Part of the issue is I believe that I've gotten a more dynamic release (hand comes back to shoulder)---that was missing from my shot for awhile due to alignment issues.

Today I started shooting my old bow which is slightly heavier---about 39 pounds at my draw length and noticed that my arrows were grouping tighter.  It took a little more effort to get my elbow behind me than the lighter bow, but was certainly do-able.  I maintained a deep hook and it seemed like it was easier to get off the string more cleanly with this bow.  With the lighter bow I would sometimes catch myself letting the fingers creep open and having the string slide out toward my finger tips---very bad for a lot of reasons.  This did not happen with the heavier bow.

So, my question is---within reason can a bow be too light and is it common to shoot a bit better with a bow that is more closely matched to my ability to draw and get into alignment (heavier)?  It almost seems like I make more of an effort to not get sloppy with my shot with the heavier bow.  Both bows are pretty close in style---the lighter bow is a Toelke PIKA 56" 40@29 and the heavier bow is a Toelke Whip 62" 42@28.  Thanks.

Online moebow

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 08:15:20 PM »
Many report this.  My response is that IF you find a better release with a heavier draw weight bow, then you need more work with the light bow.  Yes, the heavier bow will get your fingers out of the way but it is really masking a release flaw.  The best way to overall improve your release is to get it good with light weight.  Then you will have a great release with any weight.

Arne
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USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

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Online the rifleman

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 08:33:15 PM »
Thanks Arne.  Ive got a bit of tennis elbow in my bow arm.  I try to get proper bone on bone support, but i may be doing something wrong w that arm to cause the tennis elbow.  I'm my worst enemy, shooting way too many arrows.  I know i need to slow down and shoot a few great arrows.

Online moebow

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 09:00:31 AM »
Woah, John, kind of switched horses midstream didn't you??

Elbow pain in bow arm can generally be caused by too much bow hand tension on the bow grip. AND/OR the famous bent bow arm so many think they should have, OR both.

Arne
11 H Hill bows
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4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

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Online the rifleman

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2018, 09:35:00 AM »
I thought i had a relaxed grip w just index and thumb, other fingers curled on side of bow, but i was indeed squeezing the bow between index and thumb.  Ive been holding very loosely like on your video and let my fingers rest on back of bow.
I maintain an open stance, but not always sure ive lined bow arm with target correctly--- too much angle vs too square/ closed--- it helps as you say to align shoulders at the start of the draw.
Once the tennis elbow started it seems to persist even with loose hold. 
When i get properly into my back it all works great, and my lapses in this are getting shorter.  Sure wish i lived closer to you--- your coaching is invaluable!

Online moebow

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2018, 10:00:53 AM »
Thanks, glad to try to help.  Tendonitis will only go away IF you rest it and let it heal.  There are no fast fixes to this that I know of.  'Course, I'm NOT a Dr or physical trainer!

Arne
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Offline McDave

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2018, 11:16:43 AM »
I've fought tennis elbow in my bow arm elbow, and am now fighting tendonitis in my string arm shoulder.  Have been under the care of both doctors and physical therapists in both cases.  In neither case have any muscles or tendons had major tears, but micro-tearing in both muscles and tendons that hasn't repaired itself has been a part of the problem.  Micro-tearing is a normal part of any sports activity, and is a part of muscle development, but the body isn't as good at repairing itself as we age.  When a muscle or tendon tries to repair itself and can't, calcium deposits may accumulate instead. Over time, these calcium deposits can solidify and lead to arthritis or chronic tendonitis.

Contrary to what one might think, doctors and physical therapists do not recommend inactivity, except for a few days at the onset to see if it might be a transitory pain that goes away on its own.  But if the condition is chronic, inactivity can lead to further calcification and atrophy, making the condition worse.  Of course, just continuing the activity that caused the problem in the first place can make the condition worse too.  What is needed are exercises that promote blood flow to the affected area and healing.

I had ultrasound treatments from physical therapists when I had tennis elbow, and also more recently when I had shoulder problems.  The ultrasound helps break up the calcium deposits so that they can be removed by the blood.  The correct kinds of exercise also promote blood flow to the injury that can promote healing and prevent atrophy.  This generally means many reps at slow speed of low stress exercises specifically aimed at the area involved.  For tennis elbow, I recommend the Theraband flexbar, which you can find on Amazon.

My recent shoulder problem was aggravated by an accumulation of calcium in a tendon that had to slide under some other part of my shoulder when I drew the bow.  It was very painful, and at one point I couldn't raise my right arm any higher than my hip.  The accumulation of calcium may have been caused by the repetitive motion of drawing the bow many thousands of times causing many microtears that didn't fully repair themselves.  This is a very common problem, and if you look on the internet you will find many examples of it caused by things other than pulling the bow.  Fortunately, if you do the right exercises without doing things that further aggravate it, the calcium deposits will start to dissolve and the inflammation will go away.

The main reason for seeing an orthopedic surgeon was to see if I had a major tear that would require surgery, which fortunately I didn't.  The orthopedic surgeon said that if I just drew the bow at waist level, I could probably go on shooting for the rest of my life without any further problems (remember, I’m 74, so that statement doesn't have the same meaning as it would if you said it to someone who was 40).  We both sort of chuckled at that, because we both knew I couldn't hit anything if I shot that way.  But it got me to thinking about how I was drawing the bow, which was pretty much a straight back pull, with my elbow out at 90*.  So I experimented around and rewatched Arne's video on the rotational draw, and tried drawing more out to the side with my elbow pulling somewhat down, and then raising my elbow at full draw and coming in to my face from below and the side.  I end up in the same place, but it doesn't hurt.  I showed it to the orthopedic surgeon, and he thought it was a great idea that he would remember if anyone else came to him with that problem.

I have cut back to shooting every other day rather than every day, so my body has a better chance of healing itself.  Of course, there go my chances of winning the Trad Worlds (ha ha), but at least it looks like I can continue to shoot.  I'm supposed to do the exercises for the rest of my life, which is harder to do now that my shoulder doesn't hurt anymore, because they are boring, but better than shoulder pain.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 01:10:08 PM by McDave »
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Online the rifleman

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 11:29:43 AM »
Thanks Arne and McDave!  I'm a big fan of the rotational draw and if i keep my string arm, wrist, and back of hand relaxed it works well.  I believe kepping the bend out of my bow arm elbow will really help.  Ill check out the arm band on amazon.

Offline Porkchop1

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 11:02:46 AM »
Woah, John, kind of switched horses midstream didn't you??

Elbow pain in bow arm can generally be caused by too much bow hand tension on the bow grip. AND/OR the famous bent bow arm so many think they should have, OR both.

Arne

Hey Arne,  If it's not to detailed, how do I shoot straight armed without the arm slap if I don't slightly bend my bow arm?  I've shot for years with a slightly bent bow arm to keep the string off my forearm and I get fairly consistent groups.   
Porkchop

Online moebow

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 11:39:39 AM »
PC1,  If you've done that for a while and it works for you don't  change.  IF, however you want to explore this, you need to pronate your bow arm so the point bone of your elbow points directly behind you.  I show this with lines drawn on my arms and hand in my video " bow hand, bow arm."  That "pronation" in combination with the grip I show will role the fore arm well clear of the string -- with a straight bow arm.

Arne
11 H Hill bows
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4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

Are you willing to give up what you are; to become what you could be?

Offline Porkchop1

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 09:52:13 AM »
PC1,  If you've done that for a while and it works for you don't  change.  IF, however you want to explore this, you need to pronate your bow arm so the point bone of your elbow points directly behind you.  I show this with lines drawn on my arms and hand in my video " bow hand, bow arm."  That "pronation" in combination with the grip I show will role the fore arm well clear of the string -- with a straight bow arm.

Arne

Arne, where can I find your videos?
Porkchop

Online moebow

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 10:21:21 AM »
11 H Hill bows
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4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

Are you willing to give up what you are; to become what you could be?

Online the rifleman

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Re: Getting off the string
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2018, 10:31:30 AM »
Arne, I've gotten much more stability in my shot since I lost that little bend in my bow arm.  I had been collapsing to the left frequently and I think this was in part due to the muscles in my arm being engaged rather than bone on bone like you teach.

Thanks again!  John

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