Shooters Forum

Contribute to Trad Gang
Become a Trad Gang Sponsor





Author Topic: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow  (Read 744 times)

Offline madmaxthc

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« on: February 02, 2020, 01:15:26 PM »
Hey Tradgangers,

This post does not want to be a heavy vs light bow topic; I would like to share the eye-opening experience that led me to change my form after 15 years shooting traditional, when I switched from a 55# recurve to a 65# ASL.

In case you're wondering why I switched to a heavier bow, here's how it went:

Me: Mr bowyer, I'd love one of your ASL, can you make me one around 55-60#?
Bowyer: Gotcha, 60-65#
Me: No, 55-60# maximum
Boyer: Gotcha

Bow arrives: 65#  :biglaugh:

Still, it was so gorgeous that I would wake up at night to go and look at it, so I decided to keep it.  :tongue:
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 01:41:40 PM by madmaxthc »
Life is short, play hard

Offline madmaxthc

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Re: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 01:37:22 PM »
When shooting my 55# recurve, I always noticed my rear delt muscle would be tired by the end of the training, but never thought much of it.
When I started shooting the 65# ASL though, the problem emerged: I realized I was using my shoulder for the last inch of my draw. It was a grinding experience for my string shoulder, getting painful after 2-3 shots. By 10 minutes in shooting session I had to stop.
I workout my higher back regularly, but no matter what, I was unable to use those muscles for the last inch, having to resort to the shoulder muscles to get to full draw.

I read several topics on this forum, watched hours of footage of Howard Hill & co, yet I could not see the way.

I was ready to give up, when I decided to watch people shooting British war longbows. Those guys shoot up to 200#, if I can't learn from them I'm done, I thought. And that was eye-opening. Watching them shooting "inside the bow" finally showed me the way. I  am not shooting using their form, but it showed me how to use my back muscles.
I had always been shooting with very little cant of my chest; now I open my chest by pushing it out, and sticking my butt out so to keep the alignment. It was a game changer!
I have been shooting this way for ~10 sessions now, 10 yards from the target, to memorize the form. It feels now like a healthy workout, and I can already shoot for 30 minutes before being tired, and no pain! It is mind blowing!
I just have to be careful not to open in excess on my bow arm side, and keep it in alignment, otherwise my bow shoulder starts hurting (old gym injury on that side).  But as long as I keep the proper alignment, I get the  muscles to work, and the joints happy  :jumper:

This morning I have started moving away from the target and took a few 20y shots. I will still be working mostly on memorizing the form, to remove 15 year old habits, but I feel like a new world has opened to me.

I am sorry for the long post, but I'm hyper-excited  and wanted to share  :laugh: Hope this  helps other archers as well.

Best,
Max

Life is short, play hard

Offline Jock Whisky

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 500
Re: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2020, 10:16:36 PM »
Interesting comment you made..."...inside the bow..). During the heyday of the English warbow archery was often referred to as "shooting in the bow"
Old doesn't start until you hit three figures...and then it's negotiable

Offline madmaxthc

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Re: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 10:32:40 PM »
Interesting comment you made..."...inside the bow..). During the heyday of the English warbow archery was often referred to as "shooting in the bow"

Interesting to know... that's exactly how it feels. Pushing my chest toward the space between the string and the bow (although they drew all the way to their ear). It allows me to use the proper muscles. I guess the war archers really had no alternative, they had some major load on those bows  :jumper: They couldn't rely on the small muscles and structures  of  their shoulder
Life is short, play hard

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5136
Re: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 10:38:44 AM »
“I just have to be careful not to open in excess on my bow arm side, and keep it in alignment, otherwise my bow shoulder starts hurting (old gym injury on that side).“

I’d like to emphasize what you said, because it is an important point.  Simply pushing with the bow arm, trying to extend it out toward the target, can move the shoulder out of alignment and lead to injuries.  Rotating the chest toward the bow using the back muscles pushes the bow arm toward the target as a result, but keeps the shoulder joint in better alignment, reducing the possibility of injuries.  A subtle difference but an important one.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline madmaxthc

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Re: Pain Free: what I learned by shooting a heavier bow
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 06:11:49 PM »
I’d like to emphasize what you said, because it is an important point.  Simply pushing with the bow arm, trying to extend it out toward the target, can move the shoulder out of alignment and lead to injuries.  Rotating the chest toward the bow using the back muscles pushes the bow arm toward the target as a result, but keeps the shoulder joint in better alignment, reducing the possibility of injuries.  A subtle difference but an important one.

Thank you, McDave, I hadn't thought of that. I'll pay attention to it. It's surprising to me how the heavy bow is forcing me to refine my form. 
Life is short, play hard

Users currently browsing this topic:

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.
 

Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | User Agreement

Copyright 2003 thru 2020 ~ Trad Gang.com ©