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Focus Point: Posture Part I

“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”

Archery Posture

If setting your stance is akin to the foundation of a building, posture can be seen as adding more stories to our skyscraper. The structure at the top only holds together if everything at the bottom maintains its roots. To continue the strong connection from the ground up, remember the following:

  • Hips stay tucked under your bottom
  • Abdominals remain tight and engaged
  • Sternum / chest stays down throughout (achieved by exhaling at the start to set in position)
  • Shoulders low and relaxed
  • Back remains straight

Checking Your Posture

Stand in front of a full length mirror and avoid the temptation to subconsciously correct before analyzing. Pay careful attention to your shoulders, upper body, and head position and notice what your natural tendency is so that you can not only step to the shooting line with a heightened sense of self-awareness, but also catch yourself prior to slipping into this habit in your daily life.

Figure 1

Next, grab a stretch band and position yourself as if the mirror is the target you are aiming at (Figure 1). Practice 10 repetitions to simulate drawing the bow back and look carefully for minute changes in vertical posture and the height of your shoulders. 

For an alternative view, rotate your body position 90 degrees so that the mirror is no longer ‘the target,’ but actually across from you (Figure 2). 

Figure 2

Do another 10 repetitions, but turn your head toward the mirror while completing the draw and stretch, so that you can see the body mechanics at work. To prevent inconsistencies and tired muscles, stay relaxed and natural throughout each repetition with both shoulders. Remember, the goal is to retain a “T” shape throughout the shot cycle and keep the connection strong from the ground up.

Figure 3