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Thread: Shoulder alignment help

  1. #1
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    Shoulder alignment help

    So I finally got my new bow and shot some this weekend. On the plus side, I was very consistent...very consistently missing. I think I am having some trouble with shoulder alignment, since some of my shots it just felt right and I didn't have any trouble whatsoever holding at my anchor before releasing. But sometimes my bow arm would start shaking almost as soon as I got to anchor. Does anyone have any tips that might help me make sure my shoulder alignment is good (or tell me if that is not the problem).
    Also, I am finding that my 2nd-4th shot are pretty consistent, a decent group I think, but my first and fourth shot are not consistent with the others. I can't tell if the fact that I am trying to aim is resulting in that or if it is something else.
    Should I even really be aiming at this point (basically my first couple of experiences with archery)?

    Thanks for any and all help!
    (Thankfully I didn't get the 40# bow. The Pinnacle came in just at 35# at 28" [my draw is apparently 1/8th of an inch shorter than that at the moment], and I still need to take a minute after 5 arrows and can only shoot for about 45 minutes before I notice that I've just lost the strength to hold long enough to go through the mental checklist before loosing).

  2. #2
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpBPg...feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNGJo77OAs8

    I haven't EVER seen any better videos for getting a solid front-end, I rewatch them regularly.

    -Grant

  3. #3
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    grant -

    There's a problem with the second video. (I haven't watched the entire series, so I don't know if he corrected it or not.)

    What he describes is what should happen in a perfect world. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. The shoulder joint is not a perfect ball and socket; the "socket" is actually made up of of several bones and perfect alignment doesn't always happen with new shooters. With older shooters who have started off with heavier bows, it may never happen. What I didn't see was what to do when it doesn't work as described.

    Also the pushing forward thing is a misnomer. Muscles can't push, but extending the bow arm forward towards the target, in some cases is what's required to set up proper alignment - ie set the ball in the socket. And yes, the bow string buzzing the forearm is natural with optimal form and is what should happen with most people.

    So while saying the bow arm/shoulder should do nothing is technically correct, it may not work that way for everyone.

    As for the OP, the video was correct that what we are looking for is bone on bone support, using as few muscles as possible and the best way of doing that is by having a pair of educated eyes watching you in person. Short of that, taking videos of yourself might help, but you have to know what you're looking at/for.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  4. #4
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    Thanks very much. I wasn't able to watch the second video yet, but I watched the first video and that pretty much stopped the shaking that I was getting just having my hand set on the bow better (I was practicing at home without an arrow on the string and just letting down). I was trying to do it the way that I had been with the compound I shot a few times and that just wasn't working right at the higher draw weight. So now my arm is much closer to the string but it seems to be more stable.

    I will watch the second video tonight hopefully (keeping in mind what you said Viper) and practice some more without anything on the string.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1 View Post
    grant -

    There's a problem with the second video. (I haven't watched the entire series, so I don't know if he corrected it or not.)

    What he describes is what should happen in a perfect world. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. The shoulder joint is not a perfect ball and socket; the "socket" is actually made up of of several bones and perfect alignment doesn't always happen with new shooters. With older shooters who have started off with heavier bows, it may never happen. What I didn't see was what to do when it doesn't work as described.

    Also the pushing forward thing is a misnomer. Muscles can't push, but extending the bow arm forward towards the target, in some cases is what's required to set up proper alignment - ie set the ball in the socket. And yes, the bow string buzzing the forearm is natural with optimal form and is what should happen with most people.

    So while saying the bow arm/shoulder should do nothing is technically correct, it may not work that way for everyone.

    As for the OP, the video was correct that what we are looking for is bone on bone support, using as few muscles as possible and the best way of doing that is by having a pair of educated eyes watching you in person. Short of that, taking videos of yourself might help, but you have to know what you're looking at/for.

    Viper1 out.
    The OP is a blank-slate, might as well get him the information to produce as close to perfection as possible. I agree its different when you are trying to retrain out bad habits.

    Me personally I set my shoulder by pulling it down before I draw, it tends to sneak-up if its not set rather firmly.

    -Grant

  6. #6
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    I get a lot of tension in my traps as well when I draw. Maybe my shoulder is creeping forward or up? I'll work on what has been said and watch the rest of the videos (and hopefully Viper's book will get to me soon, seems they were backordered or something) and just practice my draw without an arrow for the rest of the week. I should be able to get to the range some time this weekend, and I'll try and video myself and post it up so ya'll can rip apart my form

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    I have a certain feel I need for bow shoulder alignment in the joint, bow arm elbow alignment, and bow arm wrist. I have found this exercise (though not shown but leveling the bow arm is the final set up) gives me that feel and reminds me. It kinda forces the alignment for how it should look and feel. It's just something I do before I start shooting and from time to time as a reminder of feel. It actually is stress relieving as well. From the KLS website:

    SPT4.jpg

  8. #8
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    Grant -

    I agree and we never mention "potential problems" to a new shooter before or unless they appear. The problem is that despite what you tell people, they have a tendency to do whatever feels right to them. A blank slate with a new bow, even a couple of pounds too heavy, will find some way to "cheat" to pull it pack. Once that's repeated a few times, it becomes a habit and the shooter s no longer a blank slate.

    Now, I said I didn't watch the entire series, but it's been my experience that just telling or showing someone what to do, without having a backup plan when/if it doesn't work can leave the guy stranded when/if something goes awry.

    I wish teaching this stuff was that easy.

    b -

    Any muscle that hasn't real been used before will get sore , but if the upper parts of your traps (the parts that descend from the neck to the shoulder) are bothering you, stop playing with the bow. That usually means your riding (raising) or hunching your shoulder and that can lead to injury. It's also a nasty habit to try to break later on.

    If you can get a light stretch band or something similar, you can practice drawing, anchoring and even releasing with perfect form. Then you can later transfer that feeling to the real bow. Doing that exercise in the mirror can reveal a lot about what's going on.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  9. #9
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    Thanks Viper. It's not the part that goes up into the neck, it's the meaty area near the delts. And they aren't getting sore really, just getting some burn while I hold the bow at anchor, so I wanted to check if that was normal (considering I'm just starting and haven't built up the muscles yet). I feel pretty confident that I'm not cheating on the draw...

  10. #10
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    b -

    Back_muscles_archery.JPG

    While any and all muscles can and will get sore when first used or used differently, like when getting used to shooting a bow, the traps, if continue to hurt after a few weeks is a warning sign. Usually on the bow side and due to a bow that's too heavy in physical weight. If it stays painful on the string side, it might mean that you're pulling with the shoulder muscles and not the back muscles. That's usually due to hunching the shoulders and not getting bone support as shown in the video.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  11. #11
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    THank you Viper, and I will definitely keep a watch to see if it hurts (it doesn't hurt now, more like just getting a work out). I'll also try and take that video for my third time out with the bow so I can ask about my form.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by baaghji View Post
    since some of my shots it just felt right and I didn't have any trouble whatsoever holding at my anchor before releasing. But sometimes my bow arm would start shaking almost as soon as I got to anchor.
    Do some of those good shots happen through out practice or just in the beginning?

    If it's only getting good shots in the beginning...that would indicate it's more of a strength issue and if it happens off and on through out your practice session....that indicates your form changes from shot to shot.

    Both of those problems can be addressed by developing more bone on bone alignment as others here have already mentioned.

    By taking advantage of more bone on bone positions allows the muscles to work less....NOT...not at all. Our muscles act like engines where they create force but muscles need joints and a brain to direct that force.

    In archery...the bow arm should not be a push force....but it should involve static/isometric contractions to keep the joints in position otherwise they will colapse when force is applied to them from pulling the string.

    Quote Originally Posted by baaghji View Post
    Also, I am finding that my 2nd-4th shot are pretty consistent, a decent group I think, but my first and fourth shot are not consistent with the others.
    That pretty much indicates inCONSISTENTCY regarding your form if that happens through out your practice session.

    Quote Originally Posted by baaghji View Post
    I can't tell if the fact that I am trying to aim is resulting in that or if it is something else.
    It could be. Every archer should focus on developing their form FIRST...BEFORE they try to learn how to aim. As you learn your form....it's good to also develop a shot sequence. You shouldn't have to think about your form after you have learned it and mastered it. An archer should ultimately think about nothing other than the target...but because our personalities and abilities vary...it's good to be able to fall back on a shot sequence to keep our minds focused in the moment rather than being distracted by other thoughts.

    I would suggest some Blank Bale techniques to develop your form FIRST...until it feels and is....CONSISTENT/REPEATABLE.

    Quote Originally Posted by baaghji View Post
    Should I even really be aiming at this point (basically my first couple of experiences with archery)?
    No

    Ray

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the advice.

    The shaking I was getting I think was because I was being inconsistent with my grip on the bow, and those videos that showed the correct way really helped. I think I was trying to hold it the way I was shown to hold a compound and it just wasn't working. Now that I've been practicing the grip and form in front of a mirror it hasn't happened at all.



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