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So I have never worn arm guards when shooting/practicing archery. I was taught at a very young age that in order to make sure the string doesn't hit your arm bend your elbow slightly out. This is what I have always done but I have read and realized that I can get at least 1/2"-1" extra draw length if I lock my elbow and arm completely. Now I'm just not sure if this is ok for the arm or if this is improper form. The difference is to make sure the string doesn't hit my arm now I rotate my elbow/arm clockwise (awkward motion, takes getting used to) but after I do this my string doesn't come near my arm. Is this a bad idea? Bad for form? Bad for my elbow/arm? Thoughs =).
 

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If you use the closed stance and have proper shoulder alignment, you should be able to shoot with straight arm without hitting arm, it worth knowing that the Elbow is not locked as you need some room to push into the target while extending with scapula 50\50 push/pull. you’re right about slight rotation as you set up to draw as this is what Fita shooters do, I have no need to do this as I shoot Longbow with slight cant and elbow is already set.

If you over extend you will likely get some elbow pain. I shoot for many years without arm protection, till an arrow nock failed and got a blood blister the size of a golf ball on my arm.
 

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swifty -

You never "lock" any joint, that's usually a quick trip to an injury. That being said, there's a difference between straight and locked. Keeping your bow arm straight will increase bone support and lengthen your draw, which is what you're after.

Hitting the forearm is another story. Yes, the tip of the elbow needs to be pointed close to 9 o'clock (8 o'clock is average for most people) as you look over your bow shoulder. That keeps the fleshy part of the forearm out of the path of the bow string.

Now, it get tricky. As your form develops and shoulder alignment / bone support improves, it will bring the string very close to your forearm, so getting a light "buzz" is expected and usually means you're doing it right. (You'll rarely see an Olympic archer without an armquard, there's a reason for that.)

Viper1 out.
 

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For me, I try to concentrate on keeping a straight but unlocked bow arm. This involves analyzing everything from where the grip rides on the thumb pad and in the pocket, to wrist alignment with the arm, and NO bow shoulder inward-rotation. Trying to move the forearm out of harms way by way of elbow rotation seems to translate to inward shoulder rotation, which I don't want.

There's a fine line in the mix. A smack lets you know something is out with the bow arm alignment or maybe a sloppy release. A slight shaving by the string lets you know you're in the ballpark. Again, the bow arm can be moved totally out of the way, but for me, I can't find a way to do it without sacrificing some alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So extend arm as much as I can without locking it and keep elbow pointing at as close to 9oclock as I can without rotating the shoulder and maintaining straight alignment.

I'm fine tuning my form taking bits out I know needs work and adjusting adjusting adjusting. I appreciate all the help fellas.
 

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So I have never worn arm guards when shooting/practicing archery. I was taught at a very young age that in order to make sure the string doesn't hit your arm bend your elbow slightly out. This is what I have always done but I have read and realized that I can get at least 1/2"-1" extra draw length if I lock my elbow and arm completely. Now I'm just not sure if this is ok for the arm or if this is improper form. The difference is to make sure the string doesn't hit my arm now I rotate my elbow/arm clockwise (awkward motion, takes getting used to) but after I do this my string doesn't come near my arm. Is this a bad idea? Bad for form? Bad for my elbow/arm? Thoughs =).
Ultimately...your form will be dictated by 2 primary factors...your goals and your body structure.

As you become more aware of what exactly those are...you will begin to make compromizes to meet your goals.

There are biomechanical positions the body can be put in that can give an advantage in attaining and maintaining consistantcy...generally speaking...but most of us make compromises until we find what works for us and our goals.

An Olympic archer is not going to have the exact same goals or will be in the exact same circumstances a bowhunter may be in...so form will vary even though there can be many similarities between the 2.

What you don't want to do with your bow arm is go into hyperextension but you do want to lock the elbow into place through muscle contraction. The straighter and more in-line the bones of the arm are to the arrow...the less stress and easier it is to hold that position....which is where arm guards and chest protectors come into play for some archers and for others it's not even an option based on their body structure.

Ray ;)
 
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