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Why is a high elbow draw “better”? Other than less movement to get to the correct full-draw position, because the low elbow draw requires the elbow to come up after drawing back to get in the correct position.

The reason I ask is because I’m getting a new bow soon, and am trying to decide the draw weight. I can draw back 75lbs+ with the low elbow method, but struggle to pull 55 with a high elbow. My shoulder/rear delt feels like it’s going to pop out/rip when I use this method.

Would you suggest me going for a ~70lb bow and keep drawing with a low elbow, or drop down to like 50 and try to figure out high elbow? Or something else?


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This doesn’t make since to me because high elbow draw is always easier to draw back with than low elbow draw for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That’s what I’ve heard too. But for me it just feels like my rear delt isn’t strong enough to pull it back with a high elbow, whereas using the low elbow method I feel I can use my lat/bicep which are stronger.

I could just be doing something wrong, but I’ve watched as many form videos as I could find with no luck.


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When I got back into archery a few years ago, I had a somewhat low elbow draw and I always hated the extra movement it required to come to anchor. My draw shoulder also got a little irritated as I increased the poundage with a low elbow. And I hated how a low elbow draw looks...it just looked awkward and inefficient to me.

I switched to a handheld release and started to focus on matching my hands at 45 degree angles as Dudley teaches in his School of Nock series. This makes it easier for me to draw more weight as the larger muscles of the back are engaged versus the smaller muscles in your shoulder and bicep are engaged with a low elbow draw. And I end up right at my anchor with minimal movement using the high elbow draw.
 

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This doesn’t make since to me because high elbow draw is always easier to draw back with than low elbow draw for most people.
I have heard this as well with high elbow you are using your back more and low elbow is more your arm and shoulders????
 

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If you can't pull straight back slowly, lower your bow weight.
 

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Try to draw with a high elbow but don’t reach forward with your release hand across your body. Keep your shoulder centered in the socket and keep equal muscle pressure on your shoulder. Instead of trying to pull all the weight with your draw arm try to bend your bow arm and spread your arms apart. This method initially will cause you to have less strength in the draw but it puts significantly less stress on the small muscles and tendons in your shoulder (rotator cuff). Learning how to draw properly will help a lot in the long run. Draw with less weight and focus on form. The pounds will come with time. If you rush it and are overbowed (elbow low) you can hurt your shoulder.
 

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High elbow method is much easier for me, and much faster to settle in on my target.
 

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Isaiah 6:8
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to me there is a big difference in having a high elbow vs a very high elbow when drawing back. a very high elbow absolutely kills my shoulders but a regular high elbow feels natural, hope that makes sense. when i draw my elbow is a little more than a 90 degree angle but if it is getting closer to 120 degrees it really hurts. IMO having a really high elbow when you draw is setting your shoulder up for trouble because it requires you to excessively internally rotate your shoulder which puts the rotator cuff at a big disadvantage. the rotator cuff is essential for providing stability to the shoulder. i would say whatever is comfortable for you to draw is the way you should do it, i wouldn't draw in a fashion that elicits pain
 

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Shootin and Cussin
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Who says a low elbow draw is better? Do you think it is better?

I don't know of any instructor or coach that teaches that method.
 

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The Impartial Archer
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I don't want mine down or up.......just straight back and it lands in the natural shooting position. As a hunter that's big for me because it less movement at before the shot.
 

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My Elk Hunting Home
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That low elbow draw just looks painful to me. I doubt I could even pull a bow back using that method.
 

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I'm not a doctor and I've never played one on TV, but I seem to remember reading that the high elbow draw allows the back muscles to engage sooner, allowing you to transfer more weight to your back versus the shoulder. Helps shoulder longevity.

That being said, I'm a low elbow draw guy. I've never gotten the hang of the high elbow and I'm too stubborn to change now.
 

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I draw straight back but with my elbow at shoulder level. If I draw too high or too low my surgically repaired shoulder gets very sore. In order to restore my shoulder stability, I lost a little range of motion and things get irritated when I try to force a high or low elbow.

My Ortho doc (big time bow hunter) said "as long as you are in control and not straining, draw where you are comfortable."
 

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I used to draw low and made the commitment to retrain under high elbow. I had to drop to 45 pounds and then work my way back up, now that the muscle memory is there I prefer the high elbow. but you do have to work up to it.

I do see the low draw and able to draw more weight but it does take more movement and does not achieve the bone on bone shoulder lock at full draw as easily.
 

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If you can't pull straight back slowly, lower your bow weight.
Sure to some degree. But as someone that just hit 50 with close to 40 years of shooting a bunch my upper shoulder of my draw arm isn't what it was when I was younger and I was starting to get a lot of pain as the shoulder rolled over the last 4 - 5 inches of the draw coming in from the high side. I stopped shooting for close to 6 months hoping it would heal up and it didn't. In the mean time I noticed if I would draw with my hand across my chest and come in counter clockwise with my shoulder rotation I could draw more pounds and had zero pain. So sometimes it's not about the weight it about shoulder issues and what will allow you to keep shooting.
 

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Does anyone have a link to picture's or video of a high vs low draw,I have no idea which I am doing.

Thanks.......Greg
 

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I watch his videos. This shows how when he shoots his regular lefty bows he can draw well with a high elbow and good form. When he shoots the righty bow he is shooting too much weight and the way he drew went to the low elbow.
If you are drawing low elbow but shoot with a high elbow the second it takes to raise your elbow is another second at anchor you would could have had.
 
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