When it comes to archery, technique is definitely the king. One of the biggest parts of your technique is your posture and alignment of your muscles and bones. Without proper posture and alignment, you are fighting your bow and your body to stay still and pull through the shot correctly.
In previous articles, we have talked about vertical posture and alignment (check out the article on draw weight so you can see things like "sassy hip" and such), but today we want to focus on establishing the "barrel of the gun" and ensuring that our bow-drawing arm is in line with our arrow. The "barrel of the gun" is just a fancy (USA Archery) way of saying that we must line up the front arm straight behind the bow, lining up the shoulders, head, and spine. In the following images, this "barrel of the gun" is shown with a blue line. Setting your alignment in that way lets you hold steadier, draw further, and use back tension more effectively. The red lines will show the alignment of the arm that is drawing the bow, which should be directly behind or inside of the arrow line.
One thing you will notice in setting your posture this way is that you will engage more of your core and feel more pressure in your back as the muscles draw the weight of the bow. Additionally, you can see in the image that the angle between the red and blue lines is tighter in the second image, lending itself to accuracy. Here are a few more archers setting the barrel of the gun- see if you can determine which is the before and which is the after.
Finally, one of the benefits that this better posture gives you is an easier and more repeatable follow-through. Because the elbow is already in line with the arrow, archers have an easier time contracting their back to draw the elbow behind them, with their hand following behind the arrow, as they release from this improved posture. Check out the images of these archers below so you can see how good follow-through naturally comes from this positional improvement.
When was the last time you had one of your tall friends check your posture and alignment? If you haven't done so in a while, we strongly recommend stopping by the range so that we can help you to align your body properly and shoot even better than you are. See you on the range!
What is this?
Deer Creek Archery will use this to archive articles and videos with tips from our team and the professionals on how to shoot and set up your bow more effectively.