Exercise and Keeping Good Form
If you can put your bow up, it is a good idea to practise reversals.
· First of all do a warm up
· Go through your normal routine with stance and posture and draw your bow back, hold it at full draw for a few seconds and come back down. You could start by holding it for 5 seconds. Do 5 repetitions. Take a 20 second pause between each repetition. If you look online they will advise how different lengths of time you should hold for. I think it is better to decide for yourself. Start off with a few seconds and increase as you go on.
If you are really confident and want to take this up a notch you can also draw to full draw, hold it, come half way down, hold, and then draw to full draw once more before coming down. Just be careful not to let it go or you will hurt yourself or damage your bow.
Don’t put an arrow in incase you let it go.
If you have lighter limbs, use them for reversals. You can then ensure you are creating really good form.
If you don’t have a bow at home, practise with a stretchy band. Just do the same as above.
It’s a good idea to keep a stretchy band where you see it every day. I keep one on the kitchen door handle and you can practise your posture and drawing the band in any spare minute.
If you don’t have a stretchy band still go through the motions of your shot sequence and mime the shot.
This is a good time to write down your shot sequence and rehearse it in your head.
Keep a notebook and write down how many stretches or reversals you do each day just as if you were keeping a note of your shooting.
1-2-3 Alignment Drill
This drill will help you learn the position the body at the end of the shot.
Check posture whilst doing this drill. Use a mirror to obtain feedback.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a square stance and your arms down by your sides, head looking forwards (down the shooting line.)
Always check your posture first. Raise your arms out to the side, keeping the shoulders relaxed and down and the arms in line with the target.
Turn your head to look at the target, keeping the head in a central position over the body.
Bend the draw arm (the one furthest from the target) to bring the hand into the position it would be at the end of the follow through I.e. with the hand touching the neck, and keeping the shoulders in line with the target.
Repeat step 1 to 3 a total of 30 times.
Set, Set-up Drill
This drill will help you learn to maintain the posture while moving from the Set position to the Set-up or pre pre-draw position.
SET-while standing as if shooting towards a mirror, first check your posture. Now move into the set position placing your hands in the location where you would if you were preparing to shoot.
From this “set” position, keep your shoulders down and relaxed while raising your hands and arms to the set-up or pre-draw position. Both hands should be at nose level with the draw elbow level with or slightly below the hand. Watch in the mirror to make sure that you are maintaining your posture and body position and with a straight back while you make this move and that the shoulders have not been raised.
After you have mastered this drill with bare hands, try doing it with a stretch band and then a light bow. The most important thing to watch for and feel is that you are keeping your chest down and maintaining your body position during this drill. Also check that both shoulders stay down during the raising of the bow, but the draw arm is at nose height with the elbow level with, or slightly below the bow hand.
Repeat this drill a total of 30 times.