The bow arm Push?

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I often read the expression " push and pull" in relation to the bow being held at full draw.
I know of one high level coach who says, "There is no push," in his archery videos.
Sometimes that can be a bit difficult to accept, specially if the archer imagines how they hold their bow at full draw and feels "the pushing" like pressing forwards against the bow, which is being pulled towards their face by the string.
If I imagine my bow arm hinging( like a door) at my bow shoulder, so it can swing the bow hand left to right, I can now imagine how the bow can be held at full draw without any pushing.
If my bow arm tries to swing away to the left( RH archer) I can balance that tendency to swing by pulling a bit more with my draw arm. So, both arms are actively involved in drawing the bow, but the bow shoulder blade can remain almost static; in place against the rib cage. The bow shoulder muscles are working to prevent the bow arm/hand from being drawn across to the archer's right. When both shoulders work in balance, the sight is steadied like having two guy ropes on a tent pole steadies the top of the pole.
 

Rik

Supporter
Supporter
"Push" always feels like the wrong action to me. I prefer the "reach" terminology. It's not that the intended outcome is different, it's just, for me, reaching for the target engages fewer muscles, and not out of line.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
As a first impression as a beginner, I felt it was saying shooting is a "two handed job". In other words don't just think you are pulling a string and the bow arm is just a dead arm trying its best to keep still. I could mime the action and feel both arms trying to move,,, one moving back away from the bow and the other moving forwards towards the target. It lead me into moving the bow shoulder blade away from my rib cage and that made the whole arm feel like it was working but wasn't very steady.
 

ThomVis

Member
My student go crazy when I say Push-Pull-Push-Pull-Push-Pull when I coach them. :devilish:
What I tell them that you need to "actively" do something with the bow arm/shoulder when you draw the bow and it should not stop at anchor or release. If you stop, you get "lazy" and your bow shoulder collapses up, or something along the line you described. Some focus on keeping their bow shoulder down, others imagine reaching for the target like Rik.
The no-push comment can be valid as long as you can keep your bow shoulder down and you bow arm stretched, leaving you to focus on the draw side. Like you I think of it as something that needs to be balanced, so you have equal effort bow side and draw side. At anchor, you're pushing your bow with equal force forward as you're drawing your string backward, that's just physics. Let one slack and you'll never draw through the clicker.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
ThomVis. This is how I see the bow arm as an active partner; If I put an elastic band around a hardback book ( so it goes round the spine ) it makes it harder to open the book. If I open the book against the strain of the band and let go, the book snaps shut.
If I now look at that situation differently, I can see that as the two stiff covers open wider apart, so the elastic band gets stretched further and further. as the opening gets wider. When the opening is about 170 degrees wide, the covers could sort of represent the bow arm and draw arm. I can stretch the band further by widening the angle between the two covers..
In the same way, I can draw a bow by widening the angle between bow arm and draw arm. If the angle reduces I collapse. I see many archers collapsing after reaching full draw, as if they stop doing an action that they were doing up to the point of release.
If the elastic band snapped without warning the book would open wider still so long as I was trying to open it at the time of the snap. A snapping band could have a similar effect to releasing the string of the bow, as at launch.
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
I definitely do one armed drawing.
Set bow arm, pull with string arm.
I might try making it more of a two arm job.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
One arm seems to do all the work just because one is trying to keep still while the other moves. When you are settling at full draw of the string, you can imagine the two arms trying to move wider apart like the back covers of a book. ONE idea operates both arms.
If you stand at full draw without a bow and just think of the arms moving wider apart; they will do just that. However, with a bow at full draw, they won't move , they will steady as the two arms work as a pair. The last thing we want is one arm to pull the other off aim.
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
There was this guy by the name of Newton who said some thing about this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction And no one has proved him wrong. This means that there is no push without pull and no pull without a push.
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
A few excellent videos watched; I definitely need to get my bow arm more involved. More to practise but hopefully it’ll help.
Typically I’ve twanged my back so I’ll have to let it ease before having a go. Surfing a lot (two hours yesterday; I froze) plus weights is hard on my 45 year old back!
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
A few excellent videos watched; I definitely need to get my bow arm more involved. More to practise but hopefully it’ll help.
Typically I’ve twanged my back so I’ll have to let it ease before having a go. Surfing a lot (two hours yesterday; I froze) plus weights is hard on my 45 year old back!
you don't expect too much in the way of sympathy from a 70 year old do you??
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
There was this guy by the name of Newton who said some thing about this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction And no one has proved him wrong. This means that there is no push without pull and no pull without a push.
He was right, but drawing a bow can be done in more ways than one and still adhere to that law.
The main problem is that once the draw seems to have reached "full draw" the pushing and pulling get in each other's way and a wobbling bow arm results. The two arms start a tug o' war with neither one winning.
Pushing and pulling are in opposite directions, what I am suggesting has both arms working in the same way; like the matched pair that they should be.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Isaac Newton once tried it with no push, the bow smacked him in the mouth... then an apple dropped on him and the rest is history.
Of course you need to push, anyone who says you don't has never drawn a 100# plus bow and felt their bow arm collapsing under strain.
Del
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
"Push" always feels like the wrong action to me. I prefer the "reach" terminology. It's not that the intended outcome is different, it's just, for me, reaching for the target engages fewer muscles, and not out of line.
I think that's the best description I have ever read, explaining what is effectively the 'front' end follow through.
 
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geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Del, you are right, there is a push. It is how it is important though to make sure the pushing doesn't put the bow arm into an "awkward" position.
It is easy enough to push the whole arm forwards into the bow, and to increase the draw length a bit by pushing the whole shoulder blade towards the target, too. When that happens, however, the shoulder blade has to maintain its position using more muscles. When the shoulder blade is resting against the ribcage, it is like the foot being on the ground( heel and toe) as opposed to standing on tip toe.
 

Kernowlad

Supporter
Supporter
I’m going to apply a martial arts principle (did karate and kickboxing for many years) for punching; if you just use your arm/shoulder you don’t get much power. If you twist your back and engage for lat muscles, you probably double the power.
Also used in swimming and surf paddling. I’ve hurt my back a bit so I’ll have to hang on a bit but looking forward to experimenting. There is a bit of push involved (otherwise my bow would smack me in the face!) but it’s probably not pronounced enough. I think I’ve been concentrating too much on keeping the arrow level while drawing so leaving that bow arm too static to avoid it falling off. With my new prong rest and home made capture device, the arrow can’t actually go very far off angle anyway.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Newer archers sometimes find they settle into a decent full draw posture with a consistent anchor point, and a reasonably consistent draw length, without too much trouble.
Sometimes, though, when they reach their full draw posture they seem to be undecided what to do next, and the arrow rubs back and forth on the arrow rest. It's as if they are trying to establish a better aim.
The back and forth issue seems to me to be all about not continuing the drawing action; but coming to a stop and trying not to move. Usually the string is released at a point in the aiming when the draw length is decreasing. The release takes place during a collapse in draw length and the follow through of the bow arm is down and to the right for a RH archer.
The two arms don't seem to be working as a pair but as individuals. One collapses and the other takes up the slack and, they they try to correct and over do it.
 

williamsga

New member
I'm in 'Del the Cat's' camp on this one. I've always found it rather amusing when I hear 'there's no push' as there would be a distinct possibility of losing teeth if I stopped 'pushing' at full draw. Trying to keep things more or less balanced front and back has worked for me over the years.
 
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