The bow arm Push?

KidCurry

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I often read the expression " push and pull" in relation to the bow being held at full draw.
I just read this first line again. At full draw I have no push. In the same way a wall has no push when I lean against it. There is bone-on-bone alignment which has an equal and opposite force of the draw. I can hold this for 30 seconds recurve, almost indefinitely compound. If I try to actively push the bow into a longer draw with the bow arm, or back muscles, I will get tired after 6-7 seconds (recurve)
When I learnt to shoot compound I was taught to keep the bow arm bent. This meant two things... a lot more effort, muscles pushing, to stay at full draw and a physical push at release to keep the bow moving in the direction of the target. Around 12 years ago I changed to bone-on-bone and this meant I could hold the aim almost indefinitely and allow a 'reach', as Rik put it, during follow through. This was really an expansion of the joints, nothing more.
So this is the crux of the issue. Do you want muscles to push the bow when at full draw or do you want the bone structure to take the weight and use less muscle power just to keep the bones simply aligned?
I think if an archer has trouble reaching full draw they are over bowed. Getting to full draw should be a relatively easy process for both recurve and compound. This is slightly different for recurves and compounds but is really a combination of timing and strength (fitness). Holding at full draw is no big deal for compound, but recurves have to decide if they want to use the bow arm unit to contribute to the expansion of the clicker or use the chest and drawing unit to do the expansion.
Follow through again is either a physical push or a reach, natural expansion of the bow arm unit.
 
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geoffretired

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I don't think "NO push" has to mean the bow arm is not working. "Pushing" can imply that some force is moving an object such as pushing a pram. Pushing a bow isn't the same thing, the bow isn't moved. I have, however, seen some archers moving their bow further away from their face as the their bow shoulder is moved forwards away from the spine. That sort of pushing requires muscles to do that work. Muscles that would otherwise have far less to do.
I think Rik tries not to use those extra muscles.
 

Kernowlad

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This was one video I found useful.
It’s that twist/push that helps. Not just a static bow arm.

And then this one for elbow positioning.
 

geoffretired

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That is rotating the whole upper body to move the bow arm and the shoulder blade as a single lump, forwards towards the target.
The action isn't causing the arm to move away from the rib cage or the spine.
The push that I am thinking about is all about the shoulder moving away from the spine and needing muscle activity around the shoulder blade to produce movement.
 

KidCurry

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This is an interesting clip of Jessie Broadwater. Look at the shoulder blade at 7.28 You will see the bow arm shoulder and blade compress backwards to take the force of the draw. There is no muscle pushing forward, just bone on bone. Whether there is a push or just a reach at release I difficult to tell without asking the archer. But this is all about getting to full, not if you push or not during full draw.
 
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geoffretired

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Wchether there is a push or just a reach at release I difficult to tell without asking the archer. But this is all about getting to full, not if you push or not during full draw.
I would think, that although there is no pushing of the shoulder forwards, so he stays bone on bone, once the tension from the bow is removed there will be a reaction at the bow arm; for the same reason there is one at the draw arm. The weight of the bow will reduce what we see as movement... compared to the lack of weight at the release hand and therefore an obvious movement.
IF the bow arm moved to his right, I would have to wonder what caused that. I could imagine a slight drop as the mass of the bow suddenly had no help from the draw weight.
 

KidCurry

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It’s almost like he draws then “sets” his position slightly.
I think this is common with compound shooters. It's how I used to shoot. Due to the lack of holding weight there is plenty of time to come to full draw then settle into your holding position. Also, because the full weight of the draw comes on immediately, unlike a recurve which slowly builds, you don't have the luxury of getting almost to your full draw position before really applying the back muscles. Where the recurve process tends to be... align, draw, aim, release, compound tends to be more... Yank, draw, align, aim release. Get control of the yank and let-off timing and you will have a super smooth draw :)
 

KidCurry

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Compare that to Chang Hye Jin (recurve) at 2.15 Everything is set by half draw and there is no movement in the front unit from then on until follow through.
 

ArcheryFox

Active member
I recall this discussion Geoff and I had not too long ago: The physics of torque tuning! . It happened to mention 'pushing', but the reason link it here is to do with the discussion of words and their meaning in archery. What some coaches have decided looks and feels like a 'push', and then gone on to write down in their coaching books/manuals/videos might not necessarily be what feels like a 'push' to you.

Indeed, I once had troubles after being told to 'push more' - I found really trying to push led to a very wobbly bow arm and unstable shoulder.
Only when it was eventually described instead as 'resisting' the bow did things fall into place and I got the action right.

Reading is good and I encourage, but with aspects of biomechanics and technique you really need to get someone in the know (a coach) to look over and see if it is the correct action (or video yourself and compare to pros, but be aware good archers don't necessarily have textbook or 'good' technique, sometimes for personal reasons). Once you have got the action right decide what it feels like to you and write that description down to refer back to later.

I had similar issues early on in my shooting when told to 'squeeze the shoulderblades'. To me that led to a raising of the shoulders and a tightening trapezius - definitely not what is intended!

The top coach who says 'there is no push' may well be describing the same action, but to them, like me, the correct action doesn't feel like a 'push' it feels more like 'resisting' or KC's 'taking the weight'.

2 pence.

FWIW I think I'm on KC's side of the fence on the matter at hand - I don't actively push forward with my muscles, but after aligning things (bones) I am expending some effort to make sure that things aren't collapsing backwards during the hold/expansion. The followthrough is more of a lateral motion of the bow arm to the left (RH archer) as things relieve from compression upon release than a pushing forward of the bow itself.
 
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jerryRTD

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
Of course you need to push but push against what???? answer the pull of the hand drawing the string back to anchor No matter what you think or how you look atit you canny change the laws of physics. Push is equal and opposite to pull both are required.
 

geoffretired

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Supporter
Thanks ArcheryFox,
One of the things that can get forgotten is the fact that the bow arm, although taking the pressure from the bow, bone on bone as we say, is not directly in line with the force from the bow. It is not like a column supporting a roof. It is like a column that is not vertical , supporting a roof.
Because the arm is at an angle to the force from the bow, it needs to have a force that balances the tendency to be pulled further off line... to the right for a rh archer. That force cannot come from the hand or forearm, it has to come from the shoulder and the shoulder blade is involved in maintaining that force. What the force has to do, is try to swing the bow arm across to the left... just enough to balance the swing applied by the bow.
I demonstrate this with a loop of strapping, the archer puts their thumb through the loop like putting their hand into a bow grip. They adopt their full draw posture and I pull on the other end of the loop from about their chin. I pull in the same direction as the force from the bow and they resist as I apply tension. The archer soon balances the force I apply and they get a steady bow arm.
However, I apply slightly more tension to the loop and their bow arm moves to the right( RH archer) until they realise and counter with a force that tries to swing the arm back across towards the left. No amount of pushing can prevent just a slight increase in tension from me.
I also let off some tension, suddenly, and the arm invariable moves across to the left showing the direction of the force they were applying.
 

KidCurry

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Of course you need to push but push against what???? answer the pull of the hand drawing the string back to anchor No matter what you think or how you look atit you canny change the laws of physics. Push is equal and opposite to pull both are required.
I don't think anyone is arguing that there is not a equal and opposite force to the pull of the drawing unit, I think the question is, is there a dynamic push that uses muscle to keep extending the bow arm, so slightly greater than the holding force, or a static push that is simply bone on bone where the force is simply equal to the drawing force? I use bone on bone and most of the muscle energy is only used to keep the unit in alignment. For compound it's easier.
 
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geoffretired

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Supporter
I think we have to keep in mind the fact that we have to equal the force from the bow, but we cannot push in the opposite direction from the force the bow produces. The bow arm experiences a torque force, we have to resist that, too.
 

Kernowlad

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Supporter
What I’m planning to experiment with (when the wind drops below storm force!) is a more exaggerated “push” of the bow arm, particularly at the end of the draw to try and sort out that slightly random and sometimes awkward last part of the cycle.
Obviously we do push or we’d all have bow imprints in our faces.
 

geoffretired

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An exaggerated push could move the shoulder blade away from a solid resting position against the rib cage. Then it is like a floating shoulder blade held by muscles but not held against a solid foundation. The rough equivalent of pushing your heels up off the ground and standing on tip toes.
 

Kernowlad

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Hmm, I’ll have to experiment. I want to get this draw cycle into something I don’t have to think about rather than something that bugs me.
 

KidCurry

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Hmm, I’ll have to experiment. I want to get this draw cycle into something I don’t have to think about rather than something that bugs me.
I have a couple of videos of draw cycles for compound that might be helpful. I will start a new thread in the compound section instead of Geoff's thread here as it is a bit off topic.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Of course you need to push but push against what???? answer the pull of the hand drawing the string back to anchor No matter what you think or how you look atit you canny change the laws of physics. Push is equal and opposite to pull both are required.
Indeed... That's why I referenced Newton... (vis-a-vis his 3rd law)
🤔
Del
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
They are equal yes, and opposite, yes but the bow arm is not in line with the force acting on it towards the draw hand. The bow arm experiences a pull across to one side... to the right for right handers. What is the opposing force that keeps the hand from moving across to the right?
 
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