1 (edited by Pedro C 2015-09-11 15:58:11)

Topic: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?


It feels like it's sort of "inside" the shoulder in the top. It mostly hurts right after release.

Any ideas? ..

Maybe I should take video of shooting?

Thanks in advance

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

I saw your drawing video. The bow arm is too bent, and not straight forward. You're using the shoulder muscles too much, mostly to keep the arm still, at full draw. First, raise the bow higher to be in line with your shoulder line and the forearm on the other hand. If shooting down, bend from the waist, don't lower just the bow hand.

Try this exercise: Stand in front of a wall, extend you left hand forward, and lean against the wall. Try to find a comfortable position, where you don't have to use your muscles much. If you bend your arm, you'll feel the muscles in front of the shoulder tensing up.
You should try tu push your arm forward, to extend it better said. Just as you do in the morning when you stretch. The bow hand should stay strong, straight and push forward like explained for the entire duration of the shot. It also looks

If shooting a strong bow, try to minimize the time at full draw. You can also slightly lean forward when drawing. using your body weight to pull the string back. Body goes forward, string back. The bow arm will be unloaded a bit.

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Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

work out more.

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4 (edited by Pedro C 2015-09-12 02:48:04)

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

Thanks storm. It seems to barely hurt now.
Should I rotate the arm in like olympic archers do at all, or just try to straighten it, without straightening it too much?

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

There are exercises with a Thera-Band FLEXBAR that have really helped my shoulders and elbows. (look up Thera-Band) Also the wall exercises storm suggests are good.

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Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

The wrist position is also important. I keep it in the same position as the olympic archers, but since we don't have pistol grips, we have to tilt the bow a bit. Also, tilt the bow forward a bit - this happens if you pull with your pinky and push with the top of the palm. This has a few advantages:
- It leads to a more relaxed and natural wrist position which is very strong too. it takes pressure from the elbow too.
- Enables the left hand to trigger or aid in the release. A weak left results in a bad shot (Kyudo also says that).
- Puts more force on the top limb. If the bow is designed for this, as korean bows are, then not doing this will lead to unbalanced bow arms.
- "Pushes" the arrow with a bit more force
- Prevents the arrow hitting the bow hand thumb (somebody already asked how to solve this)

Take a hammer or a bat or a sword in your hand, hit something with it and then look at your wrist. It will be tilted forward and sideways. Also look at Kyudo archers. Their bow is build to allow a wrist tilted forward. The lateral tilt does not exist there though.

Look at the Korean master archers. All of them keep the bow slightly tilted to the right. All archery legends do the same - Howard Hill, Fred Bear, Byron Ferguson to name just a few.

Olympic archers do not tilt the bow laterally, because it affects accuracy with sights and because they don't have to. They have the advantage of custom grips, which can put the wrist in virtually any position they like. Still, their bow arm is extended; the wrist is also extended but in a natural position.

Hmm..long post...maybe I should start writing a book about these things.

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7 (edited by Pedro C 2015-09-15 01:49:17)

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

Thanks for the post. It's not necessary to have the bow arm elbow pointing behind the archer, though? I find it difficult to straighten my arm more, too. I think I forgot to cant/tilt the bow to the right here, though I think I was trying to tilt it forward


what is form

My shoulder stopped hurting after a while then started hurting after each shot again the next day

I think it might be getting injured

thinking of making a PVC 20lb@33" bow, and coming up with some sort of workout plan

Thinking of doing these and some more, and taking whey protein http://bowsite.com/bowsite/features/bowdoc/shoulder/

edit: I think I was hunched forward too much. Just tried bringing my shoulders back and pushing the chest out like the warbow shooters do and it feels so different. It might make my draw length longer too

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

You don't need extra protein. I also had this pain, because of bad form. After some time, it went away, with good form.

Your alignment is good, body position looks good too. Draw length is perfect, forearm in line with the arrow.
- Bow arm elbow needs to be pointing to your left, not down. I tried to rotate my elbow to point down, and just by leaning against the wall and flexing the arm (doing "horizontal push ups" ) I can feel pain in the shoulder and I normally have no issue with the shoulder.

One more tip: Your arms still looks a bit stiff. Right hand remains still after the release, even comes forward a bit before going back. You can see this well at 0:21. It's a very fast but small creep, because the arm relaxes before the finger opens. You are holding the bow at full draw instead of maintaining the push-pull action. Keep pulling, ever so slightly, and start relaxing the thumb and the string should slip. While doing this, keep pulling. It should feel like the string slipped, not like you are letting it go. Like you are pulling a string and somebody lets go on the other side. The right hand goes flying backwards. This takes practice though, but try not to stop pulling, and the rest will come naturally.

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Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

Thank you! I will try

10 (edited by Pedro C 2015-09-15 05:59:34)

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

Thank you for pointing out the release

From Stephen Selby's explanation of Chinese Archery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKY9qILBrH4#t=7m40s

His arm appears to be pointing down too much now, at full draw

Hmm... I have trouble having the elbow point to the side like Olympic archers do. I very rarely get archer's kiss with it pointing up/down. I think it might be best if the joint points diagonally up and forward from the chest? Or should I keep trying to do the "olympic elbow" anyway?

I get less pain when I put my shoulders back and my shoulder blades together, either way (my shoulders tend to hunch..), but rotating the bow arm clockwise to make the joint point to the side seems to bring the shoulder up a bit. Maybe I could get used to it...

I wonder what exactly bluelake has meant by having the arm parallel to the string. Bow arm, as seen from above? (or from the bow/string cross section?) I feel like keeping it diagonal might work best for me

Thanks for the explanations

Re: why does my bow arm shoulder hurt?

Stephen also rotates his elbow to point sideways when he is at full draw. See also in part 4.

Anyway, these are all guidelines, you should find what works best for you because we all have our joints different. If it hurts now, try to move the elbow position.

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