[Warbow] Warbow Bow Arm Wrist Position

dgriswold93

New member
Hey everyone, I noticed while shooting the other day that my bow arms wrist becomes heavily bent when drawing my bow. The bow is only 80 lbs so I don't think high draw weight compression is really the issue. When I look at pictures of other warbow shooters shooting much heavier bows they do so with a straight wrist. Here is what I mean.

Below is more or less what I see when others are shooting. Note, this may be a slightly exaggerated neutral position.



Here is how much wrist looks at full draw. Notice how my forearm has turned slightly and my wrist is heavily bent.


Anybody have any clue what might cause this, and how I can remedy it? Its not uncomfortable but it does cause excessive wrist slap from the string, which is uncomfortable. I do have a suspicion that it has to do with the tiller of the bow. It was made by a professional bowyer who specializes in more Victorian style longbows than warbows.
 


English Bowman

Active member
I'm as certain as I can be without seeing you shoot that it's technique and nothing to do with the bow, but in order to know what you're doing I'd need to see a video. Even better would be for you to get to a club and let a coach have a look at what you are doing.
 


dgriswold93

New member
Thanks for the reply, maybe I will post a video. Part of me thinks you're right, but it is an odd feeling when drawing up this bow. It feels like the center of pressure is higher than the arrow pass. So when I pull it as intended like in the photos above, my hand is push backward no matter how hard I try to prevent it. I'm going to keep testing some different hand positions in the mean time.
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
You don't say what draw length... but more of that later. (or what shooting.. clout, roving, target....)
I think a lot of people make the mistake of cocking the wrist back.
I tend to do the opposite... note, I'm not saying either is "right" IMO there is no "right".
If you stick a bit of old arrow shaft along the back of you forearm and under your watch strap with it protruding up the back of your hand that will give a feel of what I mean.
You can still pivot your wrist down but it stops you cocking it back and up so much. Mind if this is too exagerated it can put too much pressure on the pad at the base of your thumb and bruise it... or it may rip your thumb clean off and send it over your shoulder :shocked: ( just kidding ;) )
A slightly tree hugging stance helps stop wrist slap too (check brace height too).
If you are shooting a long medieval draw at heavy weights, you reed to stick you chest out and your backside back to really get "in the bow", then you can end up more likely to whack your left pap with the string than your wrist!
Del
PS:- I think this post from my blog shows what I mean.
http://bowyersdiary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/shooting-90-longbow.html
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Looking at the two pictures I would have said that the top picture looks like you have made a fist and the bow has ended up inside that.
If I do the same thing with a round wooden handle in my hand and pull the handle towards me with my other hand, I notice that the pressure into my hand has to be resisted by stiffening my wrist. If I let my wrist relax a little while the pressure is on, the hand twists and the wrist bends so my grip looks exactly like the one in your second photo.
I can only think that a relaxed wrist is easier to maintain as the pressure from the bow is pushing the hand into that second position where it can stay with little effort.
If I try to maintain that top picture hold on the handle, I can feel the pressure trying to push my thumb away from the palm of my hand as if trying to open my hand by pulling the thumb back.

The top picture is the hold my hand moves to if someone tries to pull the handle out of my hand from in front.
 


dgriswold93

New member
Thanks guys, this is educational. I think I am doing as geoffretired says, drawing with a relaxed wrist. This causes me to "cock my wrist back" as Del puts it. FYI I am shooting with a long medieval style draw. The trouble is, if I try to draw without cocking my wrist back it results in too much pressure on the pad of my thumb, and it is freakin hard to even draw the thing. It feels like the bow is about to fly out of my hand. My wrist also still bends back even when I do this. I can't shake the feeling that the bows tiller is to blame. Could it be how my elbow is oriented? Maybe it's just the way my hand is built.

On the subject of wrist slap, my brace height is about 6.5 inches, so I really don't want to go any higher than that.

I went ahead and added I video of me drawing this same bow.
[video=youtube;OlDyNNddi7s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlDyNNddi7s&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Holding the bow as you do in picture 1 is making the bow press against your hand in such a way that it is forcing your hand to change its position.The pressure on the thumb pad is saying it wants to get out of that situation.
With your hand as in picture2 it starts in a position that puts the pressure where things are in balance and there is no tendency to be forced into a different one.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=gymnastic+pommel+horse&safe=active&biw=1365&bih=920&tbm=isch&imgil=UDMpto8blt1hQM%3A%3B48TiPt1X9bwoEM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.rio2016.com%252Fen%252Fartistic-gymnastics-standings-ga-mens-pommel-horse&source=iu&pf=m&fir=UDMpto8blt1hQM%3A%2C48TiPt1X9bwoEM%2C_&usg=__HpkHTYVCvUuJ_t1MEQUUoJd9JZc=&dpr=0.94&ved=0ahUKEwjSt5zLzdzQAhVFlSwKHXxXBqUQyjcIggE&ei=biFFWNLIOcWqsgH8rpmoCg#imgrc=UDMpto8blt1hQM:
Look at the guy's hand and notice he is taking all his weight with a hand position like yours from pict 2
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
Lots of small changes are prob all that is needed.
Don't take all the weight on the base of your thumb, but try not to cock the wrist so much. Rotating the arm a tad to bring the elbow higher will also help. E.G from your view point rotate the arm as if turning the bow hand clockwise, you can also cant the bow over a good bit ( Dunno why people think holding a bow vertical is some how clever, funny or sensible... it makes no sense what so ever, unless you have modern "stuff" bolted to it! ).
Don't lock the elbow if you can avoid it (difficult with heavy bows)
Del
PS I doubt that tiller of the bow has anything to do with it, though brace height may be a factor.
 


dgriswold93

New member
Thanks guys. I'll try to experiment with lifting my elbow up a bit. Looking at a few pictures of Mark Stretton and Joe Gibbs it seems I am actually in pretty good company. Pictures with heavy long sleeves and bracers can obscure this wrist position a bit. It's hard to tell from the video but I do shoot with a slight cant to the bow. I'm just being nit picky with this stuff, everyone is going to shoot a bit different. I just don't want it to lead to poor accuracy.
 


dgriswold93

New member
Thanks Will, but why would I want to bend my arm? Shouldn't you make attempts to align your bone structure? If you look at some of the pictures Mark has on that blog post you can see his wrist looks more like mine than Glennan's. Plus, Glennan looks like a tall, long armed, narrows shouldered guy. I am none of these things so I wouldn't expect to look very similar to him when drawing a bow. On a side note, I've always found it difficult to lower my front shoulder, not sure why.
 


WillS

New member
The reason you find it hard to lower your front arm is because you're training yourself while over-bowed. You're relying on the skeleton to support the weight instead of the muscle. You MUST bend your bow arm.

Look at Joe shooting. he's the polar opposite of Glennan in terms of body shape, but also bends his arm heavily.

One way to be sure you're doing it right is to have a small bracer sitting just on the wrist. If you find the bow string is slapping you anywhere further up the arm it means you're locking that elbow too much, pushing the forearm into the path of the string.

Watch Joe's bow arm here - nice big bend at the elbow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8291x_WmHc0

And in this one, around the 1 minute mark. Hard to see when the camera is front on, granted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-2KLuAH4GY&t=1s

This one is good, you can see the permanent bend he keeps in the elbow here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-7AfioueLw
 


WillS

New member
Joe with a 180lb tatar bow


Jake Fenwick


Eirik trying to get into a 200lb bow, and you can see he's maintaining that bend despite being at his absolute max, instead of allowing the arm to lock
 


WillS

New member
From Mark's blog

"Pressure Zone:small zone below base of the thumb: 95 % of the force of draw rests; Remainder of palm and fingers for stabilisation; Result: Line of force, "hand-wrist-elbow-shoulderstays intact

Elbow: Try to keep your bow arm elbow a little flexed; do not straighten it completely"
 


WillS

New member
This one of Jake shows it perfectly I think. Jake's super comfortable at 120lb, so he's in pretty much perfect form in this picture. The angle of the bow arm is nice and clear.

 


dgriswold93

New member
Thanks again for all the posts Will. I don't want to be argumentative and I really appreciate all the time you've taken to help me out and I do respect your opinion. But the argument that "everyone is doing it so it must be correct" is simply a fallacy. Can you explain why you want to take the weight with the muscles and minimize the load taken on the skeleton? What sort of advantages does that bring? Also, I'm not completely locking my elbow, I just don't bend it. Its pretty hard to see from the angle in the video. The wrist is exactly where the string strikes me when shooting. I also would have to disagree that I am over-bowed at 80 lbs, its really quite easy. Nevertheless, I will try to practice with a lowered shoulder. Thanks again for the help, Will.
 


WillS

New member
I don't know the whys and wherefores of it all. As far as I'm aware, having a straight arm puts all the load onto the joint, which is bad news. Bending the arm forces the muscle and tendon to do the work instead, which is far safer. Look on Google for details - I searched for "bent arm archery" and got thousands of results of detailed accounts and information on correct form.

You may not feel over bowed, but if you can't lower the shoulder I'd say you were. Just pulling back a bow doesn't mean you're in control of it. Try it with a 40lb bow while deliberately focusing on dropping the shoulder and I bet you'll see it happen. You're almost certainly just relying on slightly different muscle groups to control your bow, instead of the right ones as a result of the weight and a result of not training your body correctly to start with. The heavier the bow the quicker the form disappears if it's not second nature. If you're 10lb over your control weight you won't feel over bowed, but your form and technique will show it.
 


dgriswold93

New member
My goodness Will, you are up late. I'm in the U.S. so I have an excuse for posting so late :). I just tried the low shoulder position, I was able to get it, but it feels very weird. I'm feelin the burn in my forward shoulder. I wasn't trying to argue that a bent arm was bad. I can see why completely straightening, and especially hyper extending, your arm could be very bad in the long run. I just think bending your arm to the degree seen above can make drawing these bows harder than it needs to be. Most of what I've read over my years over doing archery is to keep a straight BUT not locked arm, which is what I was doing. But hey, I've never done more than 120, so I really don't have the practical knowledge some of these guys do. I'll work on this low shoulder thing and see if my shooting gets better.
 


dgriswold93

New member
Alright Will, I've been working on this shoulder issue and it has proven to be very frustrating. It seems that no matter what I do I cannot lower my shoulder like it is shown in the images you posted. Even with a 35 lb recurve I have to contort my body into odd uncomfortable shapes to get close, and it is still not exactly like what you posted. In fact, the only way I have gotten such form is when I watched an old video of me pulling my 80 lber with a 40-50 lb band. I am way overbowed and my body found that position. I'm not even reaching 30 inches. Here are some snapshots:




So, I really don't know why I am having such issues with this with lower weights.
 


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