How to Improve Stance in Archery?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Stance is an essential foundation for archers and the primary source for accurate shooting.

Stance is known as the backbone of archery. It is the posture of an archer while taking a shot. For correct posture, you must be in line with the seven considerations that are width of stance, direction of stance, angle of feet, the center of the body, arm and elbow position, head position, and shoulder position. The better the stance, the more accurate the shot. 

To achieve consistency in your shooting, you must have a good stance. Good posture will help harness the power of your bow and make it easier to hit your target every time. 

However, many beginners overlook its importance. It takes some time to adapt and learn the correct stance, but it plays a deep role in archers’ success and consistent shooting.  

Here in this article, I will discuss the seven considerations for correct stance and posture and how you can improve your stance.

So, let’s get started:

7 Considerations for Accurate Stance

1-Width of stance 

First thing to consider is the width of the stance. This will depend on the physique of the archer, as different archers have different physiques. You can follow a short tip, that is, if you want to determine the width of your stance, spread your feet to the same width as according to your shoulders. 

When you lift the bow to shoot an arrow, your feet supports your upper body weight. For the best stance, the weight of the upper body should be distributed between both feet, and the archer should maintain a vertical center line of the body.

The stance should neither be too narrow nor too wide. With a narrow stance, you will find it difficult to maintain the balance of your body. And with a wider stance, more tension is applied to the lower body, and this will create insufficient flexibility for the whole body.

2-Direction of stance

You can adopt an open stance, closed stance, and square stance. A square stance is best as this also reflects the natural posture normally people have in daily life. This helps in creating a fixed posture naturally and in a comfortable way. In a square stance, your shoulder, waist, hips, and feet are not just in the forward direction but also in the direction of the flying arrow.

The square stance is also suitable for beginners as it can be easily adapted with little practice as compared to open and close stances, which are comparatively difficult. 

For an open stance, the direction of the waist should be in a straight line with the shooting position. Also, keep in mind that the position of the shoulder is affected by the direction of the waist. And if the shoulder position is not accurate, you will not be able to make a correct body line at full draw.

3-Angle of feet

You also have to be careful at your feet’ angle as it plays a vital role in forming the correct stance. When the toes are more outwards (Fig 1), then the pelvis becomes open, the center of the body moves back towards the heels, and the chest rises.

Similarly, if the toes point more towards the inside, then the center of the body gets towards the front (Fig 2).

If the angles of both feet are different, then you might feel fatigue in your lower body, and weight distribution on your feet will be unequal. 

So, the best practice is to have an angle of feet slightly open at around 10 degrees, as shown (Fig 3).

4-Centre of body

For the best stance, the center of the body must be in line with the center of gravity that is above the center point between the two feet. Having a center line of the body towards the left foot or right foot is not a good practice as it will cause a change in the angle of the waist. And this change in the angle of the waist will affect the center line of the whole body.

The center of the stance should be fixed, and you should maintain it during pre-draw and when the bow is being drawn.

5-Arm & Elbow Position

Arm and elbow position is vital for correct posture and stance. A slight movement in your arm position can change the overall direction of the arrow. Incorrectly positioning your elbow while shooting a bow can result in several problems as well. First, if the elbow on your release arm is not pointing straight away from the target, it will be difficult to get a straight shot. Second, if the elbow on your bow arm is pointing directly downward, the bowstring is more likely to slap your forearm during the shot, which can be painful and disrupt your aim.

Point your elbow at a slightly outwards and downward position away from the bow for correct posture and accurate shot. 

6-Head Position

A stable head position is essential for a perfect stance. Once everything else is aligned, hold your head up and straight. The position of your head should be towards the target. In a correct head position, you would be able to see the target from the side and above your nose level.

Your neck should be relaxed as well throughout the shot, as it will help you for better execution. 

7-Shoulder Position

The last consideration for stance is shoulder position. Your shoulders play an important role in drawing the bow and execution of the shot. But there are two main problems to consider when it comes to your bow arm’s shoulder position that are high or low shoulder. 

Your shoulder should be in a natural position without being too high or low during your aim.

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