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Old 06-26-2018, 02:42 PM   #1
MedicineMan7
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Default Increased draw length

I've been in the trad bow game for going on 17 plus years now, first learning how to shoot with a selfbow off my knuckle that was built to the exact specs as Ishi's main hunting bow. I've had tons of mentors along the way giving me tid bits of info here and there that have helped me refine my shooting along the way (and thankfully still get it from folks to this day), but was never really told how to shoot other than in the beginng, by my old neighbor and best buddy, who only shot Indian style selfbows he built. His thoughts were "lean over a bit, focus on your spot, draw it back to anchor and let it go". I took that advice and ran with it, slowly over the years changing over the years to come up with however it is I shoot now.
With all that rambling being said, I was never really told or taught how to really shoot with our use my back muscles until several years ago. When I figured out how much more beneficial it was to use my back vs my arms, everything really started coming together. Even when I figured this out, my draw length always hovered around the 27" area. A couple years ago, I decided to change anchor spots in hopes of getting a little extra out of my setups, which resulted in me getting comfortably to 27 1/2" by simply drawing to my cheekbone vs to the corner of my mouth. Fast forward to the first part of this year, I began really working out a lot (4-5 times a week) trying to build muscle and gain strength to comfortable shoot my heavy bows for my buffalo hunt. After a couple months of it, I started shooting my "light" bow (65lbs) more regular and working on setups for it. In doing so, I had my wife mark a couple arrow shafts for me to check my draw length. Pulling the 65lb bow, 3 different shafts were marked once I hit full draw and I was just under 28" on all of them. I wasn't trying to get any "extra" or pull any further than I regularly would either.

This past weekend, I had my wife go through the same process with me drawing my 65'b bow back to full draw and her marking three different arrows. The first two arrows were drawn and marked, then the third was marked and she said she marked it a bit early so it might be off, but we just went with it. The first two measured 28 3/4" and the last was 28 1/2" !! I acutally went and got another tape measure to see if I was just seeing things, but it said the same! I'm not a big guy by no means of the imagination, and I'd have never ever believed someone if they'd have said I could have a draw that long without doing something weird to achieve it, and to have it on a 65lb trad bow! Makes me feel like the workouts are really doing some good after all!

Has anyone else experienced an increased draw length like that? Basically, I've went from drawing 27" to 28 3/4" in the last 3 to 4 years, and I haven't grown and inch!!!!
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
Dragonheart
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I have to ask, are you marking arrows and shooting them, or just drawing the bow back?

When we shoot, we are under the dynamic tension of the shot and I have found this is better test for actual draw length.

I use mark arrows with a sharpie line at 26, 27, 28 or close to draw length, then have a witness watch as I actually shoot.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:57 PM   #3
RJH1
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How tall are you. and what "should" your draw be by measuring wingspan? I would guess that you are leaning less and instead of the "traditional" crouch shooting when you started using more back tension and straightening up a little, but that is just a guess
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:48 PM   #4
RickBarbee
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Proper form will usually lend itself to more expansion (longer draw), but I am wondering if your strength building has increased the girth of your upper body, which "might" also lend itself to some longer draw length.

I'm not saying it did/does, it's just a thought, but I sure would have been interested in your chest, and shoulder measurements before, and after your work out.

Anyway - Congrats on your added power stroke, because more draw length is the only real way to get it.

Rick
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:51 PM   #5
Bisch
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Default Increased draw length

I always had a DL right at, or just above 28”. I went to a Rod Jenkins clinic in 2010. Rod is a big proponent of back tension. After about a year of working on what Rod taught me, my DL was a consistent 29.5”, and I was shooting better than I had ever thought I could shoot beforehand!

In 2016, I had an injury that still haunts me today, and affected my DL just a bit. It is now a consistent 29”, and I am still struggling to get my accuracy back where it was before the injury.

Bisch


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Last edited by Bisch; 06-26-2018 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:32 PM   #6
Bisch
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Rick’s interested in your measurements Shiloh!!!

Bisch


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Old 06-27-2018, 07:05 AM   #7
shortstroke 91
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I had a similar instance as Bisch with Rod's class. Anybody that's seen me knows I'm built like a garden gnome and I used to have a 28" DL but after working on my back and using it instead of my arms, along with the alignment work from Rod's class I comfortably draw to 29" now. When you compare the muscles in your arm to the rhomboid in your back it's easy to see which one will help your archery game more.

Good Luck with that upcoming hunt Shiloh, keep the updates coming.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:35 AM   #8
MedicineMan7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
I have to ask, are you marking arrows and shooting them, or just drawing the bow back?

When we shoot, we are under the dynamic tension of the shot and I have found this is better test for actual draw length.

I use mark arrows with a sharpie line at 26, 27, 28 or close to draw length, then have a witness watch as I actually shoot.
Basically, both. I say basically in that with the way I shoot, I truly can't nock an arrow, draw it back, and hold. When I draw, as soon as I hit my anchor, my mind goes into autopilot and says "RELEASE!!!". So, marking the arrows was a bit tricky for my wife, because once I hit full draw, I either have to let down or let go.
After marking the arrows, I while I was shooting, I would consciously look at my arrow as I drew back to see where the marks were and also on other arrows how much was out past the shelf. On a couple that I didn't have marked (different set of arrows) I was actually pulling back to where the point was almost drawn into the window of my shelf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH1 View Post
How tall are you. and what "should" your draw be by measuring wingspan? I would guess that you are leaning less and instead of the "traditional" crouch shooting when you started using more back tension and straightening up a little, but that is just a guess
I'm right at 5'8", but really don't know that there would be a set length I should be drawing at. I think that would vary a lot from one guy to the next who is about the same height.
Haven't had anyone watch really, but it doesn't "feel" like anything is different concerning my stance/shooting style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBarbee View Post
Proper form will usually lend itself to more expansion (longer draw), but I am wondering if your strength building has increased the girth of your upper body, which "might" also lend itself to some longer draw length.

I'm not saying it did/does, it's just a thought, but I sure would have been interested in your chest, and shoulder measurements before, and after your work out.

Anyway - Congrats on your added power stroke, because more draw length is the only real way to get it.

Rick
I cant really say that I've turned into Arnold Schwarzenegger by any means, but can definitely tell a difference in my body compared to just a couple months ago. I've been on the "keto" diet with my wife for going on a month now as well, with little weight change during that time, but feel like I've had muscle gains, so there has been a lot going on with my body.

I've always worked out fairly routinely at least 2 or 3 days a week, but have always just cycled between the same workouts just basically to stay in shape. I've got a trainer working with me now and he writes up new workouts for me every week trying to build on what we've done the week before, with emphasis on my back and shoulders, but also on everything else as well. I'm fortunate in that I have a gym literally across the parking lot from where I work which I have free access to, so I go over on my lunch break every day. Bad part about it though is I have something sore nearly every day, and once I get over the soreness in one spot, its time to start working it out at again! Overall though, I can definitely tell my strength has increased during the last few months.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisch View Post
I always had a DL right at, or just above 28”. I went to a Rod Jenkins clinic in 2010. Rod is a big proponent of back tension. After about a year of working on what Rod taught me, my DL was a consistent 29.5”, and I was shooting better than I had ever thought I could shoot beforehand!

In 2016, I had an injury that still haunts me today, and affected my DL just a bit. It is now a consistent 29”, and I am still struggling to get my accuracy back where it was before the injury.

Bisch


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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstroke 91 View Post
I had a similar instance as Bisch with Rod's class. Anybody that's seen me knows I'm built like a garden gnome and I used to have a 28" DL but after working on my back and using it instead of my arms, along with the alignment work from Rod's class I comfortably draw to 29" now. When you compare the muscles in your arm to the rhomboid in your back it's easy to see which one will help your archery game more.

Good Luck with that upcoming hunt Shiloh, keep the updates coming.
I really think adding more back tension has been the biggest factor in the whole process, just blows my mind because I've always thought that I used my back muscles to draw.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:02 AM   #10
shortstroke 91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedicineMan7 View Post
I really think adding more back tension has been the biggest factor in the whole process, just blows my mind because I've always thought that I used my back muscles to draw.
Everybody does until you put a form-master on them and have them draw a bow. It'll let you know right quick if you're using your back or arms. Can't remember which MBB it is but Darryl Quidort is an example I remember. Shooting with fingers everything looks normal, put a form master on him and he can't get the bow back.

This was one of the reasons I kept my wheel bow for so long after I switched to trad. Put a wrist release on and just use your back to draw over and over, it helped me learn to use my back more.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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That's why today's compounds are so much easier. You can draw and hold a long time using back tension properly. Even while laying your bow arm on your knee and relaxing your upper string arm.

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Old 06-27-2018, 12:23 PM   #12
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WELL ok...
so if the bow your shooting is 65@28 it's now putting out 67 or more, and the arrow spine that once shot center now shoots weak..
last month you were shooting to the right quite a bit...HMMMMM
this would also apply to any other bow your shooting...HMMMMM
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:12 PM   #13
MedicineMan7
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Originally Posted by JEFFRO View Post
WELL ok...
so if the bow your shooting is 65@28 it's now putting out 67 or more, and the arrow spine that once shot center now shoots weak..
last month you were shooting to the right quite a bit...HMMMMM
this would also apply to any other bow your shooting...HMMMMM
Yes, should be around 66lbs or so. My woodies still fly absolutely 100% like darts, carbons do have a bit of a wobble, but I have been playing with different weight points on them too.

The right issues have been fixed with a little extra padding in the window.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:09 PM   #14
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I notice it when I bulked up. Even if you don't use back tension, I think you would see a benefit. Because lets be real... even 50# is a lot of weight to brace and pull/hold on your shoulders/arms. When you do strength training and get stronger than you need to draw the bow (vs just being strong enough to draw the bow) then you tend to settle into your anchor without collapsing through the draw. Your face doesn't lean in as much, all those things you do when you collapse during the hold can happen while you are trying to actually GET to anchor... back tension or not.

I've currently reduced my shooting post surgery as I am back at the gym trying to get my shoulder/arm/back strength back. I notice I start collapsing very early in a training session (getting better) and it affects everything.

I've noticed a few benefits to strength training. the two best are shooting is "easier" and the ladies (in my case I care about only one) like it!
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:17 PM   #15
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How many dozen have you built him lately Jeffro. :-). Arvin
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:29 AM   #16
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How many dozen have you built him lately Jeffro. :-). Arvin
, not a 1, Mr. Shiloh likes good arrows, I have to get neetz to build his....
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