Hello and Welcome! You’re on step #1 of my “How to Shoot a Bow and Arrow” guide. We’ll go through the correct archery stance for novices in this article. We’ll begin with your feet and work our way up to your body, explaining in detail how you must position yourself to shoot with precision and accuracy.
The Square Stance: Best for Novice
There are numerous distinct archer postures, but the ideal one for novices is referred to as the square archery stance. Beginners can use it to perfectly re-create a solid foundation, draw an arrow firmly, and aim accurately. Here’s how to go about it:
Quick note: It’s probably best if you practice this a few times without a bow to get a feel for it.
What should you do with your Feet?
Step up to the firing line at your range and place both of your feet on each side of it (if your range has a “both-feet-behind-the-line” rule, do so instead!). It is known that your left foot will be your front foot if you’re right-handed; your right foot will be your front foot if you’re left-handed. Shuffle them back and forth until your feet are shoulder-width apart and parallel to the shooting line. Then, unwind.
What to Do with Your Knees
Bend your knees ever so slightly. You want to double-check that they aren’t locked since this would detract from your stability and control. Then unwind and enjoy it.
What to Do with Your Hips
This is simple: don’t move your hips! Only make sure they’re facing forward. The next step is to relax.
What to Do with Your Lower Back
Be sure your lower back is flat. You don’t want your lower back to be arched, with your butt or shoulders protruding behind—that’s poor form and may result in problems. Check to see that your lower back is correctly positioned, and then let go.
What to Do with Your Torso
This is critical. Your torso should be oriented straight ahead, parallel to the shooting line (and your target). Keep your back straight and upright like a tree, but don’t puff out your chest. Finally, new archers sometimes lean towards or away from the target (and occasionally even lean back), impacting your shot and damaging your back. Relax your mind.
What to Do with Your Shoulders
It’s critical to understand this because it’s something that many archers make mistakes with (I did when I was starting out!). You should be relaxed and not drawn up high. Shoulders are an essential component of the process, and if they’re misaligned, your shot and accuracy may be jeopardized.
What to do with Your Head
So, you’re standing there with your feet parallel, your knees slightly bent, your hips relaxed, your lower back relaxed, and your torso facing forward while keeping your shoulders down. Look straight ahead, and now – if you’re right-handed, keep your torso facing forward while turning your head to the left so that you can see your target; if you’re left-handed, keep your torso facing forward while turning your head to the right. Then.
Congratulations! You’ve mastered your archery stance and are ready to continue.
In Other Words
You might be thinking that it looks complex, but all you’re really aiming to do is stand with good posture while your feet are pointed in the same direction. That’s all there is to it.
You may also have noticed that I repeatedly used the word “Relax.” There’s a reason for it: the majority of your best archery shots—all those thousands of bull’s eyes you’ll get in the future—will be made when you’re calm and concentrated. The more effort and oomph you add to a shot, the less likely it is to succeed. As an archer, you’re always striving for calm precision. “Work smarter, not harder,” as they say.
The Open Stance
So, why didn’t we speak about a different standpoint (or the other ones, such as the closed posture and the neutral position)? Because they’re more difficult to repeat time and time again, and it makes things extremely tough for beginners. When you’re in a square posture, your feet are always in the same position.
When using an open stance, your back foot may always be in the same position, but your front foot has a tendency to shift (even for experienced archers). People that shoot with an open stance must be incredibly careful to make sure their open foot is in the same position every time they release the arrow. That’s a lot to expect from a new archer.
After some practice shooting with a square stance, you may learn about the different stances and determine which one is best for you.
Ensure that your stance is consistent
For whatever reason, people overlook that stance as any other draw component in that it’s a habit that must be practiced repeatedly. You’ll never shoot accurately or consistently if everything about your draw is PERFECT, but your stance varies slightly every time you shoot an arrow. Be aware of using the correct stance and doing so every time you shoot.
If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
This is a lot, I understand. When you’re just getting started, it may appear as though you have to consider every muscle in your body merely to fire a single arrow, which might seem rather difficult.
The best news is that after only a few minutes of practicing, you’ll be able to do the majority of this without thinking about it.
Most archers have “perfect” and “trouble” areas on their target. Some archers stand straight up without thinking about it, but they lock their knees; others are only relaxed in the muscle groups other than the shoulders. You’ll be able to accomplish various things successfully without thinking about it, and all you have to do is pay attention to your “trouble spots.”