November 29, 2011
from A.A. of South Africa:
I have been attempting to follow your techniques as written in your book Total archery. I have slightly shorter length long bones in my arms compared to my torso. This means I have trouble getting good alignment because it is biomechanically not possible. To achieve an anchor I have to either raise my elbow tip up (not recommended on page 56) , or bring my elbow tip “forward of the line” (as described on page 57) or I have to raise my head or lean it backwards. I would like to know which is the lesser of the evils?
Be it as it may that you have slightly shorter length long bones in your arms, but the majority of archers do not have proper alignment, as is evident when you walk behind the shooting line of any competition and observe the archers.
One of the major causes is that at set up, when archers move the elbow back whilst drawing before the shoulder is set back. It is very important that LAN2 is the first body part to move with the drawing motion, as otherwise it will be nearly impossible to get inline.see attached picture and set up description below. Refer also to FAQ 68 on our website for some further clarity on LAN2.
Raising your elbow tip will prevent you from engaging the lower trapezius and latissimus muscle, essential for the transfer phase and as such is definitely not recommended. Leaning your head back is also not the answer, as that will introduce various other variables, detrimental to good form. As I said before, for most people it is not easy to get properly inline, basically due to incorrect drawing technique and lack of flexibility. If you haven't got access to a coach familiar with the KSL technique, I would suggest you study the attached and FAQ 68 and then see a sports physio and explain to him/her what you are trying to achieve. They would then be able to give you the appropriate flexibility exercises.
Setup position achieved, this archer is now ready to draw the bow. See how the drawing elbow is forward to the drawing shoulder, helping to compress the muscles of the back to give the proper angular direction for drawing. The biceps muscle is squeezing against the chest as though holding a pencil in the crook of the armpit. Note that this particular archer has a slightly low setup position. A more generally accepted positioning would have his drawing wrist at approximately the same elevation as his nose. The setup position should be absolutely no lower than is pictured here.