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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Shooters FORM Forum » Back tension and expansion. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Back tension and expansion.
Jock Whisky
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Back tension I get. I can feel it when it engages and if all goes well I can shoot pretty well. I've been trying to figger out what expansion consists of and I may have stumbled on the answer... at least for me.

When I was shooting a couple of days ago I found with my back tension set and everything settled in, if I moved my elbow and shoulder back ever so slightly, perpendicular to the line to the target I could shoot like a hot damn. Is that movement anything like "expansion"???

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moebow
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I think you have it Jock! That final "press" opens the chest JUST A LITTLE. As you say, "ever so slightly" is also described as "internal movement" and is a small and very effective movement.

Arne

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USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

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Jock Whisky
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Thanks Arne. This stuff about "internal movement" had me bamboozled. Similar to finally understanding back tension I had to try a million things before the fog cleared on expansion. This site has been a Godsend.

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Old doesn't start until you hit three figures...and then it's negotiable

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moebow
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You are welcome Jock! So many times we describe something that a person just isn't ready for yet. The building blocks need to be in place before something can make sense OR be effective. I believe that many (I tend to too) jump too far ahead and just cloud the issue at hand.

Sometimes we need to "get there" before we can "be there."

Arne

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Draven
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Maybe we talk too much about "back tension" without telling that a "structure" can't be pushed further unless an element moves - and that element is the shoulder blade of the string arm. Anatomically you can't move it a lot once you are at anchor, but it's just enough to help to get a smooth release.
First time I heard about "back tension" I was thinking "dorsal muscles" when in reality it meant "rhomboids". I think sometimes we need to receive body mechanics directions instead "how it should feel" directions.

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moebow
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YES! I think too often we try to describe muscle activation when in reality it should be "move the bone." If you move the bone to the correct (best?) position the shooter will probably have the "back tension" needed. A person cannot flex JUST the string side rhomboid muscle, but they can easily move the string side scapula (shoulder) which is done with the rhomboid muscle.

Arne

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11 H Hill bows
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USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

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BWallace10327
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I have had some of those moments of clarity as well, but they can be fleeting. My understanding, as it pertains to expansion, is; anchor middle finger to lower canine tooth and rotate string side rhomboid thereby moving string arm back-thereby pulling string hand from string AS OPPOSED TO what I have been doing for a long time. Using back muscles to anchor and then pulling my hand through release without any further back movement. Am I correct?

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moebow
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Pretty much BW. In the NTS that I teach, release is not a step in the shot process. It simply occurs during expansion.

Arne

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11 H Hill bows
3 David Miller bows
4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

Are you willing to give up what you are; to become what you could be?

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McDave
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The distinction between a dynamic (pull through) release and a static release is beginning to blur in my mind. Just to review, a dynamic release is where backward physical movement of the arrow slows but does not ever completely stop at full draw, and the drawing hand ends up behind the neck or fingers touching the shoulder on conclusion of the shot. A static release is where backward movement of the arrow stops at full draw and the drawing hand pretty much stays in place on conclusion of the shot.

Two things that are causing the distinction in my mind to blur are the recent podcast with Joel Turner and my recent tune up session with Rick Welch. Joel is a proponent of the dynamic release, while Rick is a proponent of the static release.

In the podcast with Joel, they discuss expansion, which is why I posted this here. They discuss dynamic expansion, where there is movement of the arrow during the expansion phase, and static expansion, where there is no movement of the arrow. The only reason they make a distinction between the two is that Joel is a proponent of non-anticipatory triggers, and clickers or feather to nose triggers can be used with dynamic expansion, whiler a tab sear or some kind of trigger that is not dependent on any arrow movement is required with static expansion. I see no difference between static expansion and the the static release. To visualize static expansion, imagine standing in a doorway and pressing your hands against the door frame, as you expand (press) you are exerting more pressure on the door frame, but the door frame isn't moving.

In my recent tune up with Rick Welch, he identified my main issue as not maintaining back tension through release. In other words, I was creeping. We went through a number of exercises until he was confident that I could be aware of when I was creeping, and knew what to do about it. People normally don't associate back tension with the static release, but in Rick's view, it is as important in the static release as it is in the dynamic release.

In view of these two experiences, I'm beginning to view the static release and the dynamic release as two sides of the same coin: if you come to full draw and find that no further backward movement of the arrow is possible while you expand, you're using the static release; if you come to full draw and there is some backward movement of the arrow during expansion, then you're using the dynamic release. I think these are the only differences between the two, assuming both are correctly applied.

I thought I was making a choice to use the static release because I shot better that way. Now I'm coming to recognize that it wasn't so much of a choice as a recognition that different bodies work in different ways when shooting the bow.

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Draven
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quote:
Originally posted by McDave:

In view of these two experiences, I'm beginning to view the static release and the dynamic release as two sides of the same coin: if you come to full draw and find that no further backward movement of the arrow is possible while you expand, you're using the static release; if you come to full draw and there is some backward movement of the arrow during expansion, then you're using the dynamic release. I think these are the only differences between the two, assuming both are correctly applied.

I don't see it this way. What gives you so called consistency if you still move the arrow after anchor? Anchor is fix, single thing that you can move from a "structure" without affecting the result are those milimiters of the arrow gained while pushing the steady bow hand forward and pulling in same time to get the clean release. The pull after anchor with your shoulder blade has one single reason: to keep the string hand in the same plan, parallel with your face, while relaxing the fingers. Static release in this case is when the hand has no visual "recoil" (pull stops the moment the arrow went off) and dynamic release has that visual "recoil" (pull continues after the arrow went off).

The poundage of a bow can make your body to use one or another. I can see why Welch advocates "static" - most of the time his idea for a bow poundage is "you are capable to keep it steady 3 seconds" which is a heavy bow for the shooter - and why Turner advocates "dynamic" release - compound experience with very light poundage at anchor transgressing in traditional. None is wrong, both are talking about the same thing: RELEASE. But we have the tendency to be adjective followers, losing the main subject from our sight. Too many times you can see a hand moving on the shoulder without any other reason than "I was told to do it like this". Again, the issue with "body mechanics explained" vs "how you have to look".

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moebow
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To me, a "static release" is referencing the hand on the face and that hand not moving after anchor or after release. A "dynamic release" is the hand moving after release and not being held in place.

I suspect, that your perceptions as to the hand moving on the face are correct. Not an expert in this technique but the common thought of the feather eventually touching the nose does imply (to me) that there is some movement of the hand/nock end of the arrow moving back (away from the target).

I BELIEVE that the rotational draw is different. The hand and arrow DOES actually stop at the anchor point on the face. BUT the movement of the string arm elbow AND shoulder does not stop but continues to move perpendicular to the arrow line. Then during expansion, body mechanics make the bow hand and bow move (VERY SLIGHTLY)towards the target. This is what activates the clicker in this technique, not the movement of the arrow nock or string hand.

How does this work, you MAY ask? Think of an engine and the piston (string hand/arrow nock) in the cylinder reaching Bottom Dead Center. There is a bit of time where the piston (string hand) stops moving, slightly before BDC and remains essentially stopped until slightly after BDC. I'm NOT a mechanic but I believe this is called dwell?

So, the crank shaft (string elbow/string shoulder) is still moving, but at BDC it is moving perpendicular to the piston travel direction.

If these conditions are set up and shoulder/elbow movement is perpendicular to the arrow line the string hand and arrow nock stop at the anchor point. At release, that perpendicular movement will drag the string hand back along the cheek unless forcefully stopped by the shooter.

Not saying one is better than another although I AM a rotational draw advocate. What works for the shooter is what works! Interesting to discuss IMO but not worth getting too worked up about.

Arne

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11 H Hill bows
3 David Miller bows
4 James Berry bows
USA Archery, Level 4 NTS Coach

Are you willing to give up what you are; to become what you could be?

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Draven
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quote:
Originally posted by moebow:


I suspect, that your perceptions as to the hand moving on the face are correct. Not an expert in this technique but the common thought of the feather eventually touching the nose does imply (to me) that there is some movement of the hand/nock end of the arrow moving back (away from the target).

I thought the nose touching the feathers is the 3rd point of the anchor, not acting as a clicker. At least is how it was explained with the "3 legged chair" analogy. Used as it was meant to be (3 under, etc etc), I don't see how you can move the arrow backward while at anchor without getting all sort of strange touches on the nose and ruining the shot.
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McDave
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quote:
Static release in this case is when the hand has no visual "recoil" (pull stops the moment the arrow went off) and dynamic release has that visual "recoil" (pull continues after the arrow went off).
Actually, your definition of static release is what was causing me to have problems with creep. Rick teaches that it is as important to continue pull after release with the static release as it is with the dynamic release. It is a static pull rather than a dynamic pull. It is the static pull that causes a reduction of hand movement on release, rather than a cessation of pull (an important distinction). This was a difficult concept for me to grasp, as I went through several earlier tuneup sessions without fully understanding it, but when I finally did understand it, it was a real breakthrough for me.

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Draven
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I think I need to get some definitions there.
What means creeping while you are pulling with your shoulder blade?
I understand that you are overwhelmed by the bow poundage somehow while moving the shoulder blade. And is not a problem of release and pull but bow hand and string elbow. Am I right?
That "static" pull means nothing to me unless is explained as your shoulder blade is reaching the maximum movement in the space it has, without engaging the arm and elbow in the motion after the release. This is a personal thing, depending how mobile is your shoulder blade joint and when during that movement after the anchor relaxation of the fingers happens. I have max 1cm, 1.5cm as travel distance (between shoulder blade to anchor and shoulder blade natural extended) to play with and I am quite sure I don't release in first 0.5cm. But at the end, it counts how I feel it. I don't even think about the actual movements while shooting. I am doing it just here and is wrong in the way that we are not made the same in fine details. Fingers tips touching the face after release = "static" release for me.

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Sam McMichael
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I enjoy these discussions on back tension a lot. This is my biggest form issue. With proper back tension, I don't pluck the string, and my accuracy is much better. Much of the discussion of what actually takes place in regards to muscle contraction and bone placement is difficult for me to grasp, but I can sure tell when I don't have it right. I feel that back tension and picking a spot are the two most absolutely crucial components of the shot sequence. Just my thoughts.

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Sam

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