Spare Your Arm in Archery
At the top of the list of the most irritating archery experiences for archery beginners is getting your bow arm repeatedly slashed by the string. When using your fingers to pull back the string, it instantly snaps back, vibrating upon release. But instead of moving forward to its original, resting position uninterrupted – it meets your bow arm instead! Ouch!
Maybe its time you do things properly for a change. To start, check the fingers of your string gripping hand and make sure that it is not too far from the inside. Try to imagine a straight line going across your hand starting from the grip down. If your hand is predominantly in the line, you will have to adjust your grip position.
Beginners think that placing your hand way out on the side and away from the bow string line will help avoid those nasty string slashes. Gripping the bow this way puts too much pressure right on the thumb and your hand which results in you losing your grip. A natural grip position will give you more control on the bow although in this position, the forearm is quite near the bow string recoil line. Generally, it boils down to the balance between your forearm position and your hand grip. The grip you want to achieve should feel natural and nearly effortless.
To avoid the slashed forearm scenario, the best arm position for a clear release is to put one elbow slightly rotated inward or downward. With the elbow in this position, you successfully remove the forearm out of the bow string's plane. So, you can now rotate your arm in a slightly down and in motion. Just make sure that you do not over rotate your arm keeping a steady hand in position. When you do this right, your bow string arm will fly flat with a lot more room for the bow string's vibration.
If it still does not work, do not fret, it is not yet the end of the world! This time you can try adjusting your stance instead of your grip. Try opening your stance to be able to give more room between you and the dreaded bow string. In essence, you are creating a larger triangle involving your bow hand, bow shoulder, and of course the anchor.
Continue by doing a closed stance with both feet perfectly aligned with the target. With this position you can now move your back foot a bit forward. If you are a female archer, you will find this stance quite useful since aside from hitting the forearm, the bowstring usually hits a far more sensitive spot, the breast.
If all else fails, the best explanation for this is that you are most probably anticipating the twang! It is perfectly alright since most beginners and intermediate archers do get caught up with this nasty dilemma. Here is what you should do; just stay relaxed putting your arm in an extended position just before the shot is released. All you do now is to put your arm along the path of the bow string and cause your arrow to fall short. Remember to just stay relaxed, the key here is to let the release be as natural and easy. Good luck!