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Coaching case study: Elbow height

Elbow height is often overlooked when assessing technique structure, but it is just as fundamental as correct alignment. When correct, it improves the stability of the archers expansion. When incorrect, the line of force is not linear for expansion, leading to unnecessary tension in the forearm, bicep and medial deltiod on the drawing side.

The correct way to determine the optimal elbow height is to create a line of force that is linear between the following three nodes:

  1. The pressure point in the grip of the bow.

  2. The approximate nock location at full draw.

  3. The olecranon (elbow point)

Note that this is NOT an extrapolation of the arrow line, and will usually fall 3-6° higher than the arrow line as measured from the plunger.

The below photos represent correct elbow height:

Below, you can see another case study showing before / after photos of an archer after correction of the elbow position. The green line represents the 'after' case, and the red the 'before' case.

Before, where the elbow position is too high, this leads to a lost connection of the scapular retractors during expansion. In this instance, the high drawing elbow was fixed by dropping the drawing side shoulder.

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