How to Draw a Bow Properly? (Beginners Guide)

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During the Middle Ages, an adroit long-bowman could deliver between 10 to 12 arrows each minute. That is an arrow every five to six seconds!

Now that’s definitely an insane skill.

What’s more, these archers were good at drawing bows.

However, though you’ll need a good aim and understanding of basics to reach that level, drawing a bow is also crucial.

I need to get into that slightly more; however, before I do, allow me to clarify my plan here.

This short guide will help you understand why bow drawing is necessary and how it helps, along with how you can draw a bow correctly. Plus, I’ll also help you get a clear understanding of the basics that you should be acquainted with if you want to learn to draw the bow.

I will thrash out about drawing the bow at full length (or also known as Real Full Draw).

So stay tuned and keep scrolling.

Basics of Archery Before Drawing a Bow

Basics of Archery Before Drawing a Bow

Now, I am anticipating that you are well versed in the basic steps that are necessary to follow before drawing a bow.

The basic steps being, stance, gripping the bow, arrow notch, hook, drawing it, releasing it, and follow up. (Don’t worry, I’ll go over each topic)

However, I thought maybe it’s better to give a reiteration so that you can get a refresher course — especially if you are a beginner.


By far, the most important thing to understand is how you stand on the shooting line.

Understanding this will make it easy or hard for you, depending on your flexibility and strength.

Generally, you are supposed to be standing perpendicular to your target that is 90 degrees.

While doing so, you should be keeping your body as straight as possible without leaning.

Next, ensure that your foot is shoulder-wide apart. Your less dominant foot should be pointed towards the target.

Meaning, if you are left-handed, your right foot should be aligned towards the target and vice versa (right-handed, left foot).

Generally, the basic stance is keeping your feet even with each other according to the target.

Therefore, if you draw the line at the front of your shoes, it would face the spot you mean to hit.

Since you are not twisting in this stance, it will help align your shoulders, and you won’t feel any tension through your torso.

You see, selecting the right stance is an essential first step to get ready with your shot.

That said, you should be patient and play around with different forms to see what works the best.

Holding the Bow (Gripping)

Holding the Bow

When it comes to consistency and accuracy, look no further than holding the bow as it can increase or decrease your accuracy.

If you want your grip to be the most effective, you need to rest the bow on your thumb pad or otherwise known as Thenar Eminence.

By using this as the contact point for your grip, you are enforcing the Bone to Bone form, which basically means that you are using fewer muscles.

Moreover, you are facilitating your bow grip to be placed in the same place every time.

You should also make sure that you are holding the bow in your dominant hand.

You will find a grip handle where you can gently hold the bow, no need to clutch it.

Don’t hold the bow tightly; many newcomers make this mistake; it just increments the possibility of inaccuracy.

When you hold the bow, you will find that your knuckles and fingers are slightly off in angle to the bow riser.

Generally, the optimum angle is 45 ° from the riser.

I would recommend playing a bit with different angles to find the sweet spot that works wonders for you.

With that said, always keep in mind to relax your thumb pad as possible. Relaxed fingers and hands are vital for a better and effective grip.

Notching the Arrow

The next step is relatively easy; all you have to do is load your arrow.

You can do that by fitting the end of the arrow or the notch cut on the string.

You can even do this step before lifting the bow or drawing it.

Hook the Bowstring

Once you have your proper stance, grip, and notched an arrow. It’s time for you to hook the bowstring.

Hooking the bowstring simply means placing your fingers to hold the bow.

Generally, you’ll be using three fingers: Index, Middle, and Ring fingers to hold the bow, but in different styles.

Using these three fingers to draw is called a Mediterranean draw.

Traditionally, you’ll be placing your index finger above the arrow notch and the other two (middle and ring) below the notch.

This type is generally called Split Shooting or Deep Hook.

You can also use the Three under type to draw your bow, which is holding the string by keeping your three fingers below the notch, hence the name.

A shallow hook means to grab the bowstrings closer to your fingertips. It offers a fast release that feels cleaner.

However, you will feel a bit more tension in the string hand than you’d feel before.

Now Coming to the Pertinent Question — How to Draw the Bow Correctly and Other Follow-ups

How to Draw the Bow Correctly

Once you are over the basics, it’s time for you to draw the bow.

Generally, new archers feel like brute strength and force are what is needed.

However, I am here to tell you that: It’s Wrong!

Archery is a sport known to be played in a relaxed state of mind, and sudden force on the bow or yanking the string is not the right way to draw a bow.

So how do you do it correctly?

Well, for that, you’ll have to be good with the basics, and now that you are, let’s draw a bow.

First of all, look at your fingers, arms, shoulders, and feet.

Once everything seems good to go, you can start to draw the bow.

Though you might have heard that you’ll have to use your back muscle to draw a bow, but your drawing arm’s bicep will have to do a ton of work while you are beginning to draw the bow.

That said, you’ll still have to use your back muscles from the start.

Back muscles are really imperative and most used when it comes to drawing the bow.

So what you’ll do is, you’ll draw the bow in a single smooth movement without interrupting or stopping.

You can do this by using your bicep and back muscles. And for that, you’ll have to move your shoulder blades onto one another.

At the point when your hand moves toward the face, you are finished with drawing the bow.

Keeping that in mind, ensure that you are using your dominant hand for drawing the bow, and are keeping your head straight all the time.

Furthermore, make sure to lock your bow and keep it straight; it will help you draw the bow effortlessly.

Your elbow should be parallel to the arrow or raised a bit but shouldn’t be raised too much.

Your shoulders stay down, and your backs are straight. Just like a small t-shape, so keep the shape in your mind.

You’ve to become at.

Quick Summary

To improve your draw, here are things we have summarized.

  • Remember to Use Your Back and Not Just Your Biceps:- Using only your arms will be tiresome and challenging. Therefore, use your back muscles as well; you’ll tire a lot less.
  • Keep Your Head Straight and Draw the Bow Smoothly:- Ensure that you keep your head straight while drawing the bow in a smooth and single movement. Don’t stop or interrupt it, and please don’t yank the string.
  • Lock Your Elbows and Keep Them Straight:- Locking your elbow will make the drawing process more accessible and better.
  • Repeat and Take Your Time:- Archery is all about staying calm, repeating, and being consistent. It will take time to get better at this sport; you’ll have to repeat precisely every step to land your shots consistently. And that, my friend, takes time, so don’t lose your cool and rush things.

Anchor Point

Once you have drawn your bow, you reach the anchor point.

The anchor point is crucial as it develops a routine that you can follow every time you let an arrow fly.

So basically, an anchor point is the state or position of your body at full draw or stretched string; it’s when you pull the string to make a shot.

The anchor points facilitate getting acclimatized with the position so that it becomes easier the next time you try to draw your bow.

Release or Execution

Once you are done with all the process, it’s time to aim and let the arrow fly.

Though it sounds simple, releasing the bow has its subtleness.

You have to relax your fingers — only fingers, not hands.

You can hold the strings on your fingertips, so they slip easier.

Keep your back engaged as the arrow leaves the bow.


Archers should not stop when they release their arrow; the string hand should move away from the bow once released.

The body stays consistent, and the arms stay up, making a T shape.

Strong and better follow-throughs can help you land your shots better and effectively.

Why is Bow Draw Important?

Getting better at drawing a bow is critical — especially if you aim to become a better and high-level archer.

You see, when you get better at drawing bow, you can also discover Real Full Draw.

When you are at full draw, your whole body becomes more stable, and you get a sense of control over your body. And thus, you can control your direction and expansion as your body is in alignment.

That’s a Real Full Draw.

As a result, your release will be much stronger and better than the archer who has not reached such a position.

This may seem like hyperbole, but trust me, it’s a level of experience that I’ve understood from the Pros.

The key here is to control your expansion yet keep your body still. The archers who can get to a real full draw have a significant advantage in the wind.

So What is Real Full Draw? And How it Differs from a Full Draw?

That’s a good question. You see, a full draw is a position when you have finished drawing the bow and reached your anchor point.

But this simply means that if you reach your anchor point, you are at full draw.

So by simply drawing the bow and coming to anchor is not a Real Full Draw.

The real full draw is a different term and a different thing.

It typically means that an archer or toxophilite has reached their anchor position and drawn the bow while their body is in complete alignment, and so they can feel the force of the bow through their bones and back.

This sounds like fantasy, but it is accurate, as experienced and pro archers know better.

To get to this stage, you’ll have to consciously feel full draw on every single shot. The difference between a full draw and a real full draw is hardly discernible.

You must actively move on each shot to understand the real full draw.

To feel the real full draw, I would recommend working with a light band and then move to a light bow and onto your own bow.

Practicing Full Draw Holds and shooting without clickers are excellent ways and drills to learn this skill and accelerate your learning to understand where a real full draw is.

Wrapping Up

Now that you are good with the basics and know how to draw a bow correctly. I would suggest keeping practicing till you get familiar with all the steps.

Remember, consistency is the key to learn archery; you will have to reproduce every step and master it to become a high-level archer.

Keep practicing and repeating your style till you become the master.

To reach the Real Full Draw state, you will have to work up a lot, so get excited — it’s exhilarating.

That’s it, I will take my leave. Thank you for reading this post; hopefully, I’ve cleared your doubts, and you’ve learned a few things along the way.

Should you require any assistance with any qualms, just comment them down and don’t hesitate.