Archery Stance: Positions For Better Results

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With a proper archery posture, I have found that it results in more consistent shooting. A good stance is especially important for beginners to learn early on to give you a solid foundation to build your skills upon.

In this article, I take a look at the different aspects of a stance and what kind of stance can help improve your accuracy shooting a bow.

Body Position to Make a Perfect Archery Shot

By getting the whole body into the right stance from your torso, head, and shoulder, you will be amazed at the results.

What is a Closed Stance?

When using the closed stance, you place your feet spread out with the front foot ahead of the rear. Your hips closed to the target as well.

The closed archery position is one of many variations, but all of them require you to keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Furthermore, the knees always slightly bent.

With a neutral stance, your feet are even with each other and perpendicular to the arrow. The hips are parallel when at full draw to the arrow.

While the open stance has a slight stagger of the feet with the front foot behind the rear one, with the hips open to the target, so which one is right for you? It all comes down to preference.

We recommend you try all of them and pick one that works best for you.

archery stance

The Correct Torso Stance

Having the incorrect torso position can affect your shot, as the torso needs to be straight up in line with the collarbone remaining parallel to the arrow.

The hips must not be backward, away, or forward from your bow. Furthermore, never bend the hips in the left or right position. If it does, it will cause you to lean away or into your bow.


How should your head position be?

Once you have chosen the stance, you plan to use and have the torso positioned correctly always hold the head up straight. Keep the chin level to the ground and turn the face downrange to align the head.

The Right Shoulder Position

Here the important thing is that your release arm should fall naturally into position when the lower limb and elbows in place. The bow arm shoulder needs positioning naturally.

Never shrug your shoulders back as it causes a high shoulder. Furthermore, never overextend it forward as it creates a low shoulder.

What’s more, the elbow on the discharge arm must point straight away from the target and the forearm equivalent to the ground. The bow arm elbow, you need to point outward with a slight downward angle away from your bow.

This is the correct position for your bow arm when shooting. You will notice if done the right way the bow arm elbow has a slight bend with the hand positioning itself properly. The thumb will be roughly at a 45° angle.

If you are a beginner archer, we recommend you start with the basic stance by doing the following:

  1. Start with both your feet placed on each side of the shooting line. If you have a right-hand bow the left foot is forward of the shooting line while the right foots forward if you use a left-hand bow
  2. Now make sure you spread your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Once apart, rotate your feet into a square stance parallel with the shooting line.
  4. Stand up nice and straight with your chin rotated over your shoulder as close to your arm holding the bow.
  5. Now tuck your hips under the upper body as you do to flatten your lower back.
  6. Now you need to lower your chest and ribs in a downward position towards the stomach and push the shoulders downward.

Great, now that you have mastered the archery stance, the last thing you need to do is get your anchor point. For recurve shooters the bowstrings under the chin or sometimes in the corner of the mouth.

Compared to recurve-bows the compound bow archer the anchors found along (behind) the jawbone. The important thing is to find a natural anchor point to hold consistently there at full draw with every shot.

Archery Form for Recurve Shooting

For recurve bow shooting have the top stance here to get the best archery form to make a perfect shot.

  • Body Alignment – whether you use a compound or recurve bow hold an upright posture. The heads rotated effortlessly without causing strain. (Refer back to the best body position for archery in the article.)
  • The Hook – your fingers needs to hook around the bowstring either using a shallow or deep hook. To do this, you need to place the first three fingers with the arrow notch held between the first two fingers. Pull back the string until your index fingers anchored and use the same point with every draw of the bow.
  • Opening through the Clicker – you can do this in several ways by push-pull, pushing, or pulling. With pulling, keep your bow arm static and pull through the clicker. During pushing, hold the anchor static while pushing the riser towards the target to go through the clicker. While the push-pull expansion combines both methods as you pull the bowstring while pushing with the bow arm expanding the draw length in both directions.
  • The Follow-Through – here your form needs to remain even after releasing the arrow. Your bow and drawing arm need to continue in the direction it pushed and pulled to complete the shot.

Final Thoughts

First, you need to get the right stance to draw your bow as it plays a vital role to control the accuracy and strength of each shot.

Always repeat and repeat the process by thinking where you have your feet how your bodies positioned and if your posture is correct. You can do this for up to an hour and the muscle memory kicks in automatically to do it without thinking.

Stay focused to get the steps correct, and gradually your stance will become accurate. Most importantly, practice as often as you can at home or the range.

Lastly, when practicing at home, we recommend you do it in front of mirror that is tall to see all issues you need to rectify in your stance.


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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