I have been reluctant, until now, to take time away from the range to do other exercises. Shooting brings me a type of tranquility that I can’t find elsewhere. But I want to improve, and at this point, to improve I must train my body away from the range, so that it will perform at the range.
See that muscle on the left hand side, the trapezius muscle? In my right shoulder, much more than my left, I carry all my stress, tension, anxiety, and bad things from the past in that muscle. The trapezius is important to archery. It’s necessary for drawing properly and for holding up the bow. But for me, the top of the trapezius wants to do all the heavy lifting. All of it. So my shoulder tends to lift, rising towards my ear. This is bad form. It brings me out of alignment and the muscles that are supposed to do the work are left out of the loop.
See the deltoid and the latissimus dorsi, and the tricep (actually the tricep isn’t pictured)? Those are the ones who are supposed to do the work. But they are muted if my shoulder lifts.
I have to get my shoulder down. I thought I was succeeding at that, but I wasn’t. And I have made a commitment to myself that I will do whatever it takes to improve and do well in competition.
So how to keep the shoulder down? My coach jokes about putting a weight on my shoulder. But I may shoot with a heavy rice bag on it as an experiment to see if that works. Lots and lots and lots of stretchy band exercises in the mirror. And a training program to build up the other muscles so that they can compete with the ones that are over developed. Lastly, massage to get rid of excess tightness in the muscle.
That’s my plan, Stan. Gotta stick to it.