How To Draw A Bow Correctly - My Archery Corner

How To Draw A Bow Correctly

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Medieval Archer

A medieval archer drawing a bow. Used under creative commons from: Penny Mayes

You have learned a lot already!
Before you came here to learn how to draw a bow correctly, you had already covered the proper archery stance, how to nock an arrow, how to hook the bowstring and how to raise your bow and extend your bow arm.

That is a lot!
In this article, you will read about the important steps you have to be aware of when you finally draw a bow.
This is how it is done:

Brute strength and force are not what is needed!

No matter where I see new archers, there will be always a few who will pull the string back fast and strong. They think it has to be done as quickly as possible and with the full strength of their arms.

Let me tell you: Don’t ever do that!
Archery is a sport that should bring you into a relaxed state of mind.
There is a certain beauty in archery that only shines through when you really know what you are doing.
Someone who yanks the string of his bow back in a sudden movement won’t ever feel the peace that can lie within archery and will not feel the health benefits of archery.

So, please keep in mind that it is not sudden force that draws a bow!

How is it done correctly?

Woman draws a bow

A fully drawn bow and example of the T-shape.

First of all, you have to check mentally if you have followed all the steps I taught you before.
Look at your feet, your arms, your fingers, and your shoulders.
If everything seems to be right, you can start drawing your bow.

Your biceps of the drawing arm will have to do a lot of the drawing at the beginning.

But be sure that you start using your back muscles right from the start!
The back muscles are actually the most important and most used muscles when drawing a bow.

So what you do is, you draw back the bowstring in a smooth and single movement without ever stopping.
You use both your biceps and your back muscles. To accomplish this you have to move your shoulder blades toward one another.

You are done with drawing the bow when your hand reaches your face.

Make sure that your elbow is either still parallel to the arrow or raised a bit. Don’t raise it too much, though.

Your back has to be kept straight and your shoulders stay down. Keep the picture of the T-shape in mind.
You have to become a T (with a head). 😉

Woman drawing a bow.

Drawing a bow (back side).

Quick summary and preview of the next archery technique

    • Remember to use your back muscles and not only your biceps.
      Your power has to come mainly from your back.
    • Draw the bow smoothly and slowly; don’t yank at the string!
    • You are done, when your hand reaches your face.

The next step follows directly after the drawing. There is no actual break between this and the next step.

What you will learn next is the anchor.
It belongs to the most important archery techniques, as it will help you to get a routine and that you will do everything exactly the same way when you let an arrow fly.

Always keep in mind how to draw a bow correctly!

Do yourself a favor and don’t forget what you have learned here today. It is so important!

When you do this for the first time, you might even get a nice souvenir!
A terribly sore back!
Most people hardly use the back muscles that are used to draw a bow. So when your back muscles are sore after your first training, you have done something right!

Keep on practicing and your muscles will get used to it quickly.

I hope you have found my lesson today helpful.
If you have something on your mind, please leave a comment below!

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

All the best


>> Next Step: Find Your Anchor Point In Archery – Most Vital For Your Success

<< Previous Step: Raise The Bow And Extend Your Bow Arm

Leave a Comment:

(20) comments


I really enjoyed reading your post, especially about it being a sport where you achieve a relaxed state of mind.
I’ve never done archery or even considered it, but the fact you say it is helpful and beneficial towards ones health makes me want to start 🙂
Definitely something to look into, thank you for the insightful post.


    Hello and welcome to my website.

    You can learn more about this topic in my article about health benefits of archery.
    Archery is a great exercise for both body and mind.
    I highly recommend it.




Wonderful post, I always loved archery since i was kid and always wanted to try it but never actually succeeded…but now that i have read this post which is also helpful i must try it…looking forward for new posts!


Archery, archery, archery… the mysterious sport I have yet to try. I like your step by step guides for teaching how to prepare to shoot the bow but I am wondering what your best advice would be for someone new looking to get involved.
What type of setting would you suggest for the ideal first experience? Should I just go to a range or do you have any suggestions?
I am interested in the concept of relaxing your mind through sport with archery so I am curious to try it out.


    Hello Travis.

    I hope you will give archery a try.
    There are several health benefits of archery, one of them is the relaxation of the mind which you are searching for.

    It is always a good idea to take the first steps at an archery range.
    There should be experienced archers who can guide you at the beginning.

    Of course, you can go through my step by step archery guide to learn everything you need to know when shooting with a bow.

    As for a first bow, I would recommend a recurve bow like the SAS Courage Recurve Bow.
    Recurve bows are usually cheaper than compound bows, but if you would like to try a compound bow, you can check out the PSE Stinger Compound Bow.

    I hope you have a great start with archery.

    Let me know if you need any help!




Hey mate ,

Some great advice about how to draw a bow in this article 🙂 I enjoyed reading it and picked up some great tips in drawing a bow correctly 🙂
Next time I pick up a bow I will know what to do 🙂

Thanks for your article and good luck.



    Hi Gregg,

    I am happy I could help you learn something new that will help you in the future!
    Drawing a bow is a crucial step to succeed in archery.

    I hope you will go through the rest of my archery training as well.

    Let me know how it goes and if you need any help!




Like most people who come to your sight, I’m a beginner to archery. I’ve wanted to try it for sometime.

This step by step is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Everything is laid out and I love the little tidbits of info you throw in. Very helpful. I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    Hi Matt.

    I am very happy that you find my archery training helpful.

    Make sure you read all of the archery steps I provide here.

    If you have any question, just let me know. 🙂


Carlton Gonder

Hi Moritz,

A quick brief way for anyone to learn how to use the bow for archery including myself or any novice. If i want to teach myself or my children there is no need for me to look any further for i am in the right place.

Yours Truly,



    Hello Carlton.

    Thank you very much.
    I am glad that my site helps you to learn all about archery.

    Make sure you go through my whole archery training to learn all the vital steps of archery.
    Let me know when you have any question.

    All the best.



Hi there, great article… I just have a question if you don’t mind me asking. I’ve been doing archery for 6 months now. But I still have a problem with using my back muscles. Alot of the tension goes to my arm. No matter what I do I can’t rectify the problem. Is there any advice you can give me on the matter? Regards wayne


    Hello Wayne,
    this is something many archers are struggeling with in the beginning.
    Please have a look at my article here.

    You basically have to move your shoulder blades toward each other and try to relax your arm at the same time.
    There will always be some tension on your arm, but that way you should be able to improve your technique.
    Let me know how it goes.



I never knew how to draw a bow before because the string always slapped against my wrist. I agree with you on using your back muscles because it allows you to pull the string more smoothly and you have more power in your back

Does this comply with all bows or just the longbow.



    Thanks for stopping by.

    Yes, the drawing technique is the same for all bows. There are arrow rests for compound bows, however, that prevent the wrist slap.

    I hope you keep enjoying archery.



Thanks for this lesson Moritz. I have never done archery before because I am always intimidated by how complicated it seems to do it. But your guides make it seem that it is very easy to do haha. I might give them a try. 🙂 Do you have a link to dummies link me? I want to learn the basic principles first before I aim to draw a bow, you know, for safety reasons, lol.


    Hello and welcome to My Archery Corner.

    Archer can look a bit scary at first, but once you know the technique it is a very satisfying sport.

    If you are completely new, I recommend to start my archer training from the beginning. At the end of each article, just click on the link that will bring you to the next step.

    I also have an article about how you can protect yourself and keep others safe.

    Lastly, you should have a look at the bow types, to get an idea about what different kinds of bows are mostly used.

    I hope you are enjoying your archery sessions!



Very nice article on how to draw your bow! As I read along, I could vividly imagine me doing it step by step. I am going to try using more of my back muscle, I believe I try and use my arm to much.
Your page is very readable, and easy to follow along. Thanks and keep up the good work!


    Hi Joe,

    thank you for your feedback. Yes, it is really important to mostly use your back muscles when drawing your bow.
    I hope you are enjoying shooting your bow.



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