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back tension release

8543 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  scribe
Ok I might sound stupid but oh well , can anyone explain how a back tension release worls?
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Hi K-doe, I read an article about that some years ago, the jist of it was instead of just pulling the trigger on your release, you were supposed to hold your finger rigidly on the trigger and instead of pulling with your finger you would kind of flex your back muscles on that side, causing your whole arm/shoulder/finger to move smoothly rearward and cause the trigger to release. I suppose it makes sense in theory, but if you ask me, draw the bow and when your pin waves over the right spot, pull the damn trigger. My 2 cents.
Back tension is using your rhomboid muscles(back muscles) to set off your release.It takes dedication and alot of blank bale practice to ingrain this type of shooting.Punching the trigger as Tom says when you see the pin on target will lead to terrible habits.If you are truly serious about archery and want to really learn how to shoot a bow back tension is the only way.Some book and teachers are Al henderson, Len Cardinale(the best imho)Bernie Pellerite.Back tension is starting to contract your rhomboids subconsciously while your conscious is totally immersed in aiming.You achieve a surprise release because you are immersed in aiming.Your mind is not saying shoot now.Its complicated and takes hard work but well worth the effort.Imho carter evolution is a great bt release.
I guess I don't get the surprise release thing. It just seems that would be a little dangerous and inaccurate that way.
the subconscious release is so you can entirely focus on the aim.Your conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time.when i shoot i focus on the aim and the shot breaks. when you shoot your conscious mind leaves the aim to tell you to shoot now.Basically you want your form to subconsciously execute while you consciously aim.Google some articles on backtension as they will explain it better.there is only one way to predictable accuracy with a bow and that is with backtension.Its the same with shooting a gun your snipers and better marksman like a good crisp,creep free trigger because they are so focused on their aim when they start their squeeze they dont no when the shot breaks.they are immersed in aiming 1000%.Its takes training you start out at 5yards just shooting into a target learning how to use the release and how to get a subconscious time it will be the best thing you ever did and you will better than ever.
Thanks for the much better explanation of this shooting method, and I was a little too blase by saying "just pull the trigger". While I don't employ this method, I can say without reservation that I never know when my bow OR gun goes off. All my concentration is on my spot on my target, when I want the arrow or bullet to go it feels to me that it just "happens". When an arrow leaves my bow or a bullet(or slug) leaves my gun, they are both TOTAL surprises. I never even think about the trigger on either one. And they both go where I want. Another consideration is that the smoother the release/trigger is, the better you will shoot. That's why we are seeing more and more guns being made with adjustable triggers, makes a huge difference in your accuracy. Anyway, I applaud you on your knowledge of the back tension method, and while I'm at it, I have to give you a salute and a standing ovation for coming up with the"Dumbest Athlete Poll", that was absolutely great!!
PS: Don't forget about breathing when you shoot anything, probably the single most important facet of shooting any device!!
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I don't noe nuffin bout bows and errors but I figger that there thang is only for about .02 parcaint of the turneymant shoosters.

I had one and after a week threw it just as far as I could...then went looking for about a dozen arrows it cost me.

Obviously you had no clue what you were doin.Backtension isusing your rhomboid muscles for releasing an arrow.You can shoot backtension with any release not just a so called bt release.As far as it just for tourney shooters your completly wrong. The guys you know shoot bt.Lee and tiffany,michael waddell,tom miranda,etc.Any serious archer will eventually learn bt because once its learned and a shot sequence is ingrained you will be alot better shooter.I love how archers who have no clue about this act like there is a grey area here,there is none.YOUR BEST TOURNAMENT ARCHERS AND BEST HUNTING SHOTS ALL SHOOT USING BACKTENSION PERIOD.
Spiker, you missed the sarcasm. I knew quite well what I was doing. I just didn't like doing it. For the majority of shooters, the back tension release is not what they are looking for in a HUNTING release. To start with,it requires too much concentration at a time when their mind is doing gymnastics. It is far better suited to the serious target archer. The key word being serious. You see, the tension release only marginally improves form and accuracy when the shooter is often in a hurry and does not have time to go through all the steps required. I suppose after a few years, it would become automatic if you can shoot a few dozen arrows a day. Most hunters can't and unlike the folks you mentioned above, most hunters have to buy their arrows and have jobs that make serious practice tough.

When we tested them and evaluated them, for the reasons stated above, we used different testers including some who were experienced with tension release method and some who were not. It was a new method at the time and we wanted to see how they would apply to hunters. As you stated, it requires a serious archer. Of course, this was before the time of the "serious" bowhunters you mentioned above. We used old men like Jim Dougherty, Judd Cooney and some old fart named Sloan, who couldn't figure out how to tense his back muscles. Back then, we didn't really have any TV stars to call on. We also just looked at tension releases from a hunting standpoint. Truth told, most of us...make that all of us, were finger shooters and some didn't even have some new fangled thing called a sight.

I'll stand by my statement. Heck after 35-years in the bowhunting industry, I was still shooting fingers and only one pin when I was forced to go to a crossbow. I hate that thing. :whistling:
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Sorry scribe you are right the average archer when hunting is better off with a hand held index finger release.Also is does take alot of disicipline to ingrain your shot sequence to go on automatic.Once ingrained with daily practice you keep it sharp just like a golfer keeps his swing form.It is a great feeling with the bow to be totally free to aim at the moment of truth but again its a process.Most archers find it like myself after expierencing target panic and looking for a solution to it.And scribe if you lost six arrows you know the feeling of a surprise release but it could have been worse you also could've punched yourself in the mouth if it was a hinge release.:wacko:
I started thinking about it and felt I should get serious. A back tension release is used primarily to cure or at least help with target panic. Since I have never experienced this and being a finger shooter, I never saw a need for one.

I worked closely with a young man who had a terrible case of it. He got a back tension video that I made hinm throw away and we started working. First I had him shooting at a cotton bale at 3 yards with his eyes closed. For two weeks, that is all he did, concentrating on using his back muscles. I was slowly able to work him up to shooting 2" dots at 20-yards and he progressed from there. It took three months, shooting five days a week, from 20-40 times a day to get him to normal and once he was there, he went back to the regular style. As far as I know, he has never had a prblem since.

In my experience, target panic only occurs in people who shoot targets a lot. By a lot, I mean up to 50X a day. The problem being, you over concentrate and then start second guessing. This is all done subconciously. When I was testing bows, I often shot 100X a day but accuracy was not a big thing so I was never bothered. My job was to simply evaluate overall performance, not accuracy since that is the human end of things.

Just for testing, I shot a tension release for a couple weeks and could see the advantage of it for a target archer with a chance or case of TP. For hunting, I felt it was a handicap and required far more time than the average hunter has to spend shooting. I am a uge advocate of KISS.

That is all I was trying to point out. In testing and evaluating archery products for so many years, I often was troubled with the "building the better mousetrap" syndrome. For example, except for testing purposes and with only the hunter in mind, I never shot a release, used a stabilizer, trued a peep, saw a need for more than two sight pins or had any desire to shoot the fastest bow on the block. But I was soley a hunter, concerned only with hitting a softball size target and with no concern for a tight group. I only wanted my first shot to hit where I aimed every time.

Over the years, I coached or taught scores of men and women to shoot a bow. I taught them my style and let them proceed from there. Almost every one eventually had a release, a sight with 100 pins, a variety of stabilizers, peep sights, the fastest bow made and trouble killing deer.

The day I finally admited I had to go to a crossbow, I actually cried. The bow I hung up, had one pin-set dead on at 25-yards, no peep and shot a blistering 256fps. The last animal I killed was a fair bull elk at 45 yards. My 125gr. Thunderhead hit right where I aimed. In five years, I have missed more deer with a crossbow than I did in three decades with a vertical. Guess I'm just not a techie. My wife and I estimate I have killed around 300 animals with a bow. I won one tournament and that was because nobody else could shoot. I have never been a 12-ring shooter. However, I was perfectly comfortable taking a running shot if the conditions were right. I can't recall ever trying to stop a deer or any animal that not going faster than a trot. I saw no need to and still don't, even with that cussed X-bow. Obviously, for me, a back tension release was a severe handicap.

Final word on the back tension thing. If you are not having trouble with your current setup, why change? If you have TP, go for it.
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Scribe what's kiss?
Keep It Simple Stupid....KISS. I believe the less equipment you have on your bow, the less you have to lose, drop, forget or have malfuntion.
I prefer JSTSB, personally...
(just shoot the sona $&@$!) haha ive said that one a time or two myself Tator !
You guys are hilarious!:yes:
Actually I was going for "Just Shoot The Stupid Bow"! lol
Obviously Scribe you are an accomplished archer with many kills and i agree if it aint broke dont fix it.However every archer should develop some form of a shot sequence with the goal of his form being repeatable shot after shot.Al Henderson said is doesnt have to be right as long as its repeatable.
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