The Value of Back Tension

The Value of Back Tension

The term back tension, commonly used by serious archers, merely describes the use of the muscles of the back, rather than the muscles of the arms, to hold the bowstring at full draw. When you use back tension, you'll hold steadier because the back muscles are larger and stronger than the arm muscles, and because they're positioned closer to the spine, they are more stable.

When using proper back tension, you should feel as if you're trying to squeeze a dollar bill between your shoulder blades at full draw.


A good way to demonstrate back tension is to get into the full-draw position without a bow. Have someone stand in front of you and grab your elbows and try to pull them together. Try hard to resist. Since you've removed the arm muscles from the equation, the back muscles alone are preventing you from collapsing.



This demonstration also illustrates how your arms and, more importantly, your hands, can re-main relaxed during the shot.


One thing that might help you develop solid back tension is to move your release elbow slightly up and back. This transfers the holding weight from the arm to the back muscles. If you're pulling right, your shoulder blades will come together and your shirt will be loose across your back at full draw.


Recommended for You

How-To

10 Workout Routines Every Bowhunter Should Master

Adam Holt - May 12, 2016

As a bowhunter, you need complete faith in your physical ability to hike in to your hunting...

How-To

Small Prescribed Burns for Your Treestand Locations

C.J. Winand

A micro project could enhance the action.

Recipes

Slow Cooker Venison and Cabbage Stew Recipe

Jessyca Sortillon

This Venison and Cabbage Stew Recipe is meaty, easy to make in a slow cooker, and exactly what...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Spot-and-Stalk Texas Hog Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson spot-and-stalks hogs and whitetails in Texas.

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek has a chance to fill his buck tag on a mixed bag hunt in Texas.

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg begins the scouting process in Kentucky on his first whitetail hunt of the season.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

How-To

Heavy Vs. Light: Choosing The Best Hunting Arrow

Curt Wells - June 21, 2016

Whether you bowhunt with a recurve bow, a longbow, or a compound bow, choosing the best...

Other Game

Massive Alaskan Brown Bear is the New World Record

Lynn Burkhead - October 18, 2018

Archer Chris Cammack has arrowed the new world record for brown bears with his Alaskan giant.

See More Stories

More How-To

How-To

Late-Season Realities of Whitetail Hunting

Tony J. Peterson

The worst deer hunting of the year is upon us, but that doesn't mean it's time to stay inside.

How-To

Torque Tuning Your Bow for Shooting Accuracy

Joe Bell - August 28, 2018

Don't let bow torque ruin your next shot. Use this method to enhance shooting accuracy!

How-To

Tips for Stalking Antelope and Mule Deer

Darron McDougal - August 28, 2018

These 6 considerations will boost your odds of getting close and making the shot on a...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×