How To Hold An Archery Bow – The Archery Grip

This is another move that is not too hard to learn, but it has an amazing impact on your performance, so a closer look is worthwhile on ARCHERY GRIP. To be more specific, gripping the bow with your hand. For most inexperienced archers, one of the common mistakes is using a death grip to carry the bow & do not know how to hold an archery bow properly. Keeping the bow way, way, way too close. If you want to know more, read it.

When archers first take a bow and walk to the shooting line, their desire is to grab the bow with everything they have. However, it makes sense, and there’s an explanation why new archers are clutching the bow for dear life: most new archers know that it’s a serious thing to fire an arrow, and they try to be careful. It feels very, very risky to hold a bow with a relaxed grip—especially when you shoot a bow with a draw weight that is a little difficult for you.

The right grip on the bow should be very soft. The bow should be fully grasped by the fingers but must be gently put on the front of the bow, steadying it for the shot. At about a 45-degree angle, the knuckles taper away from the bow. The archer’s hand and fingers must be relaxed, but he/she still has to completely control the bow.

Here is an example with an image what your hand must not look like-

This guy looks like he’s hanging on to his precious life, and I can guarantee that after his release, his bow will shake. Not only that, this archery grip can feel secure, but it’s actually risky, because after you release the arrow, you have less control over the arrow and you have less control over the bow string.

Methods of holding the compound bows

  1. Approach the bow from an angle

 In a position perpendicular to the deck, hold out the dominant side. Turn it from 20 to 35 degrees clockwise. In a normal, relaxed way, the fingers should be loose and spread apart. This is the place in which you will have to grasp the bow. Switch the bow counter-clockwise instead of clockwise if you are using your left hand. You need to avoid the temptation to use the bow to “shake hands” In other terms, from a straight angle, do not understand it explicitly. Doing so with the grip will put the hand off-center, so when you use it, the bow is more likely to twist. In addition, in this position, you are often more likely to catch the bow too tightly.

  • Let the bow grip fall into the pocket of your hand

Note the pocket that forms within the palm of your hand with your hand still in its previous place. Slightly raise your fingers upward and slip the grip into this natural pocket. You could be pulling your fingers open too much if you are unable to feel the pocket. Doing this will cause your palm muscles to stretch and become stiff, which will make this pocket disappear. This pocket is the only safe place where you can keep your bow. If you grasp the bow grip with the other portion of your hand, as you apply pressure, your hand is likely to change location. The radius bone meets the palm, directly at the base of your thumb, is a more precise position of this spot.

  •  Relax your fingers around the grip

Let your dominant hand’s fingers naturally hang along the bow’s handle or grip. Your index finger should brush against your thumb, but it should be relaxed and loosely wrapped around the handle like the rest of your fingers. After making a shot, the index finger and thumb are the only two fingers that can catch the bow. The bow grip should not be pressed down at all by the rest of your fingers. You can even use your middle finger to help hold the bow in place if you have trouble holding the bow steady like this, but you should never use your whole hand. To prevent them from getting in the way, you can also try to fold the bottom two or three fingers into your palm.

Is It a Bad Thing to Tightly Grip the Bow?​

Yes!!! That boils down to two main reasons:

They start shaking when you clench the muscles in your fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm, and the longer and tighter you clench them, the more they shake. The more they shake, the more they move your bow. Since the arrow touches the remainder / whisker basket / shelf / etc. when it disconnects from the bow string and leaves the bow, the arrow’s direction may be influenced by these motions. Death grip equals to inaccurate shots, in other words.


The bow is more likely to wiggle back and forth AFTER the arrow has left the bow, if you are clenching all the muscles I just described, and the bow string is more likely to touch your inner elbow and give you a hell of a welt. Your grip must help you to control over the bow as well as not seem to be forced.

More Examples of a Relaxed Grip​

Here is an image of Olympian Wan Khalmizam. Take a look:​

How To Hold An Archery

His index finger and his pinkie finger only hit the bow as much as he wants. Actually, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that there’s a line of grey material that goes across the front of his riser from his thumb. This is called a bow sling, and it is used to make sure the bow doesn’t slip out of the hands of the archer. A relaxed grip is a bit of an advanced strategy, so if you’re a novice, it’s probably not for you if you’re just starting out, grip your bow firmly enough so that you feel you’re not going to lose it.


You DO NOT want to hold the bow so loosely that you drop it, or that it drops during the draw if you are new to archery. Somewhere between “strangle the death out of the bow” and “too loose.” Right in between those two grips, you’re searching for a happy medium. One more thing about the Bow Hand that I should note: You’ll need an armed guard. Always use protective gear!

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