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I've been trying to understand what expansion is as far as muscle action goes. This statement was in a recent thread.

"Expand to full draw (transfer of loading from arm and neck tension to back muscles)"

Would it be correct to say that when you have transferred the load to the back muscles as stated that you have "expanded"??? Or is there more to it???
 

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Odin

For me what you are describing are two different steps of my shot. Once I hit anchor I transfer the weight of the bow from my arm/shoulder to the large muscles of my back. Once I have the transfer made and am steady I will start aiming.

When I am happy with my aiming I will bring the shot to conclusion via expansion. I think of expansion as sticking my chest out while squeezing my back. Personally the mental aspect of expansion is as important or more important than the physical.

The arrow tip might move 1-2 mm back physically but mentally expansion is my line in the sand between aiming and bringing my shot to conclusion. Until I start expansion I can let down at any time - once I start that arrow is going.

Matt
 

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That's a key point Matt. I think some guys view it as about an inch move of the arrow point whereas in reality it hardly moves. Just watch the arrow of an Oly shooter as he pulls through the clicker.


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Using an Olympic style clicker can really help understand expansion. You can actually watch the clicker wire move as you roll down the curved end of the arrow. The key is to pulling with your scapula and not just drawing further back with your arm.

Kisik Lee explains that expansion is not of the body, but of the bow. It is expanding THE BOW the last 2 mm through the clicker, and is achieved by more of a compression of the body. This makes sense as it is more consistent with what we know about moving the scapula. This explains why we keep talking about compressing the back as part of the expansion process. The scapula moves very little since it does not take much to much the bow arm (lever) 2 mm. The best description is in Kisik Lee's book, Total Archery.

A key point that Kisik Lee makes is that no matter how they get to full draw, all great archers maintain perfect control and balance through expansion.This is an area where there is no compromise.
 

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For a little demonstration put your fists together in front of your chin. Then pull them apart. You will clearly feel the back compressing. Less clearly you can feel your chest expand. You need both to get your string arm and elbow in line with the arrow. - lbg
 

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Can you over expand? Sometimes if I consciously think about expansion it feels like its pulling my string elbow pass being inline with the bow. I can't see this but the result show that it was not an optimal form shot.

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Can you over expand? Sometimes if I consciously think about expansion it feels like its pulling my string elbow pass being inline with the bow. I can't see this but the result show that it was not an optimal form shot.

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Yes and a sure sign of it is a bloody nose ;-)
 

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I am still learning to perfect expansion, but I have figured out about over expanding. I think it's a common problem for men to overdo things, like over bowing and over expanding . . . it's macho energy.

One thing I know in general about all sports is that the infusion of strength into an effort is best when it is relaxed. I learned this swinging a bat after I found out that swinging with all my might didn't send the ball as far as swinging strong, but totally relaxed.

So when I was over-expanding with my bow I recognized it because of the stress I felt in my body, mostly my shoulder. I remembered watching a couple of videos of Jimmy Blackmon and Brady Ellison demonstrating form and how they did it totally relaxed. I can't seem to make YouTube stuff show up here, but here's a link to Jimmy Blackmon demonstrating his form:


In both cases, the relaxed way they reach expansion for me has been the biggest help in learning it.
 

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Here is a combination of two sentences that Matt wrote to me during a recent PM exchange regarding focus, expansion, and target panic.

"For me it's all about knowing I can aim for ever until I decide to expand.......the concept of expansion is more important than the act."

Exceptional words of wisdom from one of the sports' true Champions. His meaning is that by focusing on the muscles used in the act of expansion, we are bypassing from our thought process those thoughts and distractions that are known to cause TP. Thanks Matt!
 

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Yes when I had the breakthrough of learning the sequence discipline, I learned to aim when it was time and not before. The aiming process is really three stages for me.

I decide how far and what gap before I start the sequence.

I aim just before expansion and I decide to commit during expansion.

I do not begin aiming during expansion (I may refine it subconsciously) because I reserve the right to let down.

Once I start expansion, I have committed to the shot and do not think about release at all. Expansion is like taking the creep out of a rifle trigger and the shot happens when the creep and take up is used up and the sear breaks.
 

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Agreed Sam. Expansion/squeezing the trigger produce the same end result in the same manner. The key for me to gaining control over the gremlin was what to focus on (LAN 2) once aiming began after transfer. Focusing on the muscles that control tension/expansion were key to keeping my mind from focusing instead on the fact that I had a proper site picture and should "fire". Thanks to Matt.....progress away from TP has now accelerated quite nicely and I am enjoying the satisfactions that are a result of being able to expand through the shot.
 
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