Archery Stance and Posture – The Complete Guide

Having the perfect equipment is an integral part of archery, but it takes more than that to be a professional archer. Archery also requires a degree of technique and the ability to execute the perfect shot.

Any experienced archer will tell you that your bow grip, natural body position, and maintaining a proper form all contribute to making a perfect shot. It will take constant practice and consistent shooting to master these forms.

As you read this post, you’ll learn different archery stances and postures to become a skilled archer.

The Right Posture and Stance

teaching a beginner archer

Though there are different stances in archery, there is no perfect stance. The best stance depends on individual choice, and it’s up to you to decide which works best for you.

On the other hand, there are postures you must maintain with your body, irrespective of your stance. We’ll first look at the right ways to position your torso, head, shoulder, elbow, lower arm, and finally, your anchor point.

After going through the postures, we’ll show you some foot positions you can adopt.

Proper Shooting Postures

archery posture

Let’s look at the right way to position different parts of your body when aiming and shooting.

Positioning Your Torso

Your upper body goes a long way in maintaining the proper center of gravity and generating the right amount of force in the bow strings. Your torso must be erect and directly perpendicular to the ground. Also, ensure your collarbone is aligned with the arrow or parallel to the arrow.

Your torso shouldn’t bend in any direction: it will affect your accuracy, and limit how far you can pull your bow string. Most beginners tend to bend forward or backward when taking the shot, affecting the arrow’s flight pattern and speed.

Ensure you’re conscious of this point when aiming for your shot.

Positioning Your Head

Once you’ve positioned your torso correctly, you must work on your head position.

Your head should be straight such that you’re looking straight ahead. You can easily get this position by keeping the base of your chin parallel to the ground. You can also look over your shoulder and ensure your jaw bone is parallel to your shoulder, then look straight ahead while maintaining this position.

Positioning Your Shoulder

Now that you’ve gotten the torso and head position, it’s time for the shoulders.

Your shoulders are divided into the bow arm shoulder and release arm shoulder. The bow arm shoulder holds the bow, and its position will determine that of the release shoulder.

Ensure you naturally extend the bow arm shoulder and avoid overextending it. Once your bow arm shoulder is in a natural position, the drawing arm shoulder will fall into place. You’ll know your release shoulder is in the right position once the other shoulder is well placed.

You should keep adjusting and trying different shoulder positions until you get your most natural position. However, don’t rest your bow arm elbow against or close to your body: it must be fully extended in front of you.

Positioning Your Elbow and Lower Arm

The positioning of the bow arm’s elbow will naturally determine the positioning of the bow arm. The release elbow should be pointed away from the body.

Your bow arm’s elbow shouldn’t point directly to the ground, but at an angle.

Your Anchor Point

The anchor point refers to the part of your face where you hold your arrow before release. You’ll determine the anchor point by yourself through constant practice and experimentation.

Different Archery Stances

archery stance

We’ve looked at the proper postures: now, let’s look at the different foot placements.

Square Stance

Keep each foot on opposite sides of the shooting line for the square stance. Also, both feet are parallel to the line and perfectly aligned.

Open Stance

Each foot is on the opposite side of the shooting line for the open stance. The back foot is parallel to the shooting line, while the front foot is slightly retracted and at an outward angle to the shooting line.

Closed Stance

Each foot is also on the opposite side of the shooting line. However, compared to the open stance, the back foot is slightly retracted, and the front foot is less angled from the shooting line.


Maintaining a proper archery stance and posture is key to making accurate shots. We’ve examined how to position your body and the commonly used stances. You’ll master these tips through constant practice, and they’ll soon become muscle memory.

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

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