Getting The Perfect Archery Grip When Holding A Bow

Perfect Archery Grip When Holding A Bow

The Underhand Grip Versus The Overhand Grip

There are a lot of things that go into shooting a bow and arrow proficiently. Archery is a sport where form definitely trumps function, but there’s no reason why the two can’t go hand-in-hand. One part of having good form when holding your bow is to have the perfect grip on it at all times.


The problem most people run into is not using enough fingers to create this hook between them and the string of the bow. This article explains how you should be gripping your bow as well as what problems arise from bad archery grips.

Proper Gripping For Better Accuracy

There are three ways you can hold a traditional longbow: underhand, overhand, and handshake. You can hold a recurve bow in the same ways, but there are also three different grips you can use with it: Mediterranean, English, and Turkish.


These gripping styles allow for better accuracy when shooting arrows because they create tension between the string and the pads of your fingers. This is especially helpful when trying to execute long draw lengths, which require more force than short ones. If your wrists are very flexible, then you can get away with using just one finger on each hand, but otherwise, I’d recommend using at least two fingers per side if not all four.

There’s an ongoing debate about which method is better for holding a bow while shooting arrows: the underhand or overhand grip. Both of these styles accomplish the same thing, but they do it in opposite ways. The underhand grip involves holding your bow with your palm facing towards you and your fingers wrapped around on the other side.

Conversely, an overhand grip means that your palm faces away from you and is just holding onto the front half of the riser (the handle). You can also bring your middle finger into an overhand grip which will help keep tension on the string. Whichever one you use is more a matter of preference than anything else since they both get you to where you need to be with regard to accuracy and efficiency when shooting arrows.

The Handshake Grip

The handshake grip is basically what it sounds like. You hold your bow in the same way you’d shake someone’s hand with your palm facing away from you and with most of the fingers on each hand brought forward enough to hook around the string.

When it comes to holding a recurve bow, I would not recommend bringing your index finger into this grip unless you’re having trouble keeping your arrow stable or it starts to veer off course after being released.

Problems Arising From Having The Wrong Grip

Whichever grip style you employ is fine as long as it gets the job done, but what happens when things go wrong? One problem that can arise is trying to use too many or too few fingers during shooting.

If you only end using one finger then there will be slack on the string and you won’t be able to put enough pressure on it. If you’re using all four of your fingers then there will be too much tension which can cause problems like dry firing (when no arrow is loaded into the bow).


Another problem that may arise is what’s called torque, which occurs when your hand twists either clockwise or counterclockwise during shooting. This happens because your wrist turns one way while the rest of your arm goes in another direction.

A proper grip should keep these two motions in check by having even pressure all around, but this doesn’t always happen due to human error. Torque is also more likely to occur with recurve bows than longbows simply because there’s more movement involved with them.

How To Make Sure Your Grip Is Correct

After reading that article you should have a pretty good idea of how to hold your bow while shooting arrows. The key is finding what works best for you and then practicing it until it becomes second nature.

All people are built differently so something that’s comfortable for me may not be the same thing for someone else, but knowing which fingers should go where during gripping is universal between archers.


If you want to get better at holding your bow correctly or if there are other flaws in your form, consider taking an archery class with an instructor so they can see the problems firsthand and give pointers on how to correct them.

If all else fails, try watching some instructional videos online from professional shooters so you can see the right motion and technique. Have you ever wondered how to hold a bow while shooting arrows? Read on to find out different ways of gripping and which method is best…

The “V” Grip

The first grip we’ll discuss is called the “V” grip and it’s generally considered to be the easiest way for beginners to hold their bows. Here your two index fingers should come together in such a way that they form what looks like a V or an upside-down Y across the front of the riser (the handle).

To accomplish this, bring your hands up towards each other until there’s less than an inch of space between them and then push your thumbs underneath so that they’re sticking upwards slightly. At this point you should feel a good amount of pressure going through your index fingers.


The handshake grip is basically what it sounds like. You hold your bow in the same way you’d shake someone’s hand with your palm facing away from you and with most of the fingers on each hand brought forward enough to hook around the string.

When it comes to holding a recurve bow, I would not recommend bringing your index finger into this grip unless you’re having trouble keeping your arrow stable or it starts to veer off course after being released.

Problems Arising From Having The Wrong Grip

Whichever grip style you employ is fine as long as it gets the job done, but what happens when things go wrong? One problem that can arise is trying to use too many or too few fingers during shooting.

If you only end using one finger then there will be slack on the string and you won’t be able to put enough pressure on it. If you’re using all four of your fingers then there will be too much tension which can cause problems like dry firing (when no arrow is loaded into the bow).


Another problem that may arise is what’s called torque, which occurs when your hand twists either clockwise or counterclockwise during shooting. This happens because your wrist turns one way while the rest of your arm goes in another direction.

A proper grip should keep these two motions in check by having even pressure all around, but this doesn’t always happen due to human error. Torque is also more likely to occur with recurve bows than longbows simply because there’s more movement involved.

The Best Way To Grip A Bow For Beginners

girl, archer, bow and arrow

After reading that article you should have a pretty good idea of how to hold your bow while shooting arrows. The key is finding what works best for you and then practicing it until it becomes second nature.

All people are built differently so something that’s comfortable for me may not be the same thing for someone else, but knowing which fingers should go where during gripping is universal between archers.


If you want to get better at holding your bow correctly or if there are other flaws in your form, consider taking an archery class with an instructor so they can see the problems firsthand and give pointers on how to correct them. If all else fails, try watching some instructional videos online from professional shooters so you can see the right motion and technique.

archery, boy, bow

Proper Bow grip For Better Accuracy

The correct way of gripping a bow is one of the major factors that determine accuracy and power while shooting. Most archers employ wrong techniques, resulting in poor accuracy and low-powered shots. One common mistake many archers make is using too much pressure on the grip, which results in bad aim and fatigue after a short time. A proper grip should be firm but steady.


Another common mistake is to use all four fingers instead of just three. It’s true that most people do this naturally because they’ve been taught to hold their pencils with four fingers when writing, but it’s not suitable for archery since four fingers generate excess tension in your hand, which can cause torque in your wrist.

A good starting point is to place your index finger on the arrow shelf, your middle finger on the bowstring, and your thumb around the riser. Your ring and pinky fingers should be lightly touching your palm so you can access them if needed.


If this grip doesn’t suit you then try adjusting the tension in your grip by moving your hand up or down until it feels comfortable. Once you have a good grip it’s time to practice! The correct way of gripping a bow is one of the major factors that determine accuracy and power while shooting.

Most archers employ wrong techniques, resulting in poor accuracy and low-powered shots. One common mistake many archers make is using too much pressure on the grip, which results in bad aim and fatigue after a short time.


A proper grip should be firm but steady. Another common mistake is to use all four fingers instead of just three. It’s true that most people do this naturally because they’ve been taught to hold their pencils with four fingers when writing, but it’s not suitable for archery since four fingers generate excess tension in your hand, which can cause torque in your wrist.

A good starting point is to place your index finger on the arrow shelf, your middle finger on the bowstring, and your thumb around the riser.


Your ring and pinky fingers should be lightly touching your palm so you can access them if needed. If this grip doesn’t suit you then try adjusting the tension in your grip by moving your hand up or down until it feels comfortable.

Once you have a good grip it’s time to practice!

Korea Archery Association

The Best Way To Compound Bow Grip

Once you have a good grip check your stance. What works best is to stand with both feet pointing forward, roughly shoulder-width apart, but this depends on how comfortable it feels to you. If possible try standing in front of a mirror so you can see the position of your bow arm and if your shoulders are level or not. This will help to ensure that all shots go where you want them.


Keep the draw hand high up on the string and make sure you don’t let it slip down too far when reaching full draw. A common mistake here is for people to put their fingers behind the arrow rest when pulling back, which causes drag on the shot and lessens accuracy considerably. The release should be smooth and effortless, unlike some people who jerk the release, which can snap your arrow off course.


When you’ve reached full draw, hold the position for a couple of seconds to help ensure good aim. Also, make sure you don’t lean too far back on your heels as this will cause the string to hit your arm and greatly affect your accuracy.

Your head should be held high with a relaxed neck, but it’s also important that you keep still throughout the shot so being hyper-aware of yourself is key! Once all these things have been taken care of, just focus on the target and flick the release smooth and easy until you feel a slight stretch on your fingers as the arrow flies from the bow toward its destination.


If after all this time you’re still struggling to maintain a steady barrage of accurate shots then you might need to contemplate buying your own bow. This is something that beginners should avoid doing until they’re sure archery is for them, but in some cases, it can’t be helped. Sometimes beginner bows are not accurate enough and the only way to get good at shooting is to use equipment meant for experienced users.

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