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RIGID FORMASTER  updated 11/2006 to conform to BEST training techniques

This is one method for using a Formaster, there are others.  I believe the goal of using a Formaster is to train the archer to invoke the use of several large groups of muscles in the back during the draw, especially during the transition from arm to back. Establishing  the proper use of these muscles from the "git-go" helps the archer in many ways:
  1. Posture: It improves symmetry of motion by encouraging proper muscle use

  2. Strength: the large muscle groups in the back can perform more efficiently than say, the muscles of the arm in drawing the bow over and over, so less fatigue

  3. Technique: by invoking the right muscle groups the archer will not collapse or creep at release

  4. Isolation: the archer can learn the feeling of proper muscle group contractions without needing to focus on other parts of the shot

  5. Training to the subconscious: the archer can "lay down" a memory track of what the proper execution is like through fast paced executions, where shooting arrows is limited to the number in the quiver.

The Formaster has two types of attachment to the bow.  These pictures show the "rigid" way, where the attachment is a non-elastic white cord.  The other method uses surgical tubing so that the bowstring can actually move when the archer releases it.  Both have been used by archers for years with good effect, but after hearing from advanced archery coaches on the subject, I am convinced the bungy version often trains archers to a bad habit. 

With the Rigid Formaster the white string must be adjusted just so tight that upon click/release, the bowstring  takes out a little slack.  If the archer has properly invoked the right muscles then the archer's string arm will NOT be drawn forward.  With the bungy version one cannot prevent the bowstring from moving forward, but the tendency is to try anyway.  I think this characteristic leads the archer to anticipate the "sproing" jerk, and to try to counteract it after click, which provides less positive performance. 

With the rigid formaster, the weight transfer from fingers to elbow (and back) happens as well   If set up properly, there will be from 1" to 1 1/2 inches of slack in the formaster cord at the beginning of the draw process.   When the archer goes though click and executes a normal release, the string starts to move forward and quickly takes up that slack.  If the archer has used any technique other than the best way then the archer's hand will be seen to move forward, jerked by the bowstring.  IF the archer has properly set the right muscle groups into motion then the string hand continues to move back at release, even when the bowstring snaps up the slack. 
comments are appreciated.


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