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Why Do Olympic Archers Swing Their Bows (This Is Why!)

Olympic Archers Swing Their Bows

if you have watched on either television or Youtube and asked your self why Olympic archers swing their bows, well so have I. When I first started shooting archery I noticed this and started doing my research and actually learned a lot from it. It wasn`t just a show off trick, but it was a reason behind it.

why do Olympic archers swing their bows? The reason olympic archers swing their bow is because they don’t grip their bow. By not gripping the bow the archer gain more control and can increase their accuracy by doing so.

There are a lot of beginners gripping their bow as hard as they can because they think they have to do so in order to gain control and not losing the bow when they shoot. This has the opposite effect of what a beginner thinks. Squeezing the grip will cause you to shake when you are aiming in result decreasing your accuracy.

Why the olympic archers swing the bow

So by knowing this you can figure out why the Olympic archers swing their bow. Its simply just because they dont hold their bow. Why? because by not holding the grip firmly they gain more control over the bow and will result in a better shot.

But if they dont hold the bow, wouldn`t it drop to the ground you may think. Well it would, but they use slings. Slings are a kind of a rubber band they attach on their thumb and pointing finger to prevent the bow from faling to the ground.

When they shot the bow drops in to the sling and the bow will swing.

Should you swing the bow?

Yes, you should swing the bow if you want to have a very precise shot. If you are in a competition where you need every advantage you need, not holding the grip firmly and investing in a sling would be a good choice. But you don’t have to drop it either, when you first start learning to grip correctly, holding the grip with only two fingers will give you the same effect without having to swing or drop the bow.

But before you need to worry about this, investing time in to your form and making that perfect first has to be your priority number one. Here is a article about the essentials we want you to learn before focusing on the details like slings. (Essential skills to archery article)

(Link to my personal Sling) Like you can see a sling does not need to be expensive, they can be more expensive, but its really not necessary to invest so much in a sling. A cheap one will just do fine for now.

Why doesn`t the compound shooters use a sling or following through?

Looking at the olympic archers with swing we mainly think about recurve bow shooters, when we look at compound bow shooters there are many who dosen`t use a sling or have a proper follow through after the shot. I will explain to you why and why it isnt that important for compounds, but still a crucial part for recurve shooters.

What is a follow through. The follow through is the movement you do after the arrow is shot. Still if you have released the string you need to follow through with your body with the same stance and keep a aim to your target to have the best shot possible, thats because the arrow is not completly left your bow still if you release the string. If you move to quickly before the arrow has left the arrow rest, you will set the arrow to a wrong course either upwards or downwards. Which is not something you want.

But a lot of compound shooters dont follow-through or swing and why is that?

The reason a lot of compound shooters dont do either is because the speed of the arrow when shooting a compound bow is so much faster than a recurve. The speed of a compound bow ranges from 140 fps to 300 fps while a recurve is approximately 140 fps to 200 fps for most recurves on avarage.

The speed is a major factor because it determines the time the arrow need from the release to leave the arrow release and be in the air. The compound bows archers use has higher speed than average recurve bows resulting in a very low amount of time needed to leave the bow. That gives them the freedom to not follow through fully and not using a swing.

Why are olympic archers doing different movements for each shot in the swing-face?

If your favorite olympic archer always swing his bow 180 or 360 and suddently move to the right after a shot, dont be surpised. It dosent have much to say for the actual shot. The reason that happends sometimes can be a variety of reasons.

Sometimes they will balance against the wind or they are using the back muscles in a different way than usual. But the point is that what they do after the shot is fierd has nothing to say for the shot it self. The arrow has usually left the bow a long time ago before they actually do something with their hands.


  • The sling is a strap catching the bow so the bow dont drop on the gound.
  • So the reason olympic archers swing their bow is because they dont hold the grip firmly enough to hold the bow through out the shot. Resulting in the bow dropping into their sling.
  • Why dont they hold the grip thightly? By not holding the bow thightly they will gain more control and get a more accurate shot
  • Why dosent compound shooter use a sling or follow-through their shot? Thats because the speed of the arrow travels a lot faster than with a recurve bow. Making it possible for compound shooters to not give so much attention to what they do after the release because the arrow has already left the bow.

Related Questions

What bows do Olympic archers use? Olympic archers use recurve bows and not compound bows. That’s because there is a lot of sports competition for a place in the Olympics and the ICO committee have not yet accepted compound shooting as an Olympic game yet.

What pound bow do Olympic archers use? Women shooting in Olympic typically shoots between 40-48 pounds. The men shooting archery in the Olympic shoots on avarage between 45-55 pounds.