How to Set up and Adjust the Astra Shot Trainer
Wearing, adjusting, and using the Shot Trainer is a pretty simple affair. Slip the sleeve over the arm (offered in two sizes) and adjust the slack while the draw fingers are curled, similar to full draw but not holding the string – about 1” slack is a good starting point. When adjusted too short, the string won’t move when released, too long and the slack in the material can cause a whip action on the arm or neck, which stings a little. To avoid the ‘Kiss of the Shot Trainer’, it is better to sneak up on the right adjustment by starting too short and gradually increasing the length.
Always refer to the owner’s manual and understand all warnings. Full instructions for usage and adjustment can be found at the 3Rivers Archery web site.
The Shot Trainer guides and strengthens the large, archery-specific, lower trapezius shooting muscles in the back by harnessing the draw weight that would normally disappear from the archer’s draw-hand/arm/shoulder as the arrow is released. The feeling of being tethered to the bow string is unique and you have to be ready for it, so be ready to hold technique while catching the draw weight of the bow.
After putting the sleeve on and adjusting to the proper range, start slowly and get used to drawing and holding at full draw for a comfortable beat before letting the bow down gently. This a great way to start out and use the training aid as a safety catch or dry-fire preventative in case the string grip slips while drawing and letting down the bow during warm-up.
The Shot Trainer can handle any bow weight but standard recommendation for archers is to start with a bow in the teens to twenty pound range for draw weight, or even a stretch band. This is simply to avoid injuries and help an archer understand the proper adjustments and feel before moving onto that custom 75# longbow or other potent shaft launcher and being painfully humbled by the heavier draw weight. Compound shooters will also get all of the same benefits as any other archer, but remember to never use the Shot Trainer on a compound bow. If you’re a compound shooter that wants to use the Shot Trainer but doesn’t have a non-compound bow to practice on, there are a great deal of tutorials online for how to make a hardware store PVC tube bow for a few dollars. This solution will work the same as any other non-compound bow with the Shot Trainer.
When adjusted in the proper range, the device might tug a little for some archers as they’re raising the arms and hands to draw the bow. Once the draw is started, the tugging is usually gone for most archers; this depends on the adjustments of the device, body size and shooting style.