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Holding exercises on lines

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Post by chopper 10/21/2020, 3:27 pm

I'm trying to improve my wobble, shake, and grip by doing holding exercises. I'm doing them Keith Sanderson way in his video, and the way Ed Hall talks about. I changed my stance back from facing sideways to target, to a more open stance maybe 45 degrees. It's a bit more comfortable in sighting because my neck muscles don't get as sore.
  My problem comes when I hold on the horizontal line I hold fairly steady, but the vertical line my movement (sway) is pronounced left and right. My feet are pointed outwards in my stance maybe 45 degree from my body, this puts my right foot pointed to target and left foot pointed to my left.
  I appreciate any help from the shooters that dry fire and do holding training. Maybe there's another training method I could incorporate also.
 Stan

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Post by -TT- 10/21/2020, 8:18 pm

Sounds like you are turning your feet too far out. Any particular reason you're doing this? With your right foot pointed at the target, your left foot is the only one providing side-to-side leverage. Why not try pointing them more naturally forward?

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Post by CR10X 10/22/2020, 5:48 am

Angle between feet should be closer to 90 degrees than 45 degrees.  Think of the foot positions as though it were more martial arts or fencing  than baseball.

Also, for swaying make sure your weight is resting "bone on bone" from your feet, ankles, knees and hips.  You should not be using muscles to support your legs but let the bones take the weight and stabilize everything below the waist. And the more you can get your torso supported by the backbone the better but the torso requires substantial muscle effort.  Be sure to do your core exercises and build up those muscles.  Planks are your worst nightmare when exercising, but one of the best things for shooting.  

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Post by Ed Hall 10/22/2020, 7:46 am

Body sway is a parallel error and therefore not a big deal if you accept it.  Being a parallel error, the fraction of an inch you have at the muzzle will represent that same fraction of an inch at the target.

Body sway is perpendicular to a line drawn through the feet.  You can decrease vertical sway (while increasing horizontal) by moving your rear foot more toward the target.

What others have mentioned can help in minimizing the sway overall.  Additionally, some footwear can help.  Harder soles, for example, may help with stability.

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Post by chopper 10/22/2020, 9:19 am

Foot movement helped a lot, along with standing more erect with head. I caught myself "bending my head more" when I used to blade to the target, probably wrong form when I was using that stance. I like the way my arm locked up better when I bladed though, if it wasn't for my neck getting sore after a match I'd still use that stance.
 Thank you for the insight everyone, Stan

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Post by Wobbley 10/22/2020, 10:30 am

Adopt your stance in front of a mirror.  Look at your eyes and see if they’re still level and remain that way until the shot breaks.  Rifle shooters found out years ago that if the head isn’t level the body sway becomes very large very quickly.
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Post by Aprilian 10/22/2020, 12:33 pm

Ed Hall wrote:Body sway is a parallel error and therefore not a big deal if you accept it.  Being a parallel error, the fraction of an inch you have at the muzzle will represent that same fraction of an inch at the target.

Body sway is perpendicular to a line drawn through the feet.  You can decrease vertical sway (while increasing horizontal) by moving your rear foot more toward the target.

What others have mentioned can help in minimizing the sway overall.  Additionally, some footwear can help.  Harder soles, for example, may help with stability.
Ed, I have studied your writings over at the Star site and really like the help they have i given me.

However, I'm not following your comment above.   In order for the movement at the hand to be equal to the movement at the target (when the body is swaying) does that require that the upper body, wrist, arm and head are locked together as one unit?
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Post by Wobbley 10/22/2020, 8:24 pm

Standing and holding something out there while you align it with something on a distant wall is a dynamic event.  As the body sways the hand-eye coordination keeps the aligned thing on that point on the distant wall.  Rifle shooters very subtly move and adjust their hold to keep the sights aligned and on the aiming mark.  It becomes part of the process.  In pistol, the wobble is faster than your body can adjust, but, as the wobble gets smaller and centers your body is compensating for sway,
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Post by Ed Hall 10/22/2020, 10:12 pm

Aprilian wrote:Ed, I have studied your writings over at the Star site and really like the help they have i given me.

However, I'm not following your comment above.   In order for the movement at the hand to be equal to the movement at the target (when the body is swaying) does that require that the upper body, wrist, arm and head are locked together as one unit?
There are two basic errors: angular and parallel.  Angular error involves the arm joints, grip, etc. It can be seen as a change in the sight alignment with the eye.  Parallel error is motion that occurs from such things as body sway without changing the sighting system alignment with the eye.  Angular error can also occur from minute of angle deflection, but that is something different from the dynamic hold pattern.

With the angular error minimized, the parallel error at the target will be pretty much the same size as at the muzzle.  The angular error is greatly increased at the target.  That's why it's so important to focus on the proper alignment of the sighting system.  The optimum is to allow the sighting system to float within the hold and have the shot break while it's floating.

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Post by CR10X 10/23/2020, 6:04 am

I didn't want to answer before Ed did, but since he has, here is my take on this for what its worth. 

However, I'm not following your comment above.   In order for the movement at the hand to be equal to the movement at the target (when the body is swaying) does that require that the upper body, wrist, arm and head are locked together as one unit?

Pretty much yes, There will be a little angular displacement, but not enough to matter.   A lot of shooters try to compensate for swaying or wobble or just general movement by subtle movement of hand, wrist, arm or whatever trying to keep the dot or front sight on some point on the target.  That creates a LOT of angular displacement.  Keep the sights or dots more referenced to gun (rear sight / tube) to learn to center and keep the gun parallel to reduce the angular displacement. 

Keep the body as a "unit" once you have your comfortable position.  Just move the foot position and angle to the target to get the center of your wobble area over the center of the target.  That gets you the most time over the center of the area you need to keep the pistol parallel with to follow that imaginary line to the target.  Lots of people are squeezing grips, pushing with fingers or trigger finger and creating a greater level of angular displacement with that than with the body sway.  

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Post by -TT- 10/23/2020, 7:42 am

I got nothin' compared to Ed and CR, but:

CR10X wrote:Just move the foot position and angle to the target to get the center of your wobble area over the center of the target.

For me, that angle choice is everything. I've experimented with everything from straight-on to shoulders-in-line and it's incredible how different the sway becomes. I've opened my stance a lot. And I use a different stance on dirt than indoors or under a covered line.

Don't discount the visual input btw. If you use blinders or an occluder, they reduce your peripheral input and can really throw you off. I use translucent side shields and a spot of scotch tape, makes a huge improvement.

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Post by chopper 10/23/2020, 10:36 am

Thank you all for the help, Ed the two errors, and Cecil the body as a whole and rear foot adjustment.  TT, your first reply helped and your second one made me realize that I haven't been using scotch tape to occlude very long maybe month or two. Cecil, being in better physical condition sure wouldn't hurt, I put on a few "lb's" this year. 
   The one thing I haven't been doing is updating my shot plan and putting it on my lid for over a year. I used to be fussy about my stance and noticed this year my grouping hasn't been as tight in sustained as it used to be. I did change to a more open stance, maybe I should close it up some, because that is where it tends to go with grip and finger placement. I would have to get a shorter trigger, to grip it for the more open stance. 
   Thanks, Stan

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