In archery shooting, the archer should hold the bow in place using only the pressure produced through drawing back the bowstring. Most coaches discourage the archer from gripping the bow as this is believed to produce a sideways deflecting torque on the bow and arrow during the release. The purpose of this study was to compare the bow hand forearm Muscular activation patterns of elite archers with beginners to define the muscular contraction-relaxation strategies in the bow hand forearm muscles during archery shooting and investigate the effects of performance level on these strategies. Electromyographic activity of the M. nexor digitorum superficialis and the M. extensor digitorum of 10 elite and 10 beginner archers were recorded together with a Pulse synchronized with the clicker snap. Raw electromyographic records as 1 s before and after the clicker pulse were rectified, integrated, and normalized. The data was then averaged for Successive shots of each subject and later for both groups of archers. The main difference between the elite and beginner archers was that the elite archers had a greater activation of the M. extensor digitorum, Which indicates that they avoid gripping the bow-handle not only relaxing the flexor muscles, but also contracting the extensor muscle groups. This muscular contraction strategy secures the archer to not interfere with the forward movement of the bow, which is the forward acceleration of the bow caused by the pushing power of the bowstring. (c) 2008 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.