Flexibility in Action Shooting

By: Chris Andersen, 3-Gun Nation Pro Shooter

Chris Andersen
Chris Andersen getting flexible.
3-Gun Nation
3-Gun Nation

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- In my last article I talked a lot about the dynamic movements that happen in the sport of 3-Gun. Power and explosiveness can be of tremendous benefit in getting out of that starting box quickly, or getting to that first shooting position before anyone else.

But one of the most underestimated tools you can have in your shooting arsenal is flexibility.

Smooth Is Fast
Being flexible can be a tremendous asset in this sport in a number of ways. The most obvious is in awkward shooting positions. Matches are full of terrible positions devised by crafty match directors looking to challenge you in every way possible. Added flexibility means you have more options. And that can mean faster stage times.

Tension Is The Enemy
Tension is the enemy of speed. It forces bad decisions, and makes things harder than they need to be. Think about it like riding in a car with very soft suspension versus something with very stiff ride. In a nice Cadillac or BMW you might be able to write a letter in the passenger seat while driving down the highway at 65 mph on a fairly rough stretch of road. But if you tried to do the same thing in a really rough riding truck or sports car you might end up stabbing yourself in the leg with your pen! Being loose means less tension, and less tension means better, calmer sight pictures. A flexible shooter entering a shooting position is calmer, smoother, and sees his sights quicker, so that first shot hits the target faster.

Recover Quicker
I have seen a lot of shooters not only have trouble getting into a shooting position, but also actually needing help getting back out of it when the stage is over. Flexibility means that your body’s muscles, tendons and joints are going to cooperate when you ask them to do something. That also means on day two of that big match you have been excited about, you are going to get out of bed less sore, and ready to perform at your best.

Sounds great right? So how do you get flexible? Here are a few things that I do regularly:

Stretch. A Lot.
Lots of stretches like the ones listed in my last article. Before, during, and after matches and practice sessions teach your movements it needs to make, and improves your range of motion.

Workout Smart.
Regular exercise makes everything more pliable so that you are prepared to get down to that low shooting position or make that awkward transition without struggling. Yoga and regular Isometric type exercises are by far the best things you can do for flexibility. They are not going to be as glamorous as seeing how much you can bench press, or the latest fad workout. But know that you can still do those things too. Just supplement your workout with stretches and exercises designed to improve flexibility. They are great for a warm-up or cool down in your regular workout routine.

Enjoy the benefits!
There are a couple of other benefits to staying flexible. Being healthy obviously pays dividends in every part of your life. And better flexibility will help you avoid injury not only in athletic situations, but in your day-to-day life as well. So this strategy is really a win-win.

Now get after it!

Visit 3-Gun Nation to learn more: www.3gunnation.com