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Tips on learning to stay low

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Has anyone here overcome the habit of rising up into a straight legged stance in every shooting position? What worked for you?

 

 

 

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Best thing I found was to use video in training.

Do a few runs, review, and repeat.

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The solution is to replicate a crouched shooting stance as you enter a position on a daily basis. Deploy that movement 25 times throughout the day as you go about your normal business. 

 

You can’t expect to “turn a movement skill on” on match day if you are not practicing it on a regular basis.

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Previous experience is some sports like basketball (defensive stance play especially), football (footwork and direction change) or judo (ballance change/transfer ) can be really beneficial. Explore their movement approach and mimic their practice approach..... 

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The solution is to replicate a crouched shooting stance as you enter a position on a daily basis. Deploy that movement 25 times throughout the day as you go about your normal business. 
 
You can’t expect to “turn a movement skill on” on match day if you are not practicing it on a regular basis.
My business day is spent in my truck and other people's houses, but I can see how that will work. I thought it was going to be as simple as just remembering during the COF to stay low. Nope.

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CHA-LEE is right, needs to be sort of habit so you can focus attention on other things in the match.

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Make a point to think about it during your walk through, and get into the exact position you want to be in. Repeat as many times as you can, and then think about that during visualization. Any skill that is new is going to need extra programing before your run. Work on it in Dry fire and live fire on a regular basis. Standing up seems to be natural, everyone I watch seems to do it unless they've worked on that skill.

 

Videoing yourself (mentioned above) is a great idea to, then you can really see what you're doing while your working on things. I do this with my phone a lot during DF.

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Videoing myself in practice.

Doing my entry work into a mirror so I can see myself.

Writing it down, in positive phrasing, what I want to change to improve.

Asking people I trust to remind me of what my goals are and give encouragement while in the match.

Repetition, repetition.

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Using a combination of barrels with either fault lines or 1" X 2" target sticks near an entry position can be useful. Instant feedback if you're not low enough/ pop up as you will hit your head. 

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A big part of it is just being generally athletic as well. 

Like try staying in a slightly crouched position for a long time.  It takes work bc your knees aren’t locked and your muscles are being engaged.

 

making that position more normal like was said above as well as training your legs and core to make the engaging of muscles more normal will make it a comfortable and repeatable shooting position 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/19/2019 at 2:14 PM, BoyGlock said:

I prefer Stoeger's: wider feet/stance = lower body. No frills.

 

He still leans forward to get the weight where it needs to be, and bends his knees slightly. And that has to be learned.

 

The big killer isn’t the fact that you wasted time or have a slow exit when you stand up in each position. The big one is that you also end up with an upright torso. You aren’t driving the gun, instead the recoil is driving you back... and you can’t transition as agressively with the narrow stance AND the locked, stiff legs.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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The primary challenge people have with Staying Low is that its not a "Comfortable" position to be in. A proper crouched stance requires that it be built and maintained primary with your leg and core body muscles. Doing this is not a comfortable and can rarely be sustained for an extended amount of time. The best tool I use to assess my "Staying Low" shooting stance is asking myself honestly if I could maintain that exact position for several minutes without suffering muscle fatigue. The correct answer should be a definitive "NO WAY" because the stance is produced with 100% muscle effort. If the answer is "Yes, I could stand here comfortably for an extended amount of time" then I am absolutely NOT in the proper crouched shooting stance.

 

The solution for this is really to improve your leg and core muscle strength so that producing a proper crouched stance isn't extremely uncomfortable. When students ask me what level of muscle strength or endurance is needed for this a good rule of thumb is being able to do at least 25 full depth air squats in one non-stop set. From my experience in training others, its rare for the average weekend warrior practical shooter to be able to perform 25 full depth air squats in a row due to being out of shape or poor mobility/flexibility. You can't expect to deploy an effective "Staying Low" shooting stance if you physical fitness or mobility is so poor that you couldn't even do it in the first place.

 

For practical shooters, squats should be a big part of your physical fitness program.

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The tops of my quads are always a little sore after a USPSA match. Tells me I was getting low... also tells me I'm not in as good of shape as I could/should be :roflol:

 

I know I had developed the habit of staying low stance when I started shooting steel matches regularly with an overly aggressive stance. I loosened up a little for steel. It's still good to be low to keep the targets at about eye level and to absorb recoil.

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12 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

 

He still leans forward to get the weight where it needs to be, and bends his knees slightly. And that has to be learned.

 

 

 

Thats normal, You just dont spread your feet so i think its a given. 

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The primary challenge people have with Staying Low is that its not a "Comfortable" position to be in. A proper crouched stance requires that it be built and maintained primary with your leg and core body muscles. Doing this is not a comfortable and can rarely be sustained for an extended amount of time. The best tool I use to assess my "Staying Low" shooting stance is asking myself honestly if I could maintain that exact position for several minutes without suffering muscle fatigue. The correct answer should be a definitive "NO WAY" because the stance is produced with 100% muscle effort. If the answer is "Yes, I could stand here comfortably for an extended amount of time" then I am absolutely NOT in the proper crouched shooting stance.
 
The solution for this is really to improve your leg and core muscle strength so that producing a proper crouched stance isn't extremely uncomfortable. When students ask me what level of muscle strength or endurance is needed for this a good rule of thumb is being able to do at least 25 full depth air squats in one non-stop set. From my experience in training others, its rare for the average weekend warrior practical shooter to be able to perform 25 full depth air squats in a row due to being out of shape or poor mobility/flexibility. You can't expect to deploy an effective "Staying Low" shooting stance if you physical fitness or mobility is so poor that you couldn't even do it in the first place.
 
For practical shooters, squats should be a big part of your physical fitness program.
Thats some excellent info CHA-LEE! I just did the 25 air squats, and while I could have another 10 maybe, it was still way harder than I was expecting. Part of the straight legged thing for me is at it feels like a rock solid platform. With exercise, the low position will start to feel solid too. Thank you.

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Worry more about getting your gun ready shoot before your body settles into position, and your body will automagically stabilize sooner and better


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Posted (edited)
On 3/30/2019 at 1:52 PM, theblacklabel18 said:

Worry more about getting your gun ready shoot before your body settles into position, and your body will automagically stabilize sooner and better
 

 

That's a separate issue though.  Often times I will come into a position low and agressive, gun up and shooting.  Then I find myself slowly rising up into an upright standing position as I'm shooting from that spot.

Edited by Kixx

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That's a separate issue though.  Often times I will come into a position low and agressive, gun up and shooting.  Then I find myself slowly rising up into an upright standing position as I'm shooting from that spot.


I had the same problem until I started focusing on gun position, and it fixed itself. Sorry I didn’t elaborate more for my experience. Another thing you could try is shuffle stepping into position so your momentum doesn’t continue to carry you. If you try to stop and your momentum says go you’re going to go up as a byproduct while your body is dispersing that energy. I’m not a movement expert but I’ve seen it and experienced it.


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The one thing that has helped me with staying low is setting up very simple random 2-3 target stages that require me to move between each target in all directions. I then focus strictly on my movement techniques (staying low, entries & exits). I don't want to worry about draws, transitions, reloads, etc, ONLY movement.  I never put more then one target at a shooting spot and I use a par timer so I can really see what helps me shave time off. Lots of trial and error. I start on beep with my gun already aiming at a target. I try to keep track of my par times over time so I can be encouraged when I see improvement. I do it multiple times so it counts as my workout also :). As mentioned, I also video this sometimes just to make sure I'm staying low. Just like everything it does take some time but my stage times have definitely improved drastically since I started doing this.

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It can be addressed with dry-fire. When you work on movement, stop at the end of each run and check your stance. Are your feet wide enough? Are your knees bent? Is your weight loaded the way you want it to be? 

 

Adding video can help as well, especially confirming whether you actually stayed low or just thought you did.

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To me it was NEVER letting myself break a shot (either live or dry) without being in the proper position that helped to ingrain staying low.  If you want it to be automatic it has to be something you do subconsciously, this only comes with reps.  Make a proper stance as important as muzzle awareness, trigger finger discipline, etc. and it will become natural.

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