Strengthening your archery muscles involves a combination of exercises that target the upper body, particularly the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Here are some exercises that can help you improve your archery skills:
Core Exercises for Archery
- One-arm Dumbbell Lateral Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put one arm on your waist for support. Lift the other arm up and to the side at a ninety-degree angle.
- Dumbbell Shrug: Hold a weight in each hand, resting at your sides. Lift your shoulders in a normal shrugging motion.
- Single-arm Dumbbell Row: Stretch one leg back to make a straight line from your heel to your head. Bend the other leg and keep the knee right below your shoulder. On the side of the leg stretched back, take one weight and bend your arm back. While your elbow is parallel to your shoulder, bring your arm back straight.
- Bench Dips: You need a table, chair, bench, or even stairs that allow you to sit and have your leg bent at a 90-degree angle comfortably for this exercise. Grip the edge of the bench with your palms facing backward. Move your lower body off the surface to activate the arms.
- Bend-over Rare Lateral Race: Sit down on a bench with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Bend over and rest your weight on your feet. Without lifting your chest, raise both arms straight out, mimicking the movement of wings.
- Variation on Push-ups: Push-ups work so many muscles in the body. If you’re new to push-ups stick to regular opinions. Open your body up to one side pushing up your fingers on the outer side.
- Planks: An easy full-body workout that helps you focus on the upper body, core, and leg muscles. Make sure your body is in a straight line by activating your core muscles. Keep your hands (or elbows) below your shoulders and hold for as long as you can!
- Overhead Triceps Extension: Extend your arms straight up over your head. Slowly bend your arms until you feel the weights touch your back. Keep your arms bent and bring them forward before pushing them up and straight again.
- Rowing Machine: This exercise can be done at home without a machine with bands attached to a door or wall. Secure your feet in the holsters and grab the handles. First, push back with your legs, then pull back with your abdomen. Bending out to your sides with your hands coming into your chest.
Specific Physical Training (SPT)
SPT is a great way to develop specific strength and endurance for an archer using a bow, lightweight bow, stretch band, or training aid. It can be used by archers of any skill level and adapted to develop the strength of a particular part of the shot process.
Arm & Core Exercises for Archery
- Resistance Bands: Resistance bands are perfect training for archery. If you can anchor the band to something like a doorframe or a post, you can use it like a bow. This will tone up your arms and strengthen the muscles, making your bow easier to use.
- Lateral Raises: Lateral raises are an exercise that can strengthen all your arms and shoulders. You can use any weight. If you’re new to weights, start small and do a few sets a day to build up your upper body strength.
- Dumbbell Rows: In Archery, holding your upper body in the right position is vital, so strong back muscles are needed to support your arms but also to keep you steady.
- Rowing Machine: A rowing machine provides a perfect full-body cardio workout. Unlike exercise bikes and other cardio machines, the rowing motion really tones and strengthens the upper body.
- Plank: Finally, we have the plank. Whilst it may be a simple exercise, this one is perfect for strengthening your core muscles. Being able to hold your own body weight will help you build endurance, but a strong core also helps with balance and stability, two things you need when learning to shoot a bow and arrow.
For more detailed instructions and visual guides, you can check out these videos:
Remember, it’s important to start slow and adapt the movements to suit your strength, ability, and accessibility to workout materials. As you progress, you can gradually increase the intensity and complexity of your workouts.