Archery is not just dependent on your sense of accuracy and focused concentration. Even if you have these two very critical mental components, if your third component will not cooperate, you won’t always hit your target. What is this other important component? They are your muscles.
Yes, you definitely need to practice your accuracy and train your mind to concentrate on your target even amidst the distractions going all around you. But don’t forget your archery muscles. They are the ones that will do the physical work of hitting the target.
These particular muscles must also be trained and strengthened. You need to hone them because when you call upon them to help you hit the target, they should dutifully respond to your commands. Here are some tips on how you can strengthen your archery muscles.
Start With Drawing Exercises
Drawing here doesn’t mean sketching on a pad, but drawing a bow or pulling an arrow with your right hand while your left-hand hold the arc (if you are right-handed).
The muscles that you will use here are very difficult to strengthen so you must choose the exercises properly.
You can do some exercises to strengthen your arms and hands but there is nothing better than doing some drawing exercises.
These types of exercises will target the particular muscles that need to be strong and steady when you point your arrow at your target.
Start with a bow with a draw weight that is not too heavy. That means pulling the bowstring back will not be very difficult.
It is important for you not to strain your archery muscles in drawing the bow. If your muscles are overworked, you will tire easily. It may also lead you to develop poor drawing technique.
When you have already perfected the drawing technique, you can increase the draw weight. Having a heavier draw weight means that your arrow will travel faster and its travel will also be farther. You also need some additional exercises to work out your archery muscles.
Do Some Specific Physical Training Exercises
According to Archery360 Specific Physical Training is the best exercise regimen that you can perform to increase your drawing power. KiSik Lee, a U.S. Olympic Team archery coach was the one who developed these archery exercises.
These exercises are usually done with a bow. If you don’t have a bow, you can use resistance bands that mimic its strength and elasticity.
Hold the other end of the band by your left hand and the other hand by your right hand. If you are a beginner, you can start with resistance bands.
To strengthen your archery muscles, start by drawing back the bow while you stand in the right stance and holding it fully drawn for 15 seconds.
Repeat doing it until you are able to hold it for 30 seconds. After holding it for 15 seconds, rest 30 seconds. Adjust your rest period if you held the bow fully drawn for 30 seconds.
Continue doing these exercises from thirty minutes to one hour. If you can do these exercises for one hour, it is equivalent to shooting around 200 to 250 arrows. Doing these exercises with a bow and arrow is better, but you need to be in a target arena.
But doing it with resistance bands will allow you practice these exercises at home. Either way, you will be able to strengthen your archery muscles better than any form of exercises.
Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Biceps And Triceps
According to Arizona Republic newspaper, Your biceps and triceps also play very important parts in perfectly hitting your target with a bow and arrow.
Without them doing their part, you may not hit the bullseye very often. They help you in getting your aim steady and firmly towards the target.
You can strengthen these muscles by using dumbbells and performing bicep curls. Start with light dumbbells and do 10 reps per arm in two sets. As your muscles get accustomed to the weights, try using heavier dumbbells and repeat the same exercises.
You can also perform chin-ups on parallel bars. This will build and strengthen your triceps. Perform 12 reps and one set per session will be enough.
Exercise That Will Strengthen Your Scapular Muscles
You also need to work on our scapular muscles because they will help you in firmly drawing the bow and help your shoulders gain the strength and stability in aiming. The particular exercise that will do this is called the Prone Y, T, and I according to PursuitTherapy.
Basically, you need to be in a prone position to perform this exercise. While your body is in a prone position, you will move your left and right arms into the Y position, then the T position and the I position.
Here is a video that will show you how to do this exercise.
Exercise Your Primary Muscles By Rowing
According to Livestong, Rowing exercises will also target all your primary muscles including the triceps, dorsi, latissimus and deltoids.
Use the rowing machine. Sit on the machine and strap your feet. With your back straight, hold the handle and push your feet slowly and then slide back until both your legs are fully extended. Return to your original position and repeat several times.
Exercises That Will Improve Your Overall Stability
Your body needs to be stable while aiming for the target. Therefore you need to improve your overall stability.
Remember that as you are aiming for the target, the musculature of your body will be out of balance.
In this stance, the pushing muscles in your left arm and the pulling muscles of your right arm will be stronger than the same muscles on your body’s other side.
If you are not careful, the exercises that you will perform at the gym may even reinforce this imbalance.
According to BowHunting Magazine, To improve your overall stability, you need to strengthen your core muscles.
The exercises that will do this are crunches, sit-ups, planks and back extensions. When you do these exercises, see to it that you are working both sides of your body evenly.
I’ve never tried archery but I really want to.