Bowhunting & target archery might be old-fashioned compared to rifle shooting, but it’s one of the most thrilling and primal ways to hunt. But here’s the catch: an archer needs to be in great physical condition to shoot effectively.
Thankfully, with the right exercises and archery workout, any archer can train to withstand the strain of bow-hunting & range targeting. Here are some exercises that every archer should practice.
Before you begin.
3 Keys To Success
Archery exercises come with their own set of physical demands that separate them from other workouts. It is extremely important to understand that each one of these exercises enhances your archery muscles!
Before you pull back your bowstring or hit the gym, here are some fitness fundamentals that you should start with.
Get A Stretch Band
Stretching is important before any physical workout, but it’s twice as important for archers. Drawing back any bow with cold muscles can cause serious injury and can impact both your power and endurance for hunting in the long run.
A good investment to make is to purchase a stretch band. You can use it to practice your shots, warm up your muscles before archery practice or gym sessions, or just improve your form if you don’t have time to go to the gym.
You can buy stretch bands (also called therapy bands or stretch tubing) at your local archery or medical store.
Bowhunters need to be prepared for long stretches of hiking, so your cardio needs to be above average. A good cardio workout doesn’t have to be fancy. Most veteran archers use swimming as a way to build their cardio and work their upper body at the same time.
With that said, there’s nothing wrong with going for a jog or a run. Hitting the pavement will work the muscles in your lower body, which can help you keep stable footing while you’re taking your shot.
Archery should never be rushed or explosive. A clear and focused mindset can vastly improve your shooting; whereas an anxious head-space can completely screw up your aim.
Finding a balance between your physical performance and your mental acuity is the key to successful bowhunting workout – and meditation can go a long way into improving both your form and mindset.
Planking increases your body’s core strength, but it also improves your balance and gives you better posture. It is an excellent part of an archery workout!
For archers, having a stable stance is one of the key principles of good shooting – and planking can help you build all the muscle groups required for stability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best exercise for Archery?
The answer depends on what type of archery you do. For example: target archery requires more upper body than compound archery does.
If you shoot competitively, you’ll probably benefit most by practicing your draw stroke. This involves using your arms to pull back your bow string.
For recreational shooters, however, I recommend focusing on developing your grip strength and forearm/wrist flexibility. These two areas are essential when drawing back your bow.
How often should I train my arm?
This really depends on how much time you spend training each week. But generally speaking, once per day would be sufficient.
However, if you plan on doing multiple types of archery workouts throughout the year, you may find that you need to increase your frequency.
I’m not sure about other people, but I tend to get sore after working out every single day. So, I usually only hit the weights twice a week.
I’ve heard that lifting heavy weights makes me stronger. Is this true?
Do pull ups help with archery?
Yes, they absolutely do. Pulling down on a bar strengthens your bicep muscles, which helps stabilize your wrist during aiming.
But don’t overdo them. You shouldn’t try to perform 10+ reps without stopping. Instead, start off slow and gradually add weight until you reach failure.
Do you need to be strong to do archery?
No, but having great hand-eye coordination certainly helps. And being able to hold steady under pressure is important too.