11 Archery Exercises For Precision & Accuracy

Draw Strength & Target Accuracy Start With A Solid Core

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, any archer can train to withstand the strain of bow-hunting & range targeting. Here are some exercises that every archer should practice.

11 Archery Exercises For Precision & Accuracy
Before You Begin

3 Keys To Success

Archery exercises come with their own set of physical demands that separate it from other workouts. Before you pull back your bowstring or hit the gym, here are some fitness fundamentals that you should start with.

3 Keys To Success

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.

Cardio

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.

Meditation

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 – and meditation can go a long way into improving both your form and mindset.

Exercise 1

Planking

Planking increases your body’s core strength, but it also improves your balance and gives you better posture. 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.

Planking

 

Exercise 2

Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlifts target areas like your glutes and hamstrings and improve muscle coordination of your lower back muscles. It also strengthens the muscles responsible for running, sprinting, and jumping, which can come in handy if you’re tracking your prey on foot.

Compound leg and back exercises will help you maintain a stable stance, but more importantly, they will help you build your overall strength.

Romanian Deadlift
Exercise 3

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Single-arm dumbbell rows can help you handle heavier draw weights, which can increase the power and distance that your arrows travel while hunting. This exercise also targets the latissimus dorsi muscle which simulates the action of drawing your bow.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
Exercise 4

Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise

These exercises work your deltoid muscles, which are important for stabilizing your bow hand while shooting. Doing this workout increases your arm strength, allowing you to keep a steady hand when aiming and supporting your draw hand as you pull your arrows back.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Exercise 5

Push-Ups

Few exercises can build your upper body strength as efficiently as push-ups can. This routine strengthens your chest and arms which will help you tolerate the strain of pulling the bow. Best of all, it’s an exercise that you can do anywhere with no equipment.

Push-Ups
Exercise 6

Bench (Tricep) Dips

Bench dips allow you to withstand the physical strain from taking shot after shot with your bow. It can help decrease the muscle fatigue that you experience while bowhunting and allows you to pull back your arrows back with greater strength.

Bench (Tricep) Dips
Exercise 7

Lateral Raises

Strong shoulders are extremely important for bowhunting since your shoulder muscles affect everything from power, to endurance, to accuracy. Lateral raises, which target the shoulder muscles, upper back, arms, and neck, are the best exercises to help you develop the strength you need for powerful and precise shots.

Lateral Raises
Exercise 8

Seated Cable Rows

A strong back allows you to lift your equipment with ease. Seated cable rows work the back muscles, allowing your latissimus dorsi muscles to do most of the lifting. Done well, this exercise can boost your power and improve your muscle endurance.

Seated Cable Rows
Exercise 9

Rowing Machine

Archery hunts often involve long treks through the woods, which can wear you out if you don’t have enough stamina. Using a rowing machine gives you a low-impact cardio routine that can work your entire body, improving your cardio endurance for long treks.

Rowing Machine
Exercise 10

Barbell Pullovers

This exercise targets the tricep and deltoid muscle groups, which help with holding your bow steady while pulling your arrows. It also strengthens your core abdominal muscles, which improves your stance when shooting. A good, all-around addition to any bowhunter’s physical training.

Barbell Pullovers
Exercise 11

Yoga

Yoga’s attention to holding poses can increase any archer’s stability, a crucial element for successful shooting. Many archers practice namaste yoga, which improves both physical balance and mental acuity. Yoga exercises target almost every muscle group associated with bowhunting and help you maintain clarity and focus while you take your shot.

Yoga
FAQs

3 Common Questions About Archery Exercises

Anytime we bring up exercises related to Archery, we seem to always get the 3 same questions, so we wanted to address them all here for you.  SPT, the best exercise, and how often you should be doing them.

3 Common Questions About Archery Exercises

What About SPT?

While these exercises can help improve specific muscle groups and work on your overall endurance, some archery coaches have developed routines for archers called Specific Physical Training (SPT).

They developed SPT exercises as a training tool for indoor archers to transition to outdoor archery, or for archers that don’t have as much time to invest in full-time archery training. It’s perfect for bowhunters because it crosses over with many of the physical demands that come with bowhunting.

SPT can accommodate archers of all skill levels, which makes it great for a beginner or veteran bowhunter. As long as you have a bow (or the equivalent practice aid), you can do SPT.

We recommend enrolling in a school or nearby archery range that offers SPT exercises. SPT is very helpful to archers of all skill levels, but you can injure yourself if you are doing the exercises without supervision.

What’s The Best Exercise?

The exercises we’ve discussed can help increase all the muscle groups involved in shooting, but all veteran bowhunters agree: the best way to improve your form for bowhunting is to practice shooting your bow.

Aside from improving your physical capabilities, it’s also great for the other important aspect of bowhunting: your aim. All the muscle strength in the world won’t matter if you don’t land a shot.

Going to archery ranges or practicing in the woods are great ways to improve your bowhunting. You can also look into field archery, which involves hiking and target shooting. Many archery schools around the country offer it as a brief course, which you can fit in between your hunting trips.

How Often Should I Be Doing These Exercises?

Like any physical workout, it’s important to be consistent with archery routines – but don’t overdo it!

Most archers will recommend 3 sets of 8-12 reps of the exercises above, twice a week. For yoga sessions, you can separate those from your gym days to avoid too much strain on your body.

If you’re an amateur archer, it’s all right to adjust your routine to accommodate for the physical strain you’ll experience. Don’t be overconfident and dive right into the thick of things. Bowhunting without preparation can be inefficient and dangerous.

Summary

When it comes to bowhunting, you need to be in peak physical condition to deliver a kill shot. Consistent exercise can help improve every aspect of your bowhunting; including your power, endurance, and accuracy.

With all that said, you should never underestimate the importance of mental training. There’s a lot of pressure associated with landing a killing shot, and it helps to be able to clear your mind. For that, we recommend yoga and meditation.

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