Archery has become a more popular since popular movies like the Hunger Games have featured the sport. Archery is not all about aim. It is a sport that takes strength and considerable fitness.
In order to achieve a higher draw weight (the force passed on to the arrow by the bowstring) an archer must increase his or her upper body strength. Draw weight is particularly important when you are hunting big game which will require a draw weight of at least 45 pound. A strong upper back, shoulder and torso will also allow the shooter to pull the string smoothly which will make aiming easier. In addition to improving your skill set, strength training can help defend the archer against injuries brought on by the repetitive movements required by the sport. The exercises below will target some of the muscle groups that are critical to improving as an archer.
TRX Power Pull
- Put the TRX in single hand mode and stand facing the anchor point.
- Hold the handle with the right hand, place left hand by your side, keep your shoulder level and squared to the anchor point.
- Keep your shoulders down and back as you extend the right arm and lower your body toward the ground.
- As you extend the right arm release the shoulder and allow body to rotate towards the ground while the left arm reaches toward the ground
- Use the right arm to pull the body back into the starting position.
- Grab a pair of light hex dumbbell get into pushup position with your hands on the dumbbell handles, abs braced and toe on the ground.
- Inhales as you bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest is a fists distance from the ground.
- Exhale while you push yourself back up and rotate the right side of your body up by pivoting in your toes and raising the right arm and dumbbell straight over your shoulder until your body forms a T
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat the move but rotate to the left.
- Step up and grasp bar with underhand shoulder width grip.
- Pull body up until elbows are to sides.
- Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended.
*You can use a rubber resistance band as a counterweight to deload the exercise if you are unable to perform a chin up unassisted
In addition to strength training 2-3 times a week serious archers should also consider adding cardio vascular exercise to their routine. This combination of increased cardiovascular capacity, stronger core rotation, upper body pulling and upper body pushing will allow the archer to have a steadier pull, a higher draw weight and more endurance.