When I first started archery, I didn't think id need much strength in order to shoot..boy was I wrong. The continued drawing of the bow and holding it drawn to aim, worked my arms and mostly my shoulders. Towards the end of a couple of hour session, I struggled to aim the bow effectively due to my strength.
By exercising your upper body, you can not only handle the draw better but you have the increase strength and stamina to be able to aim more effectively. Put simply, these archery exercises will help you to have better control over your shot and allow you to shoot for longer!
There are so many different exercises that you could do to improve your archery, I have chosen these ones as they focus on the upper body. (Lower body is just as important but that's for another day). As mentioned I prefer exercises that I can do at home and that ideally doesn't use much equipment, if any.
Before we get into the exercises, here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your exercises;
You want to build strength and condition the muscles, you don't want to build size. It is a common myth that lifting weights will make you massive, this is not the case. The key to building strength is to lift low weight but higher reps, muscle is built by lifting high weights but low reps. Therefore pick a weight that you can lift comfortably but still feel. If you are not able to do all of the reps then go to a lower weight
Reps are the amount of times you perform the exercise. For strength improvements I will normally do 10-12 reps. If you was to build muscle mass then you would tend to do around 6 reps (depending on the exercise)
Sets are the amount of times you do the reps. I will often do 3 sets of each workout, with a 1 minute break between each set.
This exercise has been picked as it helps to strengthen the middle of the back. When doing archery you use your shoulders but the muscles in your back also plan an important role. Increasing the strength in your back can really help with controlling your shots. This exercise also mimics the effects of drawing a bow so in effect uses very similar muscles.
The dumbbell shrug is a great exercise to help strengthen the trapezius muscle. This muscle is located in the middle of your upper back, between your shoulder blades.
The shoulders are a key muscle to focus on when doing archer and this is an excellent exercise to do that is also very easy. It is the only shoulder exercise in this article that uses dumbbells.
Push ups are an excellent exercise for archery, as it helps to strengthen the shoulders but also helps with the upper arms and the chest. They are also great as you don't need any equipment and can easily be done at home. There are a number of different push up exercises, id recommend doing a basic push up if you are new.
Pull ups are an excellent workout but at the same time they can be tough. It does require some decent upper body strength so if you are unable to do it, keep practicing and eventually you will manage to do them. As you do exercises such as bench dips, lat raises your upper body strength will improve.
This is another exercise that can be done at home without any equipment, it's incredibly easy to do and can really help strengthen the triceps. This is the muscle on the back of your arm just below your shoulder.
The last exercise is to help strengthen your biceps, which will also help with being able to pull higher draw weights.
These exercises for archery are perfect, they help to strengthen the upper body to help you hit your target better and also improve your stamina. As mentioned I have chosen these as they are all fairly easy to do for a beginner but at the same time give great results. Other than the pull up, the only equipment needed is a dumbbell and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
You don't need to do all 7, I would recommended doing 5 different exercises in a routine. It would also be a good idea to alternate the exercises some days to help work different parts of the body.