Need to Increase your draw weight? Here are 4 exercises to help.
As archers and hunters, we strive to be the best versions of ourselves, both on the range and out in the field. For us, it’s no secret that perfect practice makes perfect. So why not add physical conditioning to your already perfect practice? Increasing your muscle tone and stamina will give you better control over your shot and the ability to shot for longer time periods. To increase your muscle tone, you will need to build strength in your shoulders, back and core. Here are 4 great strength and conditioning exercises that I do to maximize my workout for peak archery performance.
Tricep Kickbacks help to strengthen the muscles of your arms and upper back. This specific exercise will help you shoot longer and hold your full draw position longer.
To perform Tricep Kickbacks:
- Start with a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing your torso. Bend slightly forward at the waist, your back should be straight and your knees slightly bent.
- Now that you are in position, with your elbows staying close to your side and your upper arms stationary, move the dumbbells back using your forearms until they are fully extended.
- After a slight pause at full extension bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat for a total of 20 reps and 3 sets.
Lateral Delt Raises
Increasing your shoulder strength is excellent for toning muscles to help stabilize you while shooting. Being able to hold your position, especially while hunting can be key to a successful and ethical harvest in some cases.
To perform Lateral Delt Raise:
- Stand with a dumbbell in each hand resting at your sides.
- With your back straight, your core tight and a slight bend in your elbows, slowly lift your arms out until they become parallel to the floor.
- After a slight pause, slowly lower your arms back down to your side and repeat for a total of 20 reps and 3 sets.
The plank exercise is a great way to strengthen your core for better stability, endurance and strength.
To perform the Forearm Plank:
- Start with your hands and toes on the floor in a standard push-up position.
- Slowly lower your forearms to the ground directly below your shoulders. Your arms should form a 90-degree angle, bending at the elbow.
- Maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
- Your focus should be slightly in front of your shoulders to maintain a straight back.
- Keep your core tight and hold for 1 minute, repeating for a total of 3 sets.
Bow Draw with AccuBow
Practicing drawing with a AccuBow with both your dominant and non-dominant arms will not only increase strength in your arms, shoulders and back, but also, it will also test your stability. This is what I call the all-around archers exercise. If you do not have an Accubow, this exercise can easily be down by folding a resistance band in half and tying the end.
To perform Bow Draw:
- Using the knob on the bottom wheel of the AccuBow, set your resistance. The resistance can be set anywhere from 10 to 70 pounds, making it great for everyone. *For more reps, use a lighter poundage.
- Start with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Make sure you are standing up straight and not leaning back, making sure your weight is distributed evenly.
- Holding the bow in your bow arm with a slight bend at the elbow, draw using your dominant arm utilizing the resistance band attached to the AccuBow.
- When drawing, focus on using your back muscles to draw, as opposed to solely drawing with your arms. Remember, slow-and-steady wins the race and will help you learn the proper draw techniques while increasing your muscle tone.
- Complete 3 sets of 20 reps for both your dominant and non-dominant arms, alternating arms between sets.
About Sereena Thompson
Sereena Thompson is a mom, wife, hunter, blogger and all-around outdoor enthusiast! She is the co-founder of Nature’s Paint, an easy-on easy-off, all-natural camo face paint. “As a hunter I am dedicated to uplifting, empowering and helping other ladies and kids get into hunting and the outdoors.”
Reprinted with permission by Women’s Outdoor News.