Exercises to keep bow draw muscles in shape?


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    North Texas

    Exercises to keep bow draw muscles in shape?

    Besides shooting your bow, what exercises do you suggest to keep the bow drawing muscles in shape? I have my bow set at 56 lbs. During bow hunting season, the draw was fairly easy and I could shoot around 30 - 35 arrows per practice session before getting muscle fatigue. I laid off shooting when rifle season came along (about 2 months). During that time, I was going to the gym and working out. But, apparently not working the bow drawing muscles. I went to the range yesterday and could only shoot around 10 arrows before fatigue set in.

    Lesson learned, need to go to the range more regularly. May drop the poundage about 2 lbs for awhile to get longer practice sessions in too.

    My gym has some weight stacks attached to cables that you can set about shoulder height. I'm thinking of trying to simulate the bow draw with the weights to build up my bow draw muscles when I can't get to the range.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    North Carolina
    You need to do rotator cuff exercises, deltoid exercises, and back exercises. For shoulders do front, side, and rear lateral raises with a light weight. For back do dumbell rowing exercises, and for rotator cuff ask one of the trainers at your gym to show you some exercises. It would be easier to show you these exercises than to try and explain it. The lateral raises will work them some but there are specific rotator cuff exercises to isolate the muscle better. Make sure you use very light weight when working your rotator cuff! The rotator cuff can be injured very easily.
    PASSTHRU ARCHERY - 828-273-2815
    Obsession /Athens / Xpedition Dealer
    Custom Bow Tuning

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  7. #4
    Coming from a Physical therapist....you need to stretch and do strengthening exercises and you need to exercise the muscle just like the way you work the muscle while shooting. That is sustained contractions for a period of time with smaller controlled movements. Yes you need to work the rotator cuff muscles for sure but you also need to work Scapular(shoulder blade) stability exercises, upper back exercises, and neck stability exercises. When I retrain guys to shoot I always first have them stretch...30 secs at a time no bouncing and at least 3-5 reps. I then have them warm up with either small elastic bands or small free weights and sometimes either pushups. In addition, you should do high reps lower weights and you should really feel the burn and fatigue at the end of your sets if you do not then you are not doing enough reps. Likewise, you should also do iso-holding exercises to simulate what your muscles are doing during a shot. For example, when you get to full draw your muscles are not actively "moving" they are contracted but they are statically holding your bow arm back and not necessarily doing gross large movements at this time. We should also exercise this way in addition to doing full ROM exercises.
    Also what many people do not know is that if you do not warm up the muscles and get them moving first then you will increase your chances of rupturing either the muscles or the tendons. With all my pro shooters I get them on a normal routine prior to all of their shooting sessions. despite the laughs or sneers by others the smart archer will do these exercises before he or she begins shooting. All those people who laugh at you will not be laughing when they are lying in a hospital bed after extremely painful Rotator cuff surgery or Labral tear surgery. Good luck

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Medina, Ohio
    I primarily work with kettlebells, base most of my workout off the enter the kettlebell workout. It consists of swing, snatches, clean and press & pull-ups.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Frederick / College Park, MD
    ive been using the ripshot and it has really strengthened my back to the point now where my 70 lb bow is so easy to draw
    Portage County Outdoors Pro Staff

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Latex bands... Get some, layer them, draw them. Works awesome... Or, be like me and just be all huge and muscle bound and nothing seems heavy anymore. I shoot 100+ shots every time I go at about 65#... Work work work and it'll be cake.

  11. #8
    nothing is worse than trying to draw on that big buck and not able to.

  12. #9
    Yea I would say those stretchy band thingys. Pull them very slowly and let them down very slowy. That might help.

  13. #10
    i had a complete shoulder replacement in sep. while doing the theropy, my theropiest gave me some of the balloon type mateiral, he said to hold one end like you would hold your riser and pull on the other end like you were drawing a bow. i do that ever other night . to make it harder , just shorten the distance between your hands. it helps, i shot my 45# bow a dozen times the other day. before the surgery i couldn't pull back 35#s . i also do 3 reps of 20 with a 3# wt. curles, strait arm lift to the front, strait arm lifts 45% out from the body. i know several people around me that only shoot thier bow during hunting season. [bad mistake] when my arms were healthy i shot a little ever day when possible, i guess a person can shoot to much, but i know for a fact you can shoot to little good luck

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    New York, USA
    Thanks completepassthru for your advice. Very useful.

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