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Thread: Exercises to build up "archery" muscles

  1. #1

    Talking Exercises to build up "archery" muscles

    So what kinda exercises can one do at home or in a gym to build up the muscles used to hold a bow steady, draw firmly and shoot with endurance?

    Preferably a set of exercise routine easily done at home with a standard type weight so I don't have to go to a gym or get expensive equipment.





  2. #2
    Join Date
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    This is a link to Coach Lee's training. These exercises are done by the RA's and Junior Dream Team daily.
    http://www.kslinternationalarchery.c...SPTs/SPTs.html
    Steve Caufman,
    Class Archery - "Shooting for Excellence"
    Puyallup, WA
    JDT Coach
    Regional Coach

  3. #3
    I was thinking more in line of exercises with dumbbells or typical household items for when using an actual bow is not practical.

    I would like to know specific exercises to do to target key muscles that would be most helpful when it comes to shooting a bow.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowNewB View Post
    I was thinking more in line of exercises with dumbbells or typical household items for when using an actual bow is not practical.

    I would like to know specific exercises to do to target key muscles that would be most helpful when it comes to shooting a bow.
    Dumbell side raises and bent over rows 3 sets each 3-4 times a week with enough weight so you can`t exceed 15 reps. 10 - 15 reps per set. A few weeks of that and you`ll pull an ox.

  5. #5
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    ANB -

    Effectively you don't. If you go to the gym, then go to the gym. Do a full body resistance routine based on your level of fitness plus enough to result in development. A good trainer or even a knowledgeable workout partner might be necessary. Add aerobics as you find beneficial.

    The best way to develop the "archery" muscles is too shoot. The trick is that you must have established form before you try to "bulk up". Once the form is established, then you can use the same "weight lifting principles" for shooting. Increasing the number of reps (shots per end), isometric contractions (hold time at anchor), stamina (both total number of shots and reducing the rest time between shots) and of course resistance (heavier limbs).

    Can't really give you a full program on the net as that's between you and your trainer or shooting coach, but those principles seem to work for most folks.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  6. #6
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    This question brings up some questions of my own. I try to lift weights once a week and for me the jury is still out as to if it really helps my shooting.

    Certainly in general I feel much stronger if I lift regularly, but at my draw weight (~45 lbs) I cannot really say that lifting weights has made the bow easier to handle. Meaning, even without lifting I feel fairly comfortable drawing and holding it, so lifting doesn't really seem to make a big difference.

    It also interferes with archery practice. Nights I lift weights I cannot shoot, and I also generally avoid shooting the next day. So if I want to lift twice a week then I basically can only shoot on weekends. Even if I lift only once a week then at best I can get one weekday night of archery practice in.

    Mark

  7. #7
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    Mark -

    I try to lift weights once a week and for me the jury is still out as to if it really helps my shooting.
    Lifting once a week ain't gonna help anything and may actually hurt - you, not your shooting. If time is a problem, then doing less, but more often is a better approach. Three times a week really is the minimum.

    One risk of combining weight training with archery is building the wrong muscles or even the right ones, but incorrectly for shooting. The way muscles are used in concert when shooting isn't easy to mimic with free weights and/or machines. That's why I suggest folks do their workout as a separate entity from their shooting, and have them compliment each other rather that do one FOR the other.

    A lot of opinions on this, so best bet is too work with a coach who makes sense TO YOU and see where it goes.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  8. #8
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    I don't have a coach but I use one of those 'trainers' that utilize surgical tubing. Since I can't draw a bow in my stall (a.k.a. 'cubicle') at work I just stand up and do reps and hold for about 30 sec. or so each. I try to focus on keeping my bow hand steady, keeping the weight on my back muscles and keeping my draw hand as free from tension as possible. It has payed off big for me considering I can't shoot every day.

    The device I'm refering to:

    http://www.lancasterarchery.com/prod...roducts_id=858

    I also bicycle as much as I can. This is great for several reasons:

    1. It is good cardio and when I'm shooting I breath easier and feel more relaxed.

    2. It strengthens my legs so I can stand steadier.

    When I get less lazy I'm going to be doing some form of ab excercises so I can stand even more steady and reduce my lower back pain. That's the plan anyway.
    24"-ish Sky (Mathews) Conquest riser, 42# med. PSE Pro Elite limbs, Shibuya Ultima RC sight, Cavalier Free Flyte Elite rest, Cartel X-pert 660 shafts

  9. #9
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    I shoot compound fingers in most of the competitions that I attend. What I found to work real well to improve these muscles is to shoot my FITA recurve.

    It's amazing how easy it seems to shoot the compound after two weeks of try to shoot that blasted recurve!

    I suppose if I wanted to make my target recurve easier to shoot I should shoot my hunting recurve with a clicker. Now that would build some muscle for sure.


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1 View Post
    ANB -

    Effectively you don't. If you go to the gym, then go to the gym. Do a full body resistance routine based on your level of fitness plus enough to result in development. A good trainer or even a knowledgeable workout partner might be necessary. Add aerobics as you find beneficial.

    The best way to develop the "archery" muscles is too shoot. The trick is that you must have established form before you try to "bulk up". Once the form is established, then you can use the same "weight lifting principles" for shooting. Increasing the number of reps (shots per end), isometric contractions (hold time at anchor), stamina (both total number of shots and reducing the rest time between shots) and of course resistance (heavier limbs).

    Can't really give you a full program on the net as that's between you and your trainer or shooting coach, but those principles seem to work for most folks.

    Viper1 out.
    I know there is no substitute to shooting, but I cannot shoot as much as I like. I only have a handful of places that I can go to shoot and with a busy work schedule, very limited time to do so in the weekdays. I try to shoot both weekends, but its destroying my social life shooting every weekend.

    I'm just trying to find the next best substitute in terms of physical exercises to help me shoot steadier when I do get to do so.

    I'm having particular problems with my bow arm shoulder. It is always the first to fatigue and cause of pain. I would like to strengthen this region to steady my bow.

    What is the best exercise I can do at home in the evening that would best target the muscles responsible for my problem

  11. #11
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    ANB -

    Two words - Rigid Formaster.

    http://www.lancasterarchery.com/prod...roducts_id=861

    It's a little pricey for what it and and while you can make one if you're at all handy, the booklet that comes with it really helps.

    Just drawing the bow at home works to, but a dry fire or loosing an arrow inadvertently can be problematic. Also, while you can get a "feel" for alignment by drawing and holding the feedback isn't the same as a real shot. The R FM comes close and you can combine it with stretch back training to round out the picture.

    I can't tell from here if you're experiencing pain due to the physical weight of holding up the bow or due to alignment issue due to the draw weight. The former is easily worked by lateral dumb bell raises and holds and the latter may require a coach to see exactly what you are doing.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  12. #12
    I asked the world champion the same question, this is what he said.(please bare in mind he only speaks Korean and was using some kind of translating devise so the grammar is that great but....ill paste it here anyway

    Hi...
    if you want to improve your strength.
    Try this everyday:
    Draw from the Set-Up to the Holding position; Holding must include Transfer and Loading like in a normal shot. Hold for 3 - 5 seconds and let down, but only as far down as the Set-up, then draw straight back to the anchor position and, again, include Transfer and Loading. Do this 5 -12 times for 3 - 5 sets, depending on current strength. Rest period between sets 3 - 5 minutes - Ensure that proper alignment and form is maintained - Duration 30 minutes.

    You are shaking.
    There are many reasons for this.
    1)you might draw then you stop and continue.Once you stop drawing,it takes alot of energy to continue(makes you shake).besides that,this also decreased consistency.
    2)You should try 50/50balanced push and pull that you might find it more biomechanics.
    3)The bow might be too heavy for you.if the bow is LIGHT...you might not shake.
    4)Used more on your back muscles.Not forearm

    Good Luck
    Im.D.H

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1 View Post
    ANB -

    Two words - Rigid Formaster.

    http://www.lancasterarchery.com/prod...roducts_id=861

    It's a little pricey for what it and and while you can make one if you're at all handy, the booklet that comes with it really helps.

    Just drawing the bow at home works to, but a dry fire or loosing an arrow inadvertently can be problematic. Also, while you can get a "feel" for alignment by drawing and holding the feedback isn't the same as a real shot. The R FM comes close and you can combine it with stretch back training to round out the picture.

    I can't tell from here if you're experiencing pain due to the physical weight of holding up the bow or due to alignment issue due to the draw weight. The former is easily worked by lateral dumb bell raises and holds and the latter may require a coach to see exactly what you are doing.

    Viper1 out.
    I highly doubt I'm drawing excessive weight. I'm drawing mid 20 lbs at best and my issue seems to be concentrated around the shoulder joint of my bow arm. I used to do quite abit of weight training and I do not think I'm a small guy. That is why it is particularly puzzling why I am defeated so easily with a low poundage bow

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowNewB View Post
    I know there is no substitute to shooting, but I cannot shoot as much as I like. I only have a handful of places that I can go to shoot and with a busy work schedule, very limited time to do so in the weekdays. I try to shoot both weekends, but its destroying my social life shooting every weekend.

    I'm just trying to find the next best substitute in terms of physical exercises to help me shoot steadier when I do get to do so.

    I'm having particular problems with my bow arm shoulder. It is always the first to fatigue and cause of pain. I would like to strengthen this region to steady my bow.

    What is the best exercise I can do at home in the evening that would best target the muscles responsible for my problem
    I personally shoot at a blank bale at the house. My whole family does. It is something you can do in the evenings. I just stand about stabilizer length away from it for safety. Stretch bands are nice. Pushups, dips using a chair, and leg lifts are always good to build general strength. The KSL stuff shown earlier is good.

    If you are having pain in your bow arm shoulder (something I know a lot about from personal experience) you might consider having it looked at by an orthopedic sports surgeon. Many people have rotator cuff injuries and aren't aware of it. Physical therapy under the supervision of a sports therapist who understands what your goals are is good.

    Some general shoulder strength work might also help. Take a ball and hold it at shoulder height against a wall, work it in small circles. Take a 5' section of 1" or 1.5" PVC tube, cut an X into two tennis balls, fill them with pennies and put them on the ends. Then hold it at arm length and wobble it rhythmicly.

    Look up rotator cuff exercises on Youtube.

    Even if you don't have an injury it isn't a bad idea to strengthen your shoulders.

    -Andrew

  15. #15
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    ANB -

    Other than a pre-existing injury or anomaly being exacerbated by shooting, really hard to damage your bow shoulder by shooting a mid 20# bow with decent form. Unless of course you're doing something really bizarre form wise. Can't tell that from here. Andrew's suggestion about a Sports MD is a good one, but I'd try to get a coach to look at you first, just in case there isn't something obvious (or not so obvious) going on that might be easily corrected. The coach might be "a little" cheaper too!

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  16. #16

    thanks

    How do you look for information for your theme content?

  17. #17

    Something easy to do at home

    try some of these (from http://sivananda.org/teachings/asana/exercise.html):

    These 12 Basic Postures are:

    Headstand (Sirshasana)
    Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
    Plough (Halasana)
    Fish (Matsyasana)
    Forward bend (Paschimothanasana)
    Cobra (Bhujangasana)
    Locust (Shalabhasana)
    Bow (Dhanurasana)
    Spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
    Crow pose (Kakasana) or Peacock pose (Mayurasana)
    Standing forward bend (Pada Hasthasana)
    Triangle (Trikonasana)

    I think these, especially the inverted and back bending postures, and the focus on breathing and your mental state, go well with archery practice, at least in my opinion, and they don't take anything special to do, just a small space and perhaps a mat.

  18. #18
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    Toys - The whole Warrior series should also be included. And a series of flows (down-dog, plank, lower slowly then cobra/up-dog, repeat) is great too.
    Matthew 17:20

  19. #19
    a few years ago i had a total shoulder replacement on my bow arm, was told , never will shoot a bow again. "would'nt accept it" i now shoot a 65lb mathews mq32 short light , easy to hold. my strength came back from" shooting the bow" use a light weight draw to start . and get the right form. most important. shoot until your arm starts feeling tired and "stop"in a half hour "shot again" repeat this 3 or 4 times . in one month i increased 10 lbs on my draw weight. hope it helps . GOOD LUCK BOB

  20. #20
    I use a Carbon Tech Stretchband that I got from Lancaster for $13.99

    I can take/use it with me to work, or waiting around somewhere like outside Victoria Secret or traffic court

  21. #21
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    If you go to coach Lee's personal website ( I believe it's kslinternationalarchery.com) he describes SPT's pretty well. Or at least, he used to.

    Give those a try.

    I'm a fan of kettlebells. I use a 20 lb. kettlebell as often as I can make myself do it, and do shoulder raises and full lifts with it. Very efficient workout.

    John
    Renegade Archer

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by toys View Post
    try some of these (from http://sivananda.org/teachings/asana/exercise.html):

    These 12 Basic Postures are:

    Headstand (Sirshasana)
    Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
    Plough (Halasana)
    Fish (Matsyasana)
    Forward bend (Paschimothanasana)
    Cobra (Bhujangasana)
    Locust (Shalabhasana)
    Bow (Dhanurasana)
    Spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
    Crow pose (Kakasana) or Peacock pose (Mayurasana)
    Standing forward bend (Pada Hasthasana)
    Triangle (Trikonasana)

    I think these, especially the inverted and back bending postures, and the focus on breathing and your mental state, go well with archery practice, at least in my opinion, and they don't take anything special to do, just a small space and perhaps a mat.
    Unless you know what you are doing get yourself a good Yoga instructor and read this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/ma...body.html?_r=1

    TAO
    USA Archery Level 4-NTS Coach

  23. #23
    Join Date
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    At Vegas, I tried a demo of this system:
    http://www.flexor.com/node/579
    I was intrigued by the instant--less than 5 minutes working on two pads--sense of increased stability. Any one on AT with long-term experience with this?

  24. #24
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    I've had yoga / pilates recommended, other things like meditation. Bit of a different angle. Works more on your core muscles.

    *EDIT*

    Oh my word this thread is old. Apologies.

  25. #25
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    The best thing I've found are the TheraBand elastic bands, they come in different strengths, flat or tubing, inexpensive and you can take it anywhere in your pocket. You can also combine or double (they're about 5' long). Practice your drawing release and follow through. Do it anywhere, watching TV etc. Great!

    For a demo, Youtube elastic band workouts.
    enuf talk, just show me

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