Let’s put it this way: You can have immense talent in archery but still not be able to reach your full potential because of a lack of physical strength. That’s because shooting effectively requires an archer to be in great physical condition.
Luckily for any up-and-coming young player, there is specific training for strength and conditioning to help one shoot that bow and arrow like a pro. Let’s check out what these are so that you can get started with your practice.
Six Ways To Increase Bow Hunting Strength
Archery comes with its unique set of physical demands that set it apart from other individual sports. Archers need to know exactly what these exercises are to improve their shooting abilities.
Before you start pumping iron or pulling back that bowstring, here are some physical fitness tips to get your bow hunting strength up to the mark.
1. Use a stretch band.
As important as stretching is to athletes in general, it’s even more vital for archers. Drawing back that bowstring with untrained muscles can put you at serious risk of an injury. It can also take the breath out of you in the long run.
You want to keep that from happening by investing in a stretch band early on. You can use this accessory to warm up your muscles before shooting practice or even a weightlifting session. It also helps improve your shooting form by not letting your muscles give in so easily increasing your bow hunting strength.
2. Make meditation part of your training.
Don’t go about archery explosively. Instead, learn to approach it in a calm, fluid manner that allows for more effective shooting. When your mind is clear and focused, you can shoot with more confidence. On the other hand, a troubled headspace can mess up your aim completely.
Bowhunting training is just as much mental acuity as it is physical performance, with both aspects affecting each other directly. Hence, it stands to reason that when you meditate, you can develop both these parts of your game immensely.
3. Do cardio.
You’re just going to stand there and shoot, right? Why the need for cardio? On the contrary, archery can involve considerable stretches of hiking, so an archer’s cardio should be up to par.
Cardio workouts for archers don’t have to be anything complicated. They can be as simple as swimming, which builds the upper body and improves cardio health vastly. You can opt for jogging or running, too. These types of exercises target lower-body muscles specifically, helping you achieve stable footing for shooting.
4. Don’t forget to plank.
There is a lot that planking can do for the body. It doesn’t just improve your balance; it also strengthens your core and corrects your posture. These are all the things you need for a fulfilling archery workout.
Stability is crucial for archers because it’s what leads to excellent shooting. This is what planking aims to develop specifically, which is why you should make it a part of your training.
5. Lift weights.
If you want to hold that bow steady consistently, resistance training can take you a long way. Part of this is using stretch bands; another part is pumping iron. Your weightlifting training should involve exercises that target muscles crucial to helping you keep steady as you take a shot.
Focus on working the rhomboid and the deltoid muscles during training. As a result, you should be well on your way to developing a reliable shooting form.
Archers should also do strength training and opt for free weights rather than machines. Free-weight lifting lets you hone fine-motor movements and target the smaller muscles so that you can shoot better. When in tip-top condition, these small auxiliary muscles help an archer achieve balance and control for taking a shot.
6. Pull strings.
So, what if weightlifting isn’t your thing? That’s perfectly alright, too. You can pull strings instead, which won’t require any type of gym equipment or too much time and effort on your end.
Basically, what you do is pull your bowstring back as many times as you can after practice. Do it non-stop, increasing the target number after each session. You also want to use the same movement for pulling the string back in practice as you would in a hunting situation. However, note that the arrow should never be on the string when you do this.
Another string-pulling exercise is drawing your bow back in full and holding that position for as long as possible. Doing this should make your shoulder muscles feel amazing and ready to go. Nevertheless, you don’t want to do more than five minutes of this workout if you’re hoping to recover by the next day.
Find the Workout That Suits You
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to try all the workouts we shared or just a few select ones. Eventually, you’ll find yourself having the strength to hold the bow steady.
Don’t pressure yourself into incorporating all these tips; just pick the ones that suit you and perform them correctly. Doing that should be enough to increase your bow hunting strength where you need to be.