At first glance, archery may seem like a calming sport that anyone can pick up and learn in a few weeks. In reality, archery training has some of the most difficult exercises to master.
So, how do archers improve their form, build their core muscles, and strengthen their mental fortitude? By adding archers exercises to their schedule!
This leads us to an important question:
What are archers exercise? And how can you incorporate them into your daily workout routine?
Archers exercise certain movements that mimic the action of drawing a bow and shooting arrows. These exercises are meant to improve their core muscles while developing the muscles on their arms and shoulders.
If you wanna know more about archer movements that improve your core strength and develop your upper body muscles, you’ve come to the right place!
How Do Archers Stay In Good Shape?
Regardless of which bow they use, archers need constant exercise to stay in good shape. If they’re shooting on a longbow, they require even more core strength to handle it.
Archers improve their form through exercises that place emphasis on their upper body muscles, core muscles, and even hip mobility, balance, and flexibility.
There are potentially hundreds of exercises that are suitable for archers, but we’ve outlined seven essential exercises that will completely revamp your form and technique.
7 Exercises for Archers
Here are seven essential exercises for archers that build your core muscles, strengthen your shoulders and arms, and improve flexibility and balance.
1. Side Plank
Side planks are considered one of the most essential exercises for archers. They improve your body posture and core strength by developing your transversus abdominis, obliques, and glutes.
There are two ways you can do a side plank. You can either support yourself on one hand or on your elbow.
Keep your head in line with your body and make sure your hand or elbow is placed slightly below your shoulder.
Hold the side plank for 30 seconds then rest for another 30 seconds. As your core muscles become more and more developed, you can increase the duration of the plank for 60 seconds, or even, 90 seconds.
Still too easy? Lift your leg until it’s in line with your head. You can either hold your leg up for the duration of the exercise or move it up and down to make the side plank more challenging.
2. Archer Push-Up
Archer push-ups are among the most advanced push-up variations. They build your upper-body strength by working on the anterior deltoids, triceps, and pectoral muscles.
They’re considered much more challenging than the standard push-up. This is because they have a greater range of motion and put more pressure on your upper-body muscles.
Finally, archer push-ups increase your core strength by developing your back muscles and improving stability and balance.
To do an archer push-up, get on all fours and make sure your toes are flexed and touching the floor.
Your knees should also be flexed and you must make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
Your hands should be placed wider than your shoulders and as you do the push up one hand should be extended to the side with your fingers pointing outwards.
Start by going on one side to your unextended arm until your thumb is touching your pec. At this point, your other hand must be extended with your fingers pointing away from your body.
Now, push your body away from the unextended arm and go to the other side. As you transition to the other side, extend your other arm with your fingers pointing outwards and move your other arm back to its normal position.
To check if you have the right form, make sure there’s a straight line formed between your extended hand’s fingers and your shoulders.
If you want other push-up variations that work the same way as the archer push-up, try some typewriter push-ups, pike push-ups, or diamond push-ups.
3. Romanian Deadlift
Romanian deadlifts are among the best exercises to work on your adductors, hamstrings, erector spinae, and gluteus maximus.
For archers, Romanian deadlifts improve your strength and power, but they also do wonders for your flexibility.
To do a Romanian deadlift, place a barbell in front of you and slowly bend your knees until you reach the barbell.
Having a perfect form is not only essential for developing the correct muscles, but they also prevent you from sustaining an injury.
When bending your knees, you must have your back straight at all times. Your hamstrings are the ones that drive your hips backward and forward and if you’re not feeling any stretching in your hamstrings, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
Once you’ve mastered the correct form, you can now do it with the barbell. Again, bend your knees and push your hips backward as you grab the barbell. Then, using your hamstrings, push your hips forward and stand up with the barbell in your hands.
4. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
A capable archer must have strong shoulders that can handle pulling the bow back and holding it as you aim at your target.
The dumbbell lateral raise works on just that. It develops your deltoid muscles and works on your upper shoulder muscles.
Get two dumbbells and align your feet with your shoulders. Then, while holding both dumbbells, raise them slowly until they’re at your shoulder level. Hold for two seconds, then lower them down.
You must make sure that your elbows don’t bend during the arms raise. Also, while holding the dumbbells, make sure your hands are facing your sides.
5. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
One of the most essential exercises to condition your muscles and build strength is the single-arm dumbbell row.
It works on your middle-back muscles and improves your strength and stability when drawing the bow.
To do a single-arm dumbbell row, get a flat bench and one dumbbell and align one foot, knee, and hand on the bench.
Your other foot must be right beside the bench with a slight bend at the knee. Don’t forget to keep your foot flat on the floor.
Now, grab the dumbbell with your free arm and make sure it’s fully extended. Pull the dumbbell to your chest in a straight line, hold for two seconds, then return the dumbbell to the floor.
It’s important to make sure your back remains flat and aligned to the bench. When you’re done with one arm, switch sides and repeat.
6. Overhead Triceps Extension
Triceps are regarded as the forgotten muscles on your upper arms. Unfortunately, these are the most important muscles for handling the bow and controlling your elbows.
To do an overhead triceps extension, sit on a bench and make sure your back is supported properly.
Grab the dumbbells and lift your hand up parallel to each other. Now, bend your arms slowly until the dumbbells touch your back, then push them up again until your arms are fully extended.
There are numerous benefits that yoga can offer athletes and bodybuilders, but did you know they’re equally beneficial to archers as well?
Yoga improves strength and posture, enhances focus and mental endurance, all while developing your core muscles further.
Just ten minutes a day can do wonders for your mind and body.
Here are some of our favorite yoga poses that increase hip mobility, improve core strength, and strengthen your shoulders and arms:
- Akarna Dhanurasana
- Baddha Konasana
- Marichyasana A
- Janu Sirsasana
Doing these archer exercises on a weekly basis can give you the physical strength and proper technique to hit those long-distance shots.
Interested to learn more about hitting your targets at greater lengths? Check out this article where we explore all the factors that affect how far you can shoot a bow.