Can Archery Hurt Your Back? (Let’s Find Out)

Can Archery Hurt Your Back

Shooting is one of the safest sports, with the testimonial of the National Safety Council and some prestigious organizations. However, if misplayed, there is a possibility of a severe back injury. Besides, there are many other reasons why a back injury happens because of archery. 

Archery is generally safe. But it can hurt your back and cause muscle aches if you practice too much and don’t get enough rest. Also, improper shooting techniques and muscle overuse can cause back injuries and hollows in the lower back.

If you were wondering can archery hurt your back, stick around to learn more about the matter. We’ll discuss in detail what causes back injury, which back muscles are used in archery in the first place, and what’s the best treatment for some of these injuries.

Which Back Muscles Are Used in Archery?

Which Back Muscles Are Used in Archery

The back contains many muscle layers that have a role in archery. Here we’ll dive into each one in detail.

Trapezius Muscle

The trapezius muscle is the exterior layer of the back muscles. Also, this superficial muscle consists of three parts: the upper, middle, and lower sections. The muscle is also bound to the shoulder blade, starting from the spine. 

If this muscle isn’t trained and strong enough, it’ll disturb you when a sudden force rushes from the bow while shooting. 

So, the misuse and overuse of this muscle may cause pain in the back. That’s why some Olympic shooters have noticed that they feel pain toward this muscle after releasing the arrow.

Rhomboids Minor and Major

The rhomboids minor and major help the archer stand straight as these muscles pull the shoulder back. The rhomboids minor and major help the archer stand straight as these muscles pull the shoulder back. 

Also, these muscles aren’t among the muscles used in daily life. That’s why beginner shooters feel discomfort in this muscle. Still, the archer must do exercises that help strengthen this muscle.

Levator Scapulae

The levator scapulae muscle pulls the shoulder blade inward and upward at the base of the neck. Also, the muscle is deep. 

The levator scapulae muscle connects with the trapezius and rhomboids. Moreover, the muscle group has a pivotal role in maintaining the stability of the weight of the string during shooting. 

Splenius Cervicis

The Splenius cervicis muscles regulate the motion of the head either to the right or to the left. Those muscles aren’t mainly used in archery, but they sometimes stiffen up during shooting. It’s due to fixing the shooter’s head for long periods on the right or left.

However, the treatment is simple: don’t set your head in a specific direction for a long time.

The Reasons Why Archers Feel Pain in Back Muscles

The Reasons Why Archers Feel Pain in Back Muscles

Back issues spoil the lives of many, especially athletes. Lately, it has become common among shooters and hunters.

Actually, the back pain usually varies in intensity. It’s logically because of the amount of activity and exercise, sleeping time, mood, pain response, and stress level, etc. 

However, the following reasons are mainly the cause of the shooters’ back issues. 

  • Wrong shooting positions
  • Sports injuries
  • Hollow in the lower back
  • Lots of exercises
  • Carry heavy gear bags.
  • An improper lifting method
  • The overuse of the back muscles

What Is the Treatment of the Back Injury?

While you are feeling back pain, it would be best to stay away from exercise and strenuous activities. So rest at home for a while, and your muscles will recover. Also, massage can solve your problem and help your muscles relax. 

Then you should return to your normal activities, but gradually so that this muscle pain doesn’t arise again.

If you feel that the pain is the same intensity and doesn’t improve, you shouldn’t think twice about visiting a doctor. Likewise, talk to a physiotherapist to get advice specific to your case. 

The Best Back Muscles Exercises for Archery

In everyday life, most of us don’t use the back muscles. Also, beginner shooters struggle with that.

Actually, the back injury can be entirely avoided if you use the correct exercises to strengthen the muscles. In other words, the back muscles have a crucial role in the shooting, so you should pay attention to their strength. 

The following exercises are very simple, as you can do them at home. All you need is a high-resistance elastic band.

Back Arm Abductions

  1. Hold the band on the wrists of your hands while both hands are behind your back.
  2. Then pull both of your arms until they are entirely vertical to your body.
  3. Continue for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat this exercise at least 8 times on two sets.

Archery Draw

  1. Stand in the same position as when you want to shoot the bow.
  2. Hold the other end of your band with the other hand as if you were going to shoot.
  3. Wait for 5 to 8 seconds.
  4. Repeat this exercise at least 12 times in three sets.

Shoulder Extensions

  1. Put your two hands down.
  2. Have your band on the wrists.
  3. Pull one hand up as far as possible while holding the other.
  4. Wait five seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise at least 7 times in two sets.

Pillar Front Bridge

  1. Lay on the floor on your stomach.
  2. Put your arms under your chest.
  3. Support your weight evenly on your forearms, front, and toes.
  4. Raise your neck and head as much as possible.
  5. Avoid sagging
  6. Wait 20:40 seconds.
  7. Repeat this exercise at least four times in two sets.

Glute Bridge

  1. Sleep on the floor, laying on your back.
  2. Keep your arms crossed.
  3. Bend your knees and spread your toes toward your knees while your heels are on the floor.
  4. Hold your knees, hips, and shoulders at the same line.
  5. Continue like this for 10:20 seconds.
  6. Repeat this exercise at least three times in two sets.

Pillar Side Bridge

  1. Lay on the ground on one of your sides.
  2. Set your forearm on the floor and your elbow under your shoulder.
  3. Put your two feet together.
  4. Lift your forearm away from your body.
  5. Raise your hips in the air.
  6. Support your entire weight on your other forearm and feet.
  7. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  8. Avoid sagging
  9. Hold this position for 20:30 seconds.
  10. Repeat this exercise at least three times on each side in two sets.

Archery Extension While Planking

  1. Be semi-lying on the floor on your stomach, distributing your weight evenly between one hand and your toes.
  2. Put the band under the hand you are supporting your body with.
  3. With the other free hand, pull the other end of the band as far as possible.
  4. Wait like this for 5:10 seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise at least six times in two sets for each arm.

Final Words

Back pain has always been a concern for any athlete. That’s why we have compiled all the details and explanations for this issue. 

Now you know all the causes and treatments to the back pain problem that shooters suffer from. We hope this article made things a bit easier for you and answered all your concerns. 

Check out this article to find out more about the reasons why archers let their bows drop and if doing this is necessary.


My name is Roland, and I have over a decade of experience in archery, both with bow and crossbow. I want to share the best tips and tricks about archery and help you reach the next level. So, browse through the blog and find relevant information about archery and stick around.

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