If you find your aim in archery is off, there are a number of things that could be at fault and should be checked. These include equipment and stance. But, what if the error is in form? Shooting and shooting sequence practice can be helpful, but there is one more thing that can be used to help correct the problem. There are a number of exercises that can be done to help increase an archer’s strength and flexibility in a way that benefits form.
In order to increase flexibility and strength in a way that benefits form, some type of equipment may be needed. There is specialty archery exercise equipment that can be used, but other items such as isometric exercisers, resistance bands, dumbbells and free weights, can be just as effective.
Target Spots to Exercise
The areas that need to be targeted for better archery aim are the back, arms, stomach, shoulders and wrists. The use of isometric exercise is thought to be especially helpful for strengthening these areas in a way that benefits the archer. The key is to be sure that the exercise done is similar to the movement needed for archery.
Some of the best exercises to help improve archery aim are listed below. You will need to adjust the amount of weight and repetitions (reps) according to your own abilities and progress.
Warm up Exercises
Warm up with stretches before moving on to the other excises. These particular warm ups can help increase flexibility specific to archery.
Hug: Cross your arms across your chest and slowly ‘walk’ your hands around your shoulders, towards your back. Once your hands are in place, hold for ten seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm on top. Repeat five times for each side.
Back Clasp: Reach both arms behind your back, with one at waist level and the other over the top of the shoulder. Clasp your hands. Hold for ten seconds. Switch arm positions, repeat hand clasp and hold. Do this five times for each side.
Arm Swing: Extend both arms in front of you, interlocking fingers. Hold arms parallel to the ground. Slowly swing arms by rotating the upper torso, to the right and hold for ten seconds. Slowly rotate arms to the left and hold for ten seconds. Repeat entire process ten times.
Resistance Band Exercises
Front Stretch: holding a resistance band in front of you in both hands, slowly pull each hand outward, stretching the band. Hold for ten seconds; slowly bring arms back together in front of you. Repeat ten times.
Side Stretch: hold a resistance band in front of you in both hands. Slowly draw arms apart, but at an angle so your left arm moves up and to the left until it is above your head. While doing this, move your right arm to the right and downward until it points at the ground. Hold this position for ten seconds. Slowly bring arms back together and repeat five times. Then switch so the right arm will move upward and the left arm will move downward. Repeat for that side five times.
Draw Stretch: Stand as if you were going to shoot, but with your resistance band in your hands. Slowly pull back one end and hold for ten seconds. Repeat five times. Switch sides and repeat five times.
These archery aiming exercises are just a few of those that can be utilized. There is no reason to have to go to a gym or purchase a membership in order to increase strength and flexibility for archery. All of the equipment listed above can be bought for and used at home. Alternatively, other household items can be used in place of weights (soup cans, milk or water jugs) and household furniture can substitute for workout benches and balance supports.
Coaching Tips. Centenary Archers. https://www.centenaryarchers.gil.com.au/coaching.htm
Archery Fitness. Dundee Sportsmans Club. https://www.dundeesportsmansclub.com/dundee%20pic/dscinc.archery.fitness.htm
Bully Extreme Fitness Blog. https://www.bullyxtreme.net/archery-exercises.html