I have been an athlete my entire life and have always been in the gym in some capacity, but about 5 years ago, I refocused those efforts to more intense and archery-specific types of workouts.
This is one of the most important muscle groups for archers. Back muscles help hold the bow steady at full draw, so the stronger the back muscles are, the steadier the shot will be. I try to hold my reps at the end of each set for a second or two to build stamina.
WIDE-GRIP LAT PULLDOWNS | BODYWEIGHT PULL-UPS | STANDING T-BAR ROW
Depending on each archer’s form, triceps can be as important as any other muscle group to help your game. The more bend in the bow arm at full draw, the more dependent that person is on the strength of their triceps. In my form, I try to take most of the bend out of my arm. This promotes less stress on my triceps each shot, which gives me more quality shots and better stamina while aiming.
TRICEPS PUSHDOWN | DIPS | CLOSE GRIP BARBELL BENCH PRESS
Shoulders are the most common injury to archers. In my shoulder workouts, I focus on mobility. I don’t lift so heavy that I put myself in a position to get hurt. It’s very important to keep the shoulders healthy and strong to maintain longevity in this game. Focus on mobility and don’t overdo it.
SIDE LATERAL RAISE | DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS | ARNOLD PRESS
CORE / CARDIO:
I pair these two on the same days. A strong core will help with aiming and shooting, especially outdoors, where footing is inconsistent. Shooting up or downhill, or anything that puts extra stress on your mid-section at full draw requires a strong core. I also like to get my heart rate around 150-160 and keep it there for about 20 minutes. As archers, we should expect our heart rate to jump on a big buck or in a tournament, so with the right training, it will not affect your shot. Incorporate shooting in with cardio to show yourself exactly what you do right and wrong when you’re shooting uncomfortably.