Being successful at archery requires the ability to focus and block out distraction as you prepare for your shot. However, proper mental skills won't help you if your muscles aren't strong enough to pull back the bow. Stronger archery muscles allow you to use a more powerful bow, which means you can shoot arrows farther and with more punch. Archery engages your back and shoulders as much as your arms, so work your entire upper body to strengthen the muscles you need for archery.
Work out your hands and forearms to help you hold the bow steady. The stationary hand -- the one that holds the bow -- needs a tight grip and powerful forearm to make your shots accurate. Squeeze a stress ball or exercise grippers daily for the best results. Hold your hand in front of you with your elbow at 90 degrees and squeeze the ball or grippers 10 times, holding the squeeze for three seconds with each repetition. Do three sets with each hand.
Strengthen your biceps and triceps. On your stationary arm, these help hold the bow steady for proper aiming. On your pulling arm, these muscles help you pull the string back from the bow. Perform bicep curls with dumbbells, starting with light ones and working up to heavier ones -- do two sets of 10 repetitions per arm. Do dips on parallel bars or chin-ups to help build your triceps. One set of 12 repetitions with each workout should be sufficient.
Build the muscles in your shoulders by performing dumbbell flies. Hold the dumbbells in front of you with your arms straight and your thumbs touching. Lift both arms out to the sides up to shoulder level. Lower the arms slowly with a controlled movement. Repeat for two sets of 10 repetitions, starting with light weights and working up to heavier ones.
Exercise the muscles in your back and rotator cuff with an upward row. Stand up and bend over at the waist, bending your knees slightly. Hold a dumbbell in one hand by your side. Place the other hand on a stool or bench to steady your body. Keep your back straight and pull your arm back, bending the elbow and pointing it toward the ceiling. Squeeze your back muscles between your shoulder blades at the top of the row. Control the release as you lower your arm. Do two sets of 10 repetitions, then switch sides. You can also perform this exercise seated on a bench. Bend your body forward, keeping your back straight. Hold both hands down beside your legs, then pull them back in a row.
Other exercises are good as well, as long as you train your back carefully and avoid injuries.
How do you train and strengthen your muscles for archery ? Share with us in comments.