One misconception about archery training is you need to do a lot of heavy weight training to reach the next level, and this is simply not true. In fact, heavy weight training can actually hinder you archery career. If you develop very large biceps it can hamper your form since you may have problem creating straight lines from the arrow through your anchor point and the back of your elbow. Since long, lean, strong muscles are preferred over large muscle mass, it is important to do exercises with less weight and more repetitions rather than heavier weights.
For younger archers, that are still growing, you do not want to hurt yourself or get ahead of your natural body development. Any type of weight training before your body is ready to accept it can do more damage than good long term.
Below are a couple of simple exercises to help increase you upper body strength for archery.
Open Door Push-outs
Anyone can develop some muscle and endurance without heavy weights, by using your body weight. Open Door Push-outs are a safe and easy way to train your back shoulder muscles for archery.
- Using an open doorway, standing with your feet flat on the floor and slightly less than arm-length away, place your hands on either side of the door frame
- In a very controlled manner, lean towards the door, similar to a push-up
- Once your arms are at least 90 degrees, push yourself back out again.
- Repeat several times.
Once you have mastered the above without any problems, you can vary it by standing further back or doing deeper push-ups.
Since it is almost impossible to be completely still for any amount of time, it is important to develop a fine controlled approach with shooting. One simple training exercise that will help develop a strong and controlled bow arm is the simple ball exercise.
- Standing perpendicular to a wall and using a volley or soccer ball
- Hold ball at shoulder height at arm length against the wall with a flat hand.
- Using only your arm move the ball in a figure eight motion
- Set a timer for 30 seconds.
- Turn around and repeat with the other arm
Once you have mastered the above without any difficulties, you can increase the time by 30 second intervals to help build control.
Although, these exercises should be safe for just about everyone, it is important, especially for young archers, to consult a qualified archery coach before you add any type of training to their regular program.