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Drawing, or pulling back, on a bow string requires dynamic strength in the pulling muscles of the upper back and shoulder, as well as isometric strength to hold the string in the anchor position and keep the bow arm locked. To improve your bow draw strength, train each of these muscle groups twice a week with weights using a circuit that includes both dynamic and isometric movements.
Dynamic Strength Training Circuit
Place your left hand and knee on a flat bench and grasp a dumbbell in your right hand to start the dumbbell row. This will exercise the pulling muscles of your upper back and shoulder. Your back should be parallel to the floor and the dumbbell hanging straight below your right shoulder. Pull the dumbbell up to your right hip as if you were starting a lawnmower. Pause at the top of the movement for a count of four, and lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Use a weight that you can lift for six repetitions and complete five sets of five repetitions per arm.
Return to a standing position and switch to a lighter dumbbell, one in each hand. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and bring the dumbbells up to rest on your upper chest. This is the starting position for the Arnold punch. Your palms should be facing your shoulder and your elbows tucked in to your ribs. Press both dumbbells up, rotating throughout the movement so that your palms will be facing forward when your arms are fully extended. Pause for a count of two and slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 10 repetitions.
Switch to a lighter dumbbell and stay in the same standing position as the Arnold Punch. To do the alternating front raise, start with your arms hanging to your side, palms facing your thighs. Raise your right arm up to nose level, keeping the arm straight. As your near the top of the movement, rotate your hand so your thumb is lower than your pinky, as if you were pouring water from a pitcher. Pause at the top of the movement for a count of four and slowly return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Rest for two minutes, then repeat the circuit of the dumbbell row, Arnold punch and alternating front raise four more times. You will complete a total of five circuits.
- Increase the weight only when you can complete all of the repetitions in each exercise in all five circuits.
- The Outdoor Athlete; Steve Ilg
- Centenary Archers: Archery Fitness