4 Easy Exercise Moves to Draw a Compound Bow
When I first got my compound bow, I realized that I had done the archery equivalent of having "eyes larger than my stomach". I tried to draw my 40 pound bow, to no avail. Talk about disappointing! However, since I selected the lowest poundage available and I sunk a sizable amount of cash into this bow, I opted to strengthen my bow-drawing muscles rather than give up on archery. #adulting
By wonderfully fantastic coincidence, I have amazing neighbors. One of them is a physical therapist and she had some tips to offer. It even helps with my #ShootFit goals! Ladies and gentlemen, I present: the Bow-Drawing Archery Resistance Band Workout for People Who Are Out of Shape (BDARWPWAOS for short)! Think it will catch on? It doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "P90X" but it might get there one day. Anyway, here's how to get started:
- Resistance band (mine looks like this one)
- The floor
Yup, that's all you need. Now for the good stuff...
Move 1: Resistance Band Bow Drawing
"Draw your bow" by folding the resistance band in half and grabbing one end in each hand. Concentrate on using your shoulders and pulling both shoulder blades toward the center of your back. Pull on the resistance band as you extend your left arm and "draw" your right hand to your face with your right elbow back. Do the inverse of this (swap right and left) on both sides to keep your muscles in balance!
Move 2: Arm Spreaders
Feel the burn! This one works shoulders and arms to build strength. Grab the resistance band at both ends and position it in front of your chest. Then pull outward on the resistance band, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly release the resistance and bring your hands back together. The outward-inward motions work lots of muscles in your arms and shoulders! My Friendly Neighborhood Physical Therapist would be able to tell you which ones... I always forget the anatomical names.
Move 3: The "WAHOO!"
WAHOO! This move helps balance out some of the muscles being developed in shoulders and arms. Sit down and place the resistance band under your legs. Grab each end of the band in each hand, and slowly lift up both arms together. I can only get my arms up to a height where my hands are just above my ears, and I think that might be a combination of the limits of the resistance band length and my strength. I always like to cheer myself on by thinking (ok...sometimes shouting) "Wahoo!" when I do this exercise. Once I get my arms as high as I can, I slowly lower them to get the benefits of the resistance band.
Move 4: Planking
Work those abs! According to my Friendly Neighborhood Physical Therapist, building a strong core is key to success in sports like archery. The Plank is a great move that comes up frequently in body weight workouts, and it is doable just about anywhere! I didn't demonstrate the plank in my video because there are so many folks who plank way better than I do.
Working out can be fun. That is especially true when you say "Wahoo!" doing Move #3, and when you have a goal like drawing your new bow. This seriously helped me to draw my bow within a week of starting the exercises. Apparently my muscles couldn't figure out how to do it, but lucky for me I'm a fast learner. These moves helped me build some core strength (always helpful) and it taught my shoulders, back, and arms what to do to pull back the bow. I am not a medical professional, so definitely consult your own Friendly Neighborhood PT if you are struggling to get in archery shape. Hope this helps you!