The Muscles That Contribute To Successful Archery

The Muscles That Contribute To Successful Archery

Besides getting the right gear from a reputed archery equipment store, being successful at archery requires mental and physical strength. Having the ability to focus and block out distractions as you prepare for your shot builds your mental strength, giving you greater accuracy in getting a perfect kill shot. 

However, proper mental skills won't help you if your shooting muscles aren't strong enough to pull back the bow. When you build stronger archery muscles, it will allow you to use a higher poundage bow, which means you can shoot arrows farther and with more punch. 

In this blog, we’ll look at four of the simplest archery muscle group exercises to build muscle strength over time. 

Unraveling The Key Muscles Involved In Shooting


Before heading into archery exercises, it is worth understanding some of the prominent shooting muscles that come into play when it’s time to shoot a bow and arrow. Some of these include:

  • Levator scapulae: Located in the upper back, the levator scapulae works with two other major muscles - the rhomboids and the trapezius. Together, these muscles pull the shoulder blade and help you steady the bowstring.


  • Deltoid: This is the main shoulder muscle. It helps you to lift the bow, hold the bowstring, and keep the bow steady as you shoot.  


  • Latissimus dorsi: Commonly referred to as “lats,” is a large muscle that runs across your back. It also assists with optimal bow stabilization. 


  • Triceps: Located on the back of your upper arm, the triceps help straighten your elbow, thus optimizing your shooting form.


  • Rotator cuff: Your rotator cuff helps you to move your shoulder in a 180-degree motion. 


Now, let’s get into the workout routine that can help improve the strength of your shooting muscles. These are some of the easiest archery exercises. All you need are the following: 

  • A stress ball or exercise gripper 
  • Chin-up bar
  • Dumbbells


Warm-Up Exercise

Warm Up

squeeze a stress ball daily to help work your forearm muscles.

Hold your hand in front of you with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, then squeeze the ball or grippers ten times. Hold each squeeze for three seconds. Do three sets of 10 for each hand. Upgrade to a tennis ball for more resistance.

To improve your form and deliver more accurate shots, your stationary hand that holds the bow needs a tight grip but not a death grip. Working your hands and forearms helps you keep the bow steady. 


Exercise 1


  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your abdominal muscles engaged Starting in position A.
  • Keeping your upper arms stationary and shoulders relaxed, curl the weights upwards while contracting your biceps position B.
  • Hold the weights then return to position A. 
  • Do two sets of 10 repetitions for each arm.
  • Start with a lightweight, then increase. 

Perform bicep curls with your dumbbells to help to strengthen your biceps. On your stationary arm, these muscles help hold the bow steady for proper aiming, and on your pulling arm, they help pull the bowstring back as you draw the bow.

Exercise 2


  • Stand straight, then bend over at your waist, slightly bending your knees. 
  • Hold the dumbbells at knee height, keeping your back straight, and pull your arm towards your chest slowly, bending at the elbow.
  • Squeeze your back muscles between your shoulder blades at the top of the row.
  • Control the release when lowering the arms
  • Do three sets of 10 reps. 

Exercise your rotator cuff and back muscles with upward bows. This exercise will build your back muscles and hopefully give you more strength to pull back heavier pounds. Your rotator cuff includes a primary muscle group for properly pulling back your bow. 


Exercise 3


  • Start in position A, standing straight upward.
  • Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend both arms up and out to your sides, keeping your elbows slightly bent until your limbs are parallel to the ground.
  • With a controlled movement, lower the arms slowly 
  • Repeat for three sets of 10 reps. 

Remember to start with the light weights and work your way up to heavier weights, and always engage your core. Performing dumbbell flyes is going to build your shoulder, chest, and tricep muscles.

There are two additional exercises you can do in different positions with the same motions to build your muscles. 


Incline Dumbbell Flyes 

Grab an incline bench and put it at a 30-degree incline facing outward. Follow the same steps as before. Then turn around on the incline bench and face the bench. Instead of moving your arms up and down, start with your arms in front of you, touching wrist to wrist. Bring your arms outwards, working your back muscles and shoulder muscles again. 

Exercise and muscle strengthening is critical for you as an archer. You need your body in good shape if you hope to optimize your shooting, understanding the important shooting muscles can greatly help with this. 


About Wildside Outdoors: Lloydminster’s Premiere Archery Equipment Store


As an online archery equipment and hunting store, we are passionate about equipping archery enthusiasts with top-of-the-line gear, accessories, and advice to enhance their shooting experience. With a wide selection of high-quality bows, arrows, and archery equipment, we pride ourselves on being the go-to destination for both beginners and seasoned archers alike. Learn more about Wildside Outdoors.

Contact us, to go over any shooting habits you have or if you would like to book in for an archery lesson to improve your shooting and get your draw weight higher to enhance your distance shooting.
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