From international sporting events to pop culture phenomena like “The Hunger Games” and “Arrow,” archery is more popular than ever before. While many people remember it as a fun summer camp activity, it can also be an effective workout. If you’ve never thought about archery training as a way to get fit, here are a few reasons you should.
4 Surprising Health Benefits of Archery Training
1. Increases Upper Body Strength
Shooting works the same muscle groups as gym exercises like front raises and military presses. With time and practice, you’ll tone your pecs, deltoids, biceps, and triceps. As these muscles get stronger, they’ll also support your upper back for better posture and less lower back pain throughout the day. If you participate in outdoor events and competitions, carrying heavy equipment between target stations will extend the exercise to your legs.
2. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Estimating the trajectory of a shot requires sharp vision and the ability to adjust your hands to the proper position. Your hands and eyes work together every day, and archery training reinforces their connection. Your eyes send important information about range conditions to your brain, helping you decide whether to proceed with a shot or make some adjustments. Your brain then translates these visual signals to physical ones that control hand movements. Even the slightest shift can alter the arrow’s path—and make the difference between a bullseye and a miss.
3. Develops Motor Skills
Aim is only one component of archery training. You also need well-developed gross and fine motor skills to control the shot. Gross motor skills are performed by large muscle groups, like those found in the arms and shoulders, while fine motor skills refer to small muscles, including the ones in the hands and wrists. Archery training refines both sets of skills because you need to lift the bow, place the arrow correctly, and refine your grip for the perfect shot.
4. Promotes Mental Focus
While shooting a bow and arrow is easy to learn, archery training is a challenge because it is all about precision rather than speed or endurance. This means it requires immense focus and patience, much like meditation. A well-executed shot requires you to slow down, tune out distractions, breathe deeply, and get into position carefully, putting you in touch with your body’s movements at each step. Over time, this routine can help you become more patient in other areas of life to reduce stress.
Aspiring archers trust M & M Archery Range and Pro Shop in Northern KY, to provide quality facilities and coaching for students of all ages. Their archery training programs are available to all interested participants, and athletes under 17 qualify for a 50% discount on range fees. They’re proud to be affiliated with national archery associations for both youth and adults. Visit them online to learn more about the pro shop, and call (859) 282-6333 to learn more about their training opportunities.