5 Fundamental Workout Routines For Bowhunters
The difficulty of bow hunting is what makes it more interesting. For a bow hunter, physical fitness is necessary for hiking, making stealth movements, pulling the bow and carrying your game. Exercises that increase strength and endurance are necessary for hunting. Workout routines increase your chances of hunting success. Training is as important and checking your bow for precision and packing a hunting rangefinder among other preparations. Proper training keeps your success consistent and allows you to hunt at old age. There are specific exercises designed for bow hunters. These are designed to increase arm, shoulder, core and leg strength. They will help your hike through the ground, pull your bow, shoot with accuracy and haul your kill. Below are the fundamental workout routines that a bow hunter should master.
#1- Dumbbell Pull-ups
This is one of the most fundamental exercises for shooting. It increases arm, back and shoulder strength. It involves using one hand to pull the weight while the other pushes on the bench. This helps in holding your core and lower body still while pulling for maximum effectiveness. The whole body should be used for stability by putting your feet on the ground.
Your spine should remain flat and your lower body still throughout the exercise. The weight should be pulled towards the rib cage while touching all the shoulder blades. The weight should be put down slowly to allow the shoulder blades to relax gently. Pull-ups are just like shooting movements. They help a great deal in increasing upper body strength and shooting accuracy. Do 4 sets of at least 6 repetitions for each arm.
#2- Prone Y, T, W and L
Scapular muscle strength is fundamental to pulling your bow. Shoulder strength is also needed while aiming. Exercising the lower trap muscle with the prone Y helps in providing agility which keeps your shoulders down while shooting. Start the exercise by standing in a bent position while keeping your spine flat as possible.
Make sure that the shoulder blades make contact at all times. Proceed by making letters Y, T, W and L with your arms. Both thumbs should point on the ceiling when making each letter. Each exercise should be done in 3 sets for at least 8 reps for each exercise. Repeat up and down motions, each lasting 3 seconds in slow motion.
#3- One-Hand Cable Press
Performing one-hand cable press with a split stance helps in working your ground pushing strength and core stability. A standing position helps you to use the core to stabilize the whole body. Alternate the cable height from rib cage to shoulder height while pressing forward.
Push your arms until they are almost straight. This effort is applied when shooting or backpacking. Increasing pushing strength helps in keeping your bow more steady. 4 sets with 6 to 10 reps are enough.
#4- The Alphabet Plank
This exercises focuses on your core strength and increasing stability during other-other movements. It helps you to remain stable while shooting or holding a hunting rangefinder. Your core supports the entire body during this exercise.
Use a stability ball to rest your elbows and a bench to rest your feet. Make sure to flatten your lower back by contracting your abdominal muscles. Move both elbows in different alphabetical letters while keeping your body still. Make big letters in a slow motion. Do up to 3 sets through the alphabets.
#5- Elevated Split Squats
Finally, strength and endurance is needed for hiking through while hauling your game. Most of the time you will be walking up a hill. Therefore, you need to exercise your legs to gain more hiking endurance. Elevated split squats help in strengthening your lower muscles.
Balance one foot while-while squatting to stimulate a steep hike. Perform 4 sets of at least 12 reps for each leg. This exercise trains your hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps. You will be able to go up and down hill effortlessly.
Every bow hunter needs to do exercises that target all muscles used in hunting. You only need 2 sessions in a week each lasting for 40 minutes in order to increase your hunting success. These exercises will help workout both upper and lower body muscles. As a result, you will be able to hold your bow with more stability, draw with more strength, shoot with accuracy, hike through and haul your game or backpack.
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting …