What Are the Physical Benefits to Be Obtained From Archery?

The physical benefits to be obtained from archery include improved hand-eye coordination, greater upper body strength and flexibility, posture, increased endurance and better hand mobility. Archery provides numerous mental health benefits as well.

physical benefits of archery

Those Larger Than Life Characters Who Seduce Us Through Archery

robin hood the archer
Robin Hood, Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), and Legolas Greenleaf are only some of the epic characters that make every kid (and adult) fall in love with archery. 

And for how much this sport can be fun and exciting, you should not underestimate the physical and mental health benefits it offers its practitioners.

It goes without saying that having the right archery equipment gives you a great advantage however there’s much more to it than that!

Practicing this art can also increase your focus, become more patient, and build self-confidence. 

Before booking your first lesson, you can learn more about the wonderful benefits of archery right here.

First off, let’s now explore the unique health benefits archery can bring to your physical and total body health.

The Benefits of Archery

Many of us think of archery as a non active or passive sport, even a hobby. If you think that you would be wrong!

There’s a lot more to archery than the vast majority of people realize.

Archers who participate in competition really need to be physically fit and have a serious level of strength and perseverance to obtain good scores. This makes archery a great sport to keep you physically and mentally fit and healthy.

Though often perceived as a passive sport, competitive archers actually require a serious level of strength, endurance and focus to perform well, making it an ideal sport to help keep you healthy and fit.

Archery is Fun and it Suits Every Single One of Us

Archery is Fun and it doesn’t matter where you live, if you are working or going to school, if you’re a ‘rich man or a poor man’. Anyone can get involved in it. You can start at a very young age and keep it up for as long as you can hold a bow. Also, during competition there’s a significant focus on teamwork and that’s a good thing.

Disabled folks can also enjoy archery and all its benefits.

Those suffering from the most serious disabilities, including those who are blind, have the ability to take advantage of specific tactual apparatus which renders them capable of taking part and joining in, making archery a rewarding pastime for everyone.

Is Archery as Workout... Yes, and it Keeps Your Brain Healthy as Well

According to Harvard Medical School, working out has more benefits that we think. It enhances our memory as well as our ability to think and a ‘round of archery’ falls into this category as do many other fairly simple exercises.

Being a non-contact, laid back sport the chance of being injured whilst involved in archery is minimal. It’s a sport based on accuracy, judging prevailing weather conditions and steadiness. Of course archery does involve activity like walking so it’s definitely not totally void of any exercise.

Your Eyes Will Improve, You’ll Be Able to See Through Walls!

Not Quite… but over time your eyesight will improve and you do need good vision to be involved in archery. The little black dot in the middle of the target looks mighty small at 40 yards.

When shooting you’ll also need to have a look around and try to judge wind speed by looking at trees or anything else that reacts to wind. A shift in wind speed and/or direction will have a noticeable effect on your arrow placement so you’ll need to compensate.

You’ll also gain hand and finger flexibility. Your hands and your fingers gain significant strength as a result of archery. After a period of time they will also become way more flexible simply because they are involved in most, if not all, the activity that’s required.

Enhances Your Hand-Eye Coordination

hand-eye coordinationThe core requirements of archery are focus and coordination. You will need to aim at a target, fire the arrow, maintain focus, and keep your position for minutes at a time.

This helps you gain better control over the way your body moves, ultimately improving coordination and balance.

And of course, synchronizing what your eyes see and the movement of your hands is essential for a bowman to succeed.

With practice, this aspect will also improve your multitasking ability, which is as important in archery as it is in many other aspects of our lives.

Archery Builds Upper-Body Strength

Holding the bow in tension and drawing an arrow will keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Aside from your torso and arms, this range of movement also benefits your chest muscles and abs. 

Just as in the case of a weightlifter, the repetition of this movement allows you to start building strength and define your muscles.

Whenever you hold a bow in tension or an arrow in position, your hands and fingers are engaged. As you repeat the movement, the strength and flexibility of your hand improve.

Improves Your Posture and Upper Body Flexibility

Archery, when practiced correctly, can improve your posture. This art can instil positive habits by strengthening your core muscles and teaching you how to relax your shoulders. 

In turn, even if you decide to leave this sport behind in the future, you can count on knowing how to improve your posture anytime you need it.

Emotional Benefits of Archery

Aside from the positive effects that practicing archery can have on your physical health, this sport can also benefit your mental and psychological health. 

Here’s how…

Improves Focus and Concentration

Focus and concentrationAs you hold your bow and arrow in place, you must cut out all distractions and focus solely on correctly releasing the bowstring.

You might need to hold the same position for minutes at a time, which will help you to maintain high concentration levels for a longer period.

A side benefit of improved focus is that you can start practicing your reactions in high-pressure environments and situations.

While this feature is undoubtedly important when practicing archery, it is just as crucial in several other aspects of our daily lives – such as in our jobs or at school.

Archery Builds Patience

patienceArchery is not so much of a fast-paced sport but rather a practice that requires you to concentrate and wait for the perfect moment to shoot your arrow.

Since this sport is not about speed but rather accuracy and precision, you might need to hold the same position for several minutes to maximize your accuracy.

Remember, patience is the key! 

Enhances Your Self-Confidence

Self confidenceKeeping your mind and body fit and strong allows you to build confidence in yourself.

In archery, deciding to learn new techniques and refining your skills can also be something to take pride in. 

Archery Meditation

Where you aware of archery meditation?

If you have already discovered some of the benefits that meditation can bring you – and you are also enjoying your archery practice – you might be interested in knowing that you can combine the two. 

Due to the fast-paced lifestyle we all live today, there is no wondering why we are always on the lookout for a strategy to decrease stress levels, focus on our wellbeing, and learn how to manage emotions better. 

If you have tried meditation, but you prefer to try something more physical or hands-on, then archery is your discipline. 

While the original link between the two practices started to become apparent with traditional Japanese archery training such as Kyudo, you don’t necessarily need to learn this skill to enjoy some minutes of mindfulness.

Indeed, just focusing on the present moment and your breathing while getting ready to shoot your arrows can be an excellent way to bring back focus to what’s important.

If you are interested in this aspect, check out the video below for some more insights ~

How to Strengthen Archery Muscles

Practicing archery is already an excellent way to improve your upper body strength. However, if you need to bring your archery practice to the next level ie, strengthen archery muscles, you can also work on that at the gym.

Some of the exercises you should include in your standard gym training include ~

  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Side Raise
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Romanian Deadlift
Forearm Plank

  • Side Plank
  • Rowing Machine

However, it is also worth understanding that other exercises can help you improve your skills as an archer.

These include yoga and pilates.

Several studies have shown these disciplines’ power when it comes down to improving your balance, strength, flexibility and coordination. And when you practice yoga, you will also be required to maintain the same posture (asana) for prolonged time frames.

In turn, this can help you work on the muscle strength you need for your archery practice without leaving behind exercises for improving your precision and accuracy. So, yoga can teach you a lot about how to behave in a moment when you just want to give up.

A side benefit of this ancient practice is that you will also work on your breathing – something extremely crucial when practicing archery.

The Many Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

So far, we have focused on what benefits archery can bring to your health. But let’s not forget that archery is a sport that can be practiced and lived outdoors. And if you opt for this choice, then there are some other advantages to consider.

The numerous benefits of outdoor recreation include:

  • It can lower stress levels.
  • It can help relieve anxiety and depression.
  • It supplies fresh air and promotes improved lung health.
  • It allows you to get all the Vitamin D you need – directly from the sun!

Being outdoors can help you manage your weight and nutritional health in a more natural way.

It reduces the risk of pollution-induced health conditions and it can reduce the symptoms of conditions related to stress, such as chronic fatigue, inflammation, and migraine headache.

Benefits of Archery for Students

Student ArcheryFun comes to mind when I think of archery, this wonderful pastime benefits all students who like archery, regardless of age or level of expertise.

They can challenge other students as well as themselves and try and improve on their personal best. 

For some time archery has helped students to improve their confidence and gain physical strength.

And now, teachers have noticed that students who are involved in archery are getting better grades in math!!

Who would have thought??

Once the ‘penny drops’ for the students they begin to understand that they can learn to shoot quite well if they abide by the rules of the game.

Even students with less than perfect behavior tend to follow suit because they’ve learnt that they just need to persist and stick to the instructions to become competent archers.

Teachers have realised that archery is very structured and that students are happy to wait for their turn and follow the rules. They can compete with others or set their own goals and shoot against themselves.

Only after the instructions ‘sink in’ can archery develop the student’s character (in a good way) and benefit the kids forever.

Summary

Archery is an exciting sport to learn. It will help you develop important aspects like patience, self-confidence, focus and concentration. Simultaneously, archery can help you relax and find a new, more modern way to meditate. 

And of course, the physical benefits it offers are endless: it improves upper-body strength, flexibility, stamina, endurance and hand-eye coordination. 

Additionally, the strength training you will undergo when starting to practice this sport will also be extremely beneficial. You can expect an easier weight loss process and more defined muscles.

FAQ's

  • “Does Archery Improve Eyesight?”

If you’re involving yourself in archery then, over a period of time, your eyesight will improve naturally. As you would be aware, focus and accuracy are two of the most important skills a successful archer must have and any improvement in these skills will also result in your eyesight improving.

  • “Can Exercises Improve Eyesight?”

Cardio exercises improve the blood flow to the optic nerve as well as the retina. As a result general eye health and vision will generally improve, particularly in people suffering from glaucoma.

  • “What Are the Skills Needed for Archery?”

The skills and strengths that are required to become a successful archer are many and varied and include mental toughness, aerobic ability, self assurance, body awareness, focus, balance, fine motor skills, a quick reaction and great upper body strength has well as flexibility.

  • “Why is Archery a Good Sport?”

Accomplished archers generally have a high level of balance, strength and self-awareness. Archery is not hard on our bodies and is therefore safe to engage in at any age. It teaches us how to focus and remain focussed for extended periods of time while facing ever increasing pressure and other elements over which we have no control over.

  • “Archery Exercises to Increase Draw Weight”

If you’re passion is around learning how to increase your draw weight by strengthening the muscles used in archery, give one or some of these exercises a shot. Practice more frequently, do push ups which you can do virtually anywhere, do pull ups which strengthen the key archery muscles and… start right now!

  • “Chameleon Archers Exercise”

Lift your hips up high while extending one leg back and at the same time, bending the opposite knee whilst moving into the push-up position and lifting the hand closest to your bent knee off the floor. Lift up to the high bird dog position and stretch the raised hand forward so both hands end up in the push-up position.

  • “Which Muscles Used in Archery?”

The primary muscles that are used by the upper body when engaged in archery are the levator scapulae, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius and rhomboids. Also, the triceps and biceps are engaged, stretching the rotator cuff is also significant.