If you find drawing the bow difficult or want to build up muscle for archery, you must wonder what the best archery exercises are.

This article will present you with 17 best exercises for archers to increase your strength, endurance and draw weight without straining.

The best part? Professional and Olympic archers are also practicing them. So let’s dive in.

best archery exercises at home

17 Best Archery Exercises at Home:

1. Press:

Press is one of the main ways to give yourself a stronger upper body, as it targets the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps, biceps, and serratus anterior muscles. (More on “Archery Muscle” below).

How to practice?

You can use the bench press or the alternating bench press.

And the good thing about it is that while you need a bar, some plates, and a half-decent bench, you can start small and work your way up.

You should try to increase the weight you’re lifting every week - the press exercise should never feel easy.

How many reps?

Do between 8 and 12 reps in 3 to 4 sets, and you will feel a difference when holding your bow.

2. Pull-Ups:

Pull-ups are one of the top exercises to improve your core strength and draw weight.

Why do you need strength exercise?

In archery, your muscle must be 50% stronger than your bow draw weight or your they'll be quicker to fatigue and miss the shot.

For instance, if you’re draw weight is 40 lbs, you must train your muscle to handle at least 80 lbs easily.

How can it help?

They target your lats and biceps, with some help from your deltoids and rhomboids.

Pull-ups target the largest muscles in the upper body, and you can put a pull-up bar at any doorway in your home.

The key point is to use only your upper body to pull yourself up without using your legs.

How to practice?

When starting, it can be difficult to make more than a couple, but try to increase the number of reps every couple of days.

If it starts to become easy, use the wide-arm pull-up.

How many reps?

Do between 8 and 12 reps in 3 to 4 sets.

Pull-ups are extremely difficult but do your maximum in 3 to 4 sets. Soon, you will see that drawing your bow is becoming easy.

3. Stretch Band:

A stretch band is a CHEAP, versatile, and effective way to increase your strength at home without going to the outdoor range.

You can use the resistance band to practice drawing by pulling the ends away to imitate the bow draw.

How can it help?

You can target all the important muscles without needing to go to a shooting range and practice your form and muscles easily.

Fun Facts:

You can use the resistance band for Specific Physical Training (SPT), which many Olympic archers use in the US and South Korea to increase strength and endurance.

You can also do triceps extensions by stepping on the middle of the band and pulling with your hands - but make controlled movements, don’t let the band pull you.

Moreover, you can put your stretch band on your bow and pull, and you will activate your back, arms, pectorals, and your core muscles.

How many reps?

I advise you to do 4 sets of 15 reps, going slowly every time to activate your muscles truly.


Stretch bands are not all the same. There are different kinds to ensure that pulling them is easier or more difficult.

So you should buy a 3-pack, start from the easiest one, and work your way up.

4. Chin-Ups:

Chin-up is an exercise every archer should take on, and all you need for it is a bar installed on a doorway, for example.

Why is it important?

It requires a lot of strength to do a chin-up, but it’s extremely useful for archers, as it targets lats, forearms, biceps, and shoulders, allowing you to hold and draw the bow quickly.

It seems similar to a pull-up, but the difference is in the muscles it targets - chin-ups target the back and the shoulders, while pull-ups target the arms and chest.

When doing a chin-up, you should pull yourself up so your chest touches the bar.

How many reps?

Do about 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps.

5. Overhead Press:

Overhead presses are great for your upper body muscles, but you must learn some stability to perform them accurately.

That will also be useful for your archery skills, as they target the pectorals, deltoids, trapezius, and triceps, allowing you to control your bow steadily.

You will need a dumbbell to perform them, so start with a small one and work your way up.

How many reps? 

Do 4 sets of 12 reps.

6. Behind-The-Neck Press:

You should take advantage of the behind-the-neck press if you have a bar and some plates. This exercise allows you to increase your draw weight.

It means more powerful and accurate shots as you get stronger.

This exercise targets the deltoids and trapezius, as well as the triceps, making it extremely important for your archery form and holding of your weapon.

I advise you to look in the mirror while performing this exercise to ensure that your form is good.

How many reps?

Do 12 reps in 3 sets.

7. Legs:

Despite needing a lot of upper body strength, you will also need to train your core and your legs.

Exercises such as a deadlift and squats can be done with a dumbbell if using a bar is too tricky.

However, you should gradually increase your weight until you can use a bar with some plates.

How many reps?

Do 4 sets of 12 reps to see a difference in your form - strong legs are a must for archers.

8. Turkish Get-Up:

Turkish get-up can be a useful exercise to add to your full-body workout, as it targets the glutes, lower back, hamstrings, lats, calves, triceps, and deltoids.

Use a dumbbell when doing the Turkish get-up, so you can choose a small one and start easy.

For archers, the Turkish get-up can improve the strength of your legs and back.

How many reps? Perform about 8 to 12 reps in 3 sets.

9. Rowing Machine:

If you can, you should get a rowing machine for your home gym; if not, it’s worth a trip to the gym.

Why is it important?

Rowing is a great exercise for your full-body workout because it targets your glutes, quadriceps, deltoids, lats, and core during each rep.

This exercise is an excellent way for archers to activate all major muscles without doing a wide range of exercises.

The neat thing about it is that you choose the weight you’re lifting.

How many reps?

Start small and do 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps.

10. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row:

Single–arm dumbbell row is a great exercise to improve your back and arm muscles.

It will allow you to increase your draw cycle, and you need a suitable dumbbell and a bench to put your hand and knee on.

How many reps?

Start with a smaller dumbbell and do 12 reps in 3 to 4 sets to see a difference quickly.

11. Dumbbell Lateral Raise:

The dumbbell lateral raise is a great exercise for your deltoids and will give you better form when holding the bow.

You can do both arms simultaneously or the one-arm dumbbell lateral raises.

Start with smaller dumbbells to ensure you are doing controlled movements before you go on with larger weights.

How many reps?

Do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

12. Planks:

Plank is a must-have exercise for endurance training, and it can make your core much stronger.

Why is it so important?

If you have a good endurance, you can shoot 300+ arrow in a good form without fatigue.

Besides that, your muscles will be easy to recover in less than 24 hours and give you a better odd in long days tournaments.

Sound great?

With 1 minute plank per day, you can hold the bow sturdier even in windy conditions.

How to practice?

When doing a plank, you are balancing on your arms and feet, but it mainly activates your obliques, transverse, and rectus abdominis.

Another great variation is the side plank, which activates the most out of your obliques, which are essential for drawing your bow.

How long should you plank?

Start with a 30-second plank in 3 to 4 sets, and increase the time gradually.

13. Basic Push-Up:

Push-ups are fantastic exercises for your pectoral muscles, shoulders, and triceps, and best of all; you don’t need any kind of equipment to do a push-up.

This exercise can strengthen your chest and give you a better balance when drawing a bow.

How many reps?

Do about 8 to 12 reps in 3 sets.

14. Dumbbell Shrug:

Archers must have strong shoulders, as it will be much easier to practice without feeling fatigued after a couple of shots.

The shrug activates the deltoids, and it’s a relatively easy exercise to do - but you will have to start small to avoid cramping and injuries.

How many reps?

Do 12 to 15 reps in 3 to 4 sets.

15. Half-Kneeling Wall Windmill:

Doing the half-kneel wall windmill is a useful exercise for your shoulders and core - enabling you to load heavier draw weight.

This exercise is also helpful for hip stability and mobility.

How many reps?

Pick out a dumbbell of your choosing and find a mat to kneel on to do 8 to 12 reps in 3 sets.

16. Overhead Tricep Extension:

Tricep extensions work the triceps, as the name says, and triceps are much-needed muscles for holding your bow.

The best part about triceps extension is that you can use a machine to do them, but you can also find a couple of weights and perform the exercise.

How many reps?

Increase your weight over time by doing 12 reps in 3 to 4 sets.

17. Yoga:

Yoga can be a neat way to perform a full-body workout.

Yoga can increase your endurance and improve your stability, balance, and focus, which help you achieve better in archery tournaments.

How long should you meditate?

The good thing is that there are always easier poses for beginners, so you can include at least 30 minutes of yoga in your daily training.

What Is “Archery Muscles”?

Every sport needs strong muscles, but the muscles are almost always different. Archers will need strong shoulders, chest, back, and arms.

archery muscles

Via teoriya.ru


As for the shoulders, when holding the bow, you will activate the anterior deltoids, and when drawing, you will need your posterior deltoids and infraspinatus.


As for the chest, you will activate your pectorals when holding the bow.


Training your back is also very important, as the trapezius, rhomboids, teres major and minor, and latissimus dorsi all play a significant role during a draw.

Triceps and brachioradialis:

When holding the bow, you will activate your triceps and brachioradialis in your arms, but you will need strong biceps and brachialis when drawing.


You will need to hit the gym rather than just practice shooting more.

Archery requires a lot of draw strength, and it will take some time in the gym to truly feel the difference in your muscles.

FAQs - How to Train Archery at Home?

How Long Should the Workout Last?

Well, there is no set time you should spend working out, but you should work out between 20 and 40 minutes every time.

So, you should spend at most 40 minutes actively working out, excluding the time you spend warming up.

Let me explain:

If you exercise too much, your body will not have enough time to recover on the ranch. Stay focused during exercise to avoid any injuries.

How Many Reps & Sets?

When starting to work out to get better archery results, it’s important to stick to a specific number of reps and sets.

For reps, you should take between 8 and 12 reps in one set of exercises and try to make more reps in the last set. Do 3 to 4 sets every time without making a huge break in between.

For plank and similar exercises, try to do 30 seconds to 1 minute in a set.

As for the core exercises, such as the Russian twists and plank, I advise you to do 15 reps per side and 4 sets.

How Often Should You Exercise?

Exercising aims to maintain your body in great shape for maximal results when archery and hunting.


During the off-season, you should exercise more regularly to ensure you don’t lose muscle mass. So ensure you work out about 3 days a week.


You should work out less during the on-season, about 2 days a week.

If you work out too much, your body will be exhausted during tournaments or hunting, but you should still work out a bit to retain your strength.

Pro Tips:

If you have never worked out, you might feel lost, even if you are familiar with the exercises.

Stick to full-body workouts because it’s easier to keep track of what muscles you trained, especially as a newbie.

Also, you should make a point of training yourself to sleep uncomfortably. That will give you a certain advantage during tournaments in archery.

Final Thoughts:

Now that you know all the best archery exercises, it’s time to put them to use.

Working out as an archer will give you an advantage and far more strength to use bows with the higher draw weight.

You should consider working out and stick to a realistic routine you can always follow.

Full-body workouts are very effective - just remember to work out three days a week during the active season!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.