By Jerry Long, May 9, 2011

I’m excited to share this draw weight strengthening workout with you as I’ve had good luck using it.

In my personal experience some of the least useful advice I’ve received is, “Go to the doctor,” and “Go to your local archery pro shop.”  Two to three years ago I developed pain in my left shoulder – probably (according to the doctor) due to a workout routine that focused heavily on dips, pull ups and pushups, but likely exacerbated by archery (according to me).  At one point it actually became painful to shoot a back-tension type release.   The continuous dull aching and sometimes sharp pain were annoying and bothersome.  A doctor’s appointment resulted in nothing; no improvement, no diagnosis.  Believe it or not what eventually broke the worst of the pain was a visit to The Brothers’ Cottage and the therapeutic jets of their hot tub.  That didn’t completely fix it though.

Then I stumbled on this article by The Hunt Doctors, Strengthening Your Bow Pull.  No stranger to The Hunt Doctors I’d previously received excellent advice from them regarding a Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot) and what precautions I should take during a 17-hour flight to Republic of South Africa.  Unlike other unhelpful articles I’ve seen on the subject their draw weight strengthening article recommended specific weights and repetitions, didn’t try to sell me a new piece of equipment and, most importantly for a simple guy like me, just plain made sense.?

In order to make it a more complete workout and include things I consider important I’ve incorporated their shoulder oriented workout into my routine.  Below is the result.  I do this routine along with a run from my running schedule and/or other cardiovascular exercise.  Each workout is started with a warm up period and targeted stretching.  A more complete stretching routine is accomplished post-exercise.   As a reference point I’ve included the weights I use considering I’m 41 years young, 5’ 6” and 138 pounds.  Pictures of the exercises are given where I thought there might be some ambiguity.  Remember, as The Hunt Doctors humorously point out in their article – no machismo!  The day of the week is irrelevant. 

  • Monday
    • Crunches on a fitness ball – 50 repetitions (no weight)
    • Front Arm Raises – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (10 – 12 lbs)
    • Rows – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (35-40 lbs)
    • Push Ups or Bench – 3 sets; pushups to failure or 10-12 repetitions on the bench (30-35 lb dumbbells)

Front arm raises – start with arms at sides and raise them, alternately, to about head height.

Rows – start with arms hanging straight down and pull the weight to you as shown.  Note the combination cooler/bench.

 

  • Wednesday
    • Crunches on a fitness ball – 50 repetitions (no weight)
    • Lateral Arm Raises – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (8-10 lbs)
    • Military Press – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (20-25 lb dumbbells)
    • Push Ups or Bench – 3 sets; pushups to failure or 10-12 repetitions on the bench (30-35 lb dumbbells)

Lateral arm raises – start with arms at sides and raise with thumbs pointing down to shoulder height.

Military press – start with hands at about shoulder height and fully extend arms above head.

 

  • Friday
    • Leg raises – to failure (no weight)
    • Bent Over Arm Raises – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (8-10 lbs)
    • Arm curls – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (20-25 lbs)
    • Push Ups or Bench – 3 sets; pushups to failure or 10-12 repetitions on the bench (30-35 lb dumbbells)

Bent over arm raises – start with arms hanging down and raise with thumbs pointing down to about shoulder height. 

Throwing in a few “Maggie weight” squats can’t hurt.  Who says you need expensive exercise equipment?

Judging from other articles I’ve read many of these same exercises are used in post shoulder surgery rehabilitation efforts (much lighter weights).  After only two weeks of this routine my shoulder felt better and it has remained better.  I’m not trying to increase my draw weight as I already shoot 68-70 lbs and don’t see any need for more, but I do want to maintain that weight as I grow older.  This workout has made a difference in my bowhunting life and I hope it is helpful to you also.

happy hunting, dv   

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