If you've ever tried archery, you'll know that, despite maybe looking easy, you actually need a lot of strength to shoot an arrow. When it comes to training up for archery, strength exercises for your upper body are vital to perfect your skills. We have put together the 5 best arm and core exercises for archery to help you get the perfect shot!


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Resistance Bands
  2. Lateral Raises
  3. Dumbbell Rows
  4. Rowing Machine
  5. Plank

Resistance Bands

man outside with a resistance band tied to a post, strengthening his arms and upper body.

Resistance bands are perfect training for archery. If you can anchor the band to something like a doorframe or a post, you can essentially use it like a bow. This will tone up your arms and strengthen the muscles, making your bow easier to use. They are perfect all-rounders too, so if you want to focus more on your upper or lower body, you can.

Check out our upper body resistance band workout to really get the most out of them.

Lateral Raises

man at home doing lateral raises

Lateral raises are an exercise that can strengthen all of your arms and your shoulders. You can use any weight; if you're new to weights, start small, and do a few sets a day to build up the strength in your upper body. You'll find using a bow and arrow easier as you progress. Dumbbells are great to use, too, as they let you see how much you have improved. If you start with a 1kg pair, you might find over a couple of months you've moved up to 3kgs, and that will continue the more you train.

Check out how to do them here!

Dumbbell Rows

woman doing dumbbell rows

Much like lateral raises, dumbbell rows are great for strengthening your upper body, but these target your back too. By holding yourself over the bench and doing the exercise one arm at a time, you're hitting most of the muscles in your upper back. The dumbbell weight and the weight of holding yourself up is a great way to really hit those muscles. In Archery, holding your upper body in the right position is vital, so strong back muscles are needed to support your arms but also to keep you steady.

Check out how to do them here!

Rowing Machine

woman using a rowing machine

Using a rowing machine is a perfect full-body cardio workout. Unlike exercise bikes and other cardio machines, rowing machines can really tone and strengthen the upper body through the use of the rowing motion. If you are someone who likes to shot a few arrows in a row, the repetitive motion of rowing will really improve endurance in your arms as they get used to the movement of bending and straightening over and over.

Plank

mand and a woman doing the plank

Finally, we have the plank. Whilst it may be a simple exercise, this one is perfect for strengthening your core muscles. Being able to hold your own body weight will help you build endurance, but a strong core also helps with balance and stability, two things you need when learning to shoot a bow and arrow. Like dumbbells, it's also a nice exercise to help you see your progress. If you start off at 30 seconds, eventually, holding that position will become easier for that length of time. Then you can increase how long you stay in position for, and it helps you see how much you have improved. The longer you can stay in position, the stronger your core!

Many exercises can help you improve your archery skills; these are just some of our favourites. Archery is a great sport to start taking part in, and with the addition of a couple of upper body exercises a week, you could be a pro in no time.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.