The Incredible Benefits of Archery For Your Body
A tradition honored for its camaraderie, precision, and control, the benefits of archery are vast. But the reasons go beyond enjoyment of the sport, extending into the realm of physical fitness and skill development. Indoors and outdoors, competitively and socially, for hunting or sport, archery keeps you active and engaged.
So is archery a good hobby? Absolutely! Here are a few of the many reasons why practicing archery is good for your body.
Archery Builds Your Strength
While you might think archery solely builds the strength of your arms, one of the benefits of archery is that it actually engages your entire upper body. Drawing your bow relies on the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, and hands, along with your core and trunk.
Every time you draw your bow, these muscles are engaged for up to a minute before the string and arrow are released. The amount of muscle engagement depends on your bow’s draw weight. Draw weight varies between bows (especially compound bows, which utilize a cam system to mitigate draw weight when fully drawn), so you can find bows with draw weights that range anywhere from 15 pounds to over 70 pounds! That makes one of the benefits of archery its function as an excellent form of exercise.
Crossbows have draw weight, too. However, unlike traditional bows, you don’t have to hold the string back while you aim a crossbow. You will only experience crossbow draw weight when you draw and cock the crossbow; after that, the crossbow remains drawn until you shoot. That makes using a crossbow less of a workout.
Archery Improves Hand and Grip Strength
In addition to working out your entire upper body, archery really engages your finger and hand muscles. Even if you’ve spent years working out, most weight training doesn’t involve engaging your finger and hand muscles, which means you’ll probably struggle to draw and hold a bow at first.
One of the benefits of archery is that it consistently engages your hand muscles, improving your grip strength. You’ll build some serious strength in parts of the body few people think to work out.
Archery Increases Hand-Eye Coordination
Whether you’re new to archery or a life-long archer, you know you need a lot of focus for your arrow to hit the target.
Archery is a good hobby for hand-eye coordination, training your hands to aim based on feedback from your eyes. Hand-eye coordination is something you use every single day, from driving a car to catching dropped objects. Over time, you’ll get better at reacting faster to visual stimuli. This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of archery.
Archery Improves Balance
Think of the moment right before you release your arrow. Everything is so still. It’s almost as if the entire world pauses in that blink-of-an-eye instant.
To be a good archer, your body needs to maintain that stillness. You must hold a constant position while you take aim, and that requires balance. Since archers need to maintain this stillness while drawing the string back, aiming, and releasing the arrow, they’re also developing a strong sense of balance. This is because your core muscles are closely related to balance. This benefit of archery improves your coordination in daily life.
Archery Promotes Good Posture
Another benefit of archery that extends into your day-to-day life is its impact on posture. To successfully hit a target, you have to stand up straight. Archery demands correct posture and alignment.
Regularly practicing archery trains your body to remain in an upright spinal position. Besides being beneficial to your aim, having better posture helps reduce the risk of injury, prevents excessive strain on your body’s joints and muscles, and can help reduce back pain.
Physical Benefits of Archery
Though archery is often perceived as being a stationary activity, it’s fantastic for your physical health and wellbeing. Archery is more than a good hobby; you’re also joining a generations-old community and tradition that is good for your body. It’s time to get your bow or crossbow and start practicing.