To be honest with you all, I was a little sceptical at first. I didn’t think archery was going to burn many calories at all, surely all we do is stand there and draw a bowstring every now and then? When I started training, I actually thought I was going to need to do some extra exercise to get tired on the days I practiced archery. Since I had quite a bit of time on the weekend to do some exercise, I was hoping to compensate what I couldn’t do on week days. Well, archery turned out to be a great exercise, I got tired as hell and we even did some extra exercises to complement the training at my archery club.
According to Harvard University, 30 minutes of archery burns about 100 calories, depending on your body weight, and the strength of your bow; also the weather can be a factor. In addition, properly drawing a bow strengthens your core, arms, chest, hands and shoulders.
Is Archery a good workout?
Yes it is. It’s a great workout, on average, 30 minutes of archery can see you burn through100 calories. That means that if you’re using a strong bow, and practicing for at least 2 hours, you can burn in the region of 400 calories. It’s not only the act of shooting, but you also have to walk a lot to pick up your arrows after every round (and if like me in the early days – find arrows!). If you use a smart clock or something to measure your steps, you’ll see how much you really walk when doing archery.
Also, archery makes you put a lot of stress on certain muscles like your shoulders, chest and back. It can help you tone your muscles and strengthen your core. Just like machines in a gym, where you add more weight to work harder, in archery you can use stronger bows which will require more energy and strength from you. This means more calories burned and better preparation for your muscles.
Can you lose weight doing archery?
Yes. Every activity you do, will burn calories, so every activity can make you lose weight. But it will also depend on the amount of exercise you do compared to the amount of food you eat. If you are not eating healthy, archery and most exercises won’t make you lose weight. Also, to improve your chances of getting in shape with archery, you must do a conscious warmup and extra exercises. Abs, pushups and lifting weights are great complimentary activities for archery, they will burn more calories and help you get better at the sport.
Should I do cardio or archery?
Actually, you should do both. Archery can burn as many calories as running, it all depends on how much time can you ran or shot for. Truth be told, you should do both. Doing some minutes of cardio as a warmup before archery, and another 20 minutes of running at an easy pace can help you get in great shape. Cardio will only burn fat, but archery will work on your muscles to build a stronger body. The combination of both will get you in great shape, just by doing cardio, your body will get smaller on muscle and you might even lose some strength.
What exercises can complement archery?
There are several exercises that can help you enhance your archery skills and scores. For example, pushups are a great exercise since it works on your arms and chest. Working on your abs will help you work on your core strength which will also help you hold your posture when aiming. Lifting some weights will help you prepare your shoulders, biceps and forearms for long lasting physical competitions. Archery is a sport where you must last for long competitions if you want to be on the podium. That means shooting for several hours and fighting fatigue in your muscles. Working on them specifically can help you burn calories, get in great shape, and improve your game.
Is archery a good hobby?
It truly depends on what you’re looking for. Some people consider a hobby jumping from an airplane, I don’t. Archery is a peaceful sport, for me, it’s my moment for relaxation and breathing while doing exercise and burning calories. I needed a hobby that took me away from the screen, videos games and writing were not a good distraction to relax and especially not to rest from the screen. Basketball also wasn’t a great alternative to relax and clear my mind, that’s when I found archery as an option to relax, clear the mind, breath and also train. So, if you’re looking for something like this, I think it’s a great hobby.
What benefits does archery have?
There are several besides the physical benefits we already mentioned. It will strengthen your arms and core. Combined with other exercises it will get you in great shape. But archery also helps people to focus. This amazing sport teaches focus and it has proven to be amazing with kids and teens with concentration issues. It also helps you work on your breathing, and your hand – eye coordination. As I said, the most important benefit I think is archery’s amazing work on concentration. I’ve found my ability to concentrate has shot up since I started shooting which isn’t just great for archery but also for me during my day job and at home with the family.
Is archery physically demanding?
It depends, if you’re shooting with a bow with low draw weight, and you’re not doing extra exercises, it’s not that physically demanding and you could coast through a session without breaking a sweat. That does mean that you won’t actually burn a lot of calories or be testing your muscles to get yourself in shape. As most sports, archery will be as demanding as you allow it to be.
Using a stronger bow will make it more demanding and will take you to the next level. It will require a lot more strength from you, so you will also need to do some extra exercise to make it more demanding. It’s funny because you will require a demanding training session of pushups and weights to make archery itself more demanding! It means that in general, as it is at the gym, you can make it more difficult for yourself and you’re the only one in charge of making it an amazing workout.
One last recommendation, as the bow becomes stronger, you must be more careful about your stretching routine. It’s important that you stretch every part of your body before working with a heavy bow. It’s also important to do stretching after the training to avoid any injuries the next day.
So, that’s it. You probably found this topic because, as I did, quite a surprise! Until I started shooting I didn’t really believe it could be a great way to burn calories and get in shape. Now you do know that it is, but it’s up to you to make it more demanding and to do the proper training to allow archery to get you in shape. So go out there, challenge yourself and become a better archer.
Happy shooting and training!