When we think of archery, we don’t think of it as a sport really (well I didn’t anyway!). Its something I have personally never really attempted, why go to archery it’s not going to help me lose weight or build muscle….or can it?
Let’s be honest, it is not as physically demanding as some sports, did you know that it can actually help you burn a decent amount of calories and also improve your overall fitness.
How Archery Increases Strength
When you first give archery a go, you will know you have done it afterwards as your muscles will be sore. Even if you do go to the gym often, archery will workout muscles that you would typically not exercise.
There are a number of different bows when it comes to archery, in order to see the best strength improvements you will want to shoot with something that is known as a recurve bow. When you draw the bowstring, you are engaging your core, shoulders and back.
You will be pulling the drawstring back everytime you shoot an arrow, which in a 2 hour session you could easily shoot 60-100 arrows.
How does this workout the muscles though?
Draw weight is the amount of weight your arms hold when you pull the drawstring back. You will typically start with a bow that’s 20 lbs but as you progress you could end up drawing a bow that has a draw weight of 40-55 lbs.
Let’s do a little maths, if you have a bow that is 50 lbs draw weight and you shoot 100 arrows, you would have lifted a total of 5,000 lbs. What you also have to bear in mind is that you don’t just pull back and let go, you will hold it for a few seconds to aim.
Now you might also think this will only increase muscle strength on one side, the other arm is holding the bow upright and this itself has a decent amount of weight.
How Many Calories Does Archery Help You Burn
As well as increasing strength, did you know that Archery can actually also help you burn calories. Your just stood there shooting arrows right? How could you possibly burn calories.
Well according to World Archery, due to the amount of walking needed to collect the arrows it is possible to burn between 100 to 150 calories every 30 minutes. Interestingly though during the 2012 London Olympics the archery team actually burn more calories than the 1500 meters. (source)
Do You Need To Worry About Diet?
Like with anything if you are wanting to reduce your weight and improve your body fat percentage, you need to look at your diet as well. In order to perform well those doing archery dont need to worry too much about dieting, but like with any sport you need some degree of fitness. (although more flexible than other more physical sports)
Improve Mental Fitness
As well as physical fitness, archery is perfect if you are looking for an activity to help increase mental fitness.
When we go through our day to day lives, we experience so many stresses and worries. This can really build up and without getting rid of the stress or finding something to relax you, you could end up getting very ill.
Something I noticed about Archery, when you are stood there with the bow drawn and looking at the target – you don’t think about anything else.
Boost Concentration & Focus
Like the above that when you shoot your bow, you tend to feel more relaxed. Archery also helps to develop your skills at being able to concentrate and focus more. You will spend time focusing on the target and concentrating on all the steps needed to shoot the arrow correctly.
If you are wanting a way to burn some additional calories, see some improvement to muscle growth, Archery is perfect. This fun activity can make a really good alternative to going to the gym.
I hope this article has been interesting and given you something else to think about if you are wanting to try something new but still see some weight loss.