Archery Strength Exercises for Increasing Draw Weight


Shooting your bow consistently on a daily basis will indeed hone your skills and make you more accurate. But if you want to take it a step further, and add some extra poundage to your draw weight, these archery strength exercises will help build strength, stability and stamina to give you better control over your shot.

In this article, we will discuss a handful of exercises you can do to target your upper body, increase draw weight, add stability to your core, and even allow you to shoot for longer periods of time – which ultimately means more practice reps!

Without wasting any more time, let’s get after it:

Dumbbell Side Raise

The dumbbell side raise is an exercise designed to really target the lateral portion of your shoulder, and improve shoulder strength. Even though you’re going to be pulling your bow back rather than pushing, this exercise is necessary to help keep your bow stable for longer periods of time.

To complete the dumbbell side raise, you just need to follow these steps:

  • Stand upright (try performing seated to really isolate the movement) 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand (one at a time is just fine)
  • Keep your shoulders back and your core tight
  • Raise each dumbbell until they are parallel to the floor (about shoulder height) 
  • Repeat for 10 reps
  • Rest 30 sec – 1 minute
  • Repeat for as many sets as your workout calls for

Sarah Bowmar has an awesome shoulder circuit for you to try during your next workout:

Single Arm Cable Row

The single arm cable row might be the best exercise to improve your draw weight. (You can also get the same benefits by performing a regular lateral row with both hands as you will see Cam Hanes doing in the video below.)

To perform a single arm cable row, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Sit on a lateral cable row machine with your back straight and core tight
  • Grab the cable and keep your shoulders back
  • Now pull the cable to your torso (try placing your opposite free on the side you are working for more mind/muscle connection)
  • Switch up your tempo by pulling the cable to your torso and slowly letting it down.
  • Complete 10 – 12 reps (or whatever your workout calls for)
  • Rest
  • Repeat for as many sets as you see fit (at least 3-4 is ideal)


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No nip sip. Back and bis today. What’d you lift? #donaldpump 📸 @outlaw_strength T-shirt compliments of @standingbuckproductions

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Forearm Plank

The forearm plank is a good exercise if you want to improve your core strength and endurance. The real key to this exercise is to contract your glutes and keep your core as tight as possible. 

To do a forearm plank, follow these steps:

  • Place your arms on the ground directly underneath your shoulders
  • Place your toes on the floor behind you so your forearms and toes are the only parts of your body in direct contact with the ground
  • Keep your back and your shoulders properly aligned (squeezing your glutes helps with this)
  • Hold this position for one minute
  • Rest for 30 sec
  • Repeat at least two more sets

Six Minute Solid

The last exercise we will talk about is brought to you by John Dudley. It’s a great little drill you can accomplish in just six minutes, and it really helps strengthen your shoulder joints so you can hold steadier on target.

All you need to perform the exercise is a partially inflated soccer or volley ball, and a wall.

Start by placing the palm of your hand flat on the ball and pressing it HARD up against the wall. Perform each movement (up-down, side-to-side, clockwise, counter clockwise) in 15 second intervals for a total of six minutes. After the time is up, switch arms and repeat.

Try to do this at least 3x a week and you’ll be shooting tighter groups in short order!

You can even perform these exercises at home by substituting the weights with resistance bands, or other items you have laying around the house. Get creative with it!

For an “advanced” challenge, try flinging some arrows AFTER performing the above workout. It’s good practice for holding steady while a buck works his way into your shooting lane and your muscles are screaming for a break.

Good luck this season, and shoot em’ straight!

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