Physical endurance can be broken down into two subcategories, per Healthline, cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. Both are important.
Think about it: archery requires you to have enough strength to properly hold and shoot a bow with proper form and technique, sometimes for extended periods of time. Thus, muscular endurance is required. But don’t underestimate the importance of building cardiovascular endurance either — after all, bowhunting often requires extended periods of walking, sometimes over varied terrain.
With that in mind, let’s conceptually explore how to improve your endurance in order to improve your hunting. We’ll also provide some concrete endurance-building exercises you can do. Ready? Let’s dive right in now.
How to Build Muscle Endurance for Bowhunting
You’ve likely heard the phrase “muscle memory” before. What it actually refers to, per Stacey Colino’s Washington Post piece “Here’s what muscle memory really means, and how to use it”, is the way in which “previously trained muscles acquire strength and volume after a period of disuse much more quickly than never-trained muscles do when starting from scratch.”
Sound familiar? Think of muscle memory, per Colino, “as a payoff for all the past work you put into learning a sport, boosting your aerobic capacity or endurance, or building muscle and strength.”
How does this apply to archery? Simple: you have to practice, practice, practice by shooting as often as possible to build endurance for archery. The more consistently you accustom your muscles to the movements and weight capacities required to shoot a bow, the more physical endurance, or “muscle memory” you’ll develop over time, thereby making shooting easier.
Looking for specific exercises you can do to improve your muscular endurance?
- Check out these archery exercises.
- The Archery 360 article referenced above also recommends specific physical training (SPT) exercises for muscular endurance.
How to Build Cardiovascular Endurance for Bowhunting
Remember, building endurance in archery can be both muscular and cardiovascular in nature. We’ve just provided information about how to build muscular endurance, conceptually speaking, followed by some exercises we recommend for that purpose.
Now, let’s switch to cardiovascular endurance, which is all about getting your heart and lungs pumping to fuel your body with oxygen, and over time, increasing your body’s capacity to sustain longer periods of aerobic exercise – or, as Healthline puts it, “Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of your heart and lungs to fuel your body with oxygen.”
Cardiovascular endurance in archery normally looks like walking for extended periods of time, so when in doubt, go for a long walk or hike in the woods (don’t forget to wear your hunting hat or bright colors if walking in areas where people hunt in season, though!)
Exercising in the off-season when it’s cold? There are plenty of cardiovascular endurance training gym exercises you can do to increase your cardiovascular endurance. Here are eleven recommended by MasterClass.
Take the Time to Warm Up and Cool Down When Endurance Training
At its core, building endurance is about getting your cardiovascular system and muscles more accustomed to increased periods and more intense sessions of exercise. So it’s important that you prepare for this activity by warming up your body appropriately. If you launch right into vigorous training or exercise, you could injure yourself or over-exert yourself.
Just as important as warming up before endurance training exercise is cooling down. Your body needs time to recover and adjust after periods of high-intensity activity. Your muscles, in particular, can only grow during rest periods. So tempting as it may be, do not skip warm-up or cool-down periods.
AccuBow Helps Build Endurance for Archery
Practicing archery in a range is great, but not everyone has the time to do so regularly – and as we’ve mentioned, consistent practice helps build endurance. Then, there’s the aspect of how to practice during the off-season. The solution? An AccuBow training bow!
With features like a 100% high-density polycarbonate frame with considerable heft that simulates a standard compound bow’s weight and resistance dials for increasing load from 10-70 pounds, the AccuBow is the perfect archery endurance training device for at-home practice.