weakling for bows


June 25, 2007, 07:38 PM
Hey i just thought it would be cool to get into bow hunting and then i went to gander mtn. tried to pull back a 45 pound bow and i couldnt. so are there any excercises that you guys do to strengthen your arm? hopefully it wont take too long. i dont regularly go to the gym or anything. thanks.

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Vern Humphrey
June 25, 2007, 08:10 PM
Yep -- any stretching device, such as a set of bungees. Simply hold the left arm rigid and draw back with the right. Do it until you feel a burning in your muscles. Repeat three times a week.

June 25, 2007, 08:49 PM
Get some surgical tubing or bungee cords, tie one end to something, and hold the other end, stretching it toward you in the exact motion you would draw a bowstring with. Double it up, triple it up, etc., until you get the right resistance. Push-ups help too, but the stretching type exercises are more specific for the muscle group you really want to target.


June 25, 2007, 09:07 PM
Get a good bow with a single cam 80%+ letoff and you should be able
to draw it. Ask for help and explain your problem. Most bows are adjustable
say from 55-75 and the ones at the store are usually set stiff to keep
kids from accidently dry-firing them. They may have a bow scale you can
draw to find your limit. I think with the correct help you should be able
to find a hunting legal bow you can shoot.

June 26, 2007, 07:12 AM
hey thanks for your replys, the bungee cords sound like a good idea... maybe if i tie both ends really tight to a wall or something it would really be like a bowstring... ive just got to work on it.

1911 guy
June 26, 2007, 08:30 AM
The surgical tubing works. Other useful exercises include: pushups, military press, pull-ups, chest flies and bench press. Mix it up with high rep/low weight and low rep/high weight sets. The strenght gain will allow an easier draw, the endurance is critical to a smooth draw and steady hold on target.

June 26, 2007, 12:34 PM
this little gizmo:


allows you to draw it much like a bow, working the same mussle sets.

June 26, 2007, 06:43 PM
It will help if you can get someone to show you how to properly draw a bow also.
When I bought mine I picked one out off the rack that was already set to 73 lbs and I could draw it fairly easily grabbing the string with my hand. Thought I was set. Then I put a mechanical release on and suddenly I couldnt' draw the bow anymore. The swivel, and the change in postion of my hand and arm made it much more difficult. Started trying to pull it all with my shoulder and just about popped it.
Had to turn it way back to about 65 lbs (as far as it would go) and I could barely draw it at first. Then the tech starting tuning it and I watched him pull it back a few times and figured out that I needed to keep the bow pointed down lower and pull with my arm instead of my shoulder. With some practice I was able to turn it back up a little bit in the first day or two of shooting. I still haven't gone all the way back up (probably around 70lbs now), but its a lot easier when you develop the right technique. I don't get sore and don't have to jerk at the string.
The whole thing is pretty frustrating at first. I'm a fairly big guy and watched guys a lot smaller pull heavier bows. All the while the tech would stand there and tell you that "its not that you're not strong.....you're just trying to use different muscles" :cuss: A few pointers on how to pull would have been a lot more helpful than the fake sympathy.

Debunk Brady
July 8, 2007, 09:10 PM
How do you know it was 45 lbs? It might have been mislabeled.

When I was in high school, weighing only 135 lbs I could draw a 75 lb bow.

July 8, 2007, 09:26 PM
my 14 yr old son can draw my 50 pound bow back with no problem because we go shooting so often. and he is not a "big" kid by any means. When i started shooting I got a 40-50 pound bow and had to set it at 40lbs now i can draw a 75lb bow and it only took me a few years to reach 75lbs. It all takes practice.:)

July 8, 2007, 10:52 PM
find and old recurve bow when you can pull and hold it.a compound bow will be easy

July 8, 2007, 11:01 PM
Get a weekend job helping a tree crew, hoist a big Dolmar once a week and that bow will draw itself when you look at it. :D

walking arsenal
July 8, 2007, 11:23 PM
Just because you cant draw a 45lb bow doesnt mean your weak.

Start with a lighter draw and work up to it. try maybe a 35# or 40#. If you can, get a bow with limbs you can replace or cams you can adjust.

July 8, 2007, 11:57 PM
Get a crossbow...
or a speargun...
or a slingshot...
or a blowgun...
or an atl atl.

July 9, 2007, 12:51 AM
Well RookieWingHunter first off "and I know this may sound dumb until you think about it" are you sure there wasn't a wire tie on the string that prevented you from drawing the bow ? I have seen many bows on racks in areas open to customers that had wire ties on them to prevent someone from accidentally dry firing the bows . If the tie is Black and you don't look real close it is hard to see near the end of the limbs as the cables are black and the tie will run around the cable and string and is all but completely closed and would be smaller than a dime in diameter . I would almost bet this was what happened and you were to embarrassed to ask anyone for help and didn't know about the wire ties .

Second what were the shape of the cams ? Big egg shaped cams are hard to rollover where small rounded ones roll much easier . My Golden Eagle bow has what are called "soft cams" and is set at #65 yet I have seen ones with big aggressive cams at #55 that I have had problems with .

I would bet if you are a healthy male you can easily pull back a bow such as a Bear , Black Bear set at #50 as it is a what is considered a fairly slow bow with round wheels and a 65% letoff at full draw .

July 9, 2007, 12:10 PM
When I first started out I could only pull back 55 lbs. Since I'm naturally a right handed guy that side is the strongest. But, I'm left eye dominant so I have to shoot left handed if I want to see what I'm aiming at.

I've since gone up to 80lb draw and now back down to 60lbs. 80lb is cool and it drives an arrow lightning fast but when your sitting up in a tree stand for 4 hours in 20 degree temps (WVA 2005) its almost impossible to pull that weight back.

Now adays with carbon arrows and faster cams you can get a 60lb draw bow to shoot arrows in the 300fps area. No need to shoot an 80lb bow unless your hunting elephant or want to be cool.

Find a bow that suites your draw and weight. New bows are nice and offer alot more advantages over the older versions.

Heck, I"m still using an older PSE G-Force with hatchet cams. At 62lbs I drive a 100gr tipped Gold tip carbon arrow at 305fps.

July 10, 2007, 01:16 AM
Archery requires a weird set of muscles in the shoulders, neck, and back that you don't normally use enough to develope under normal circumstances. The only way to develope them is shooting archery or engaging in an exercise that mimics it.......I prefer shooting doing practice draws on the bow myself.

You can use the bow itself as the exercise aid especially if it's a compound with an adjustable weight range.

Set it on the lowest setting you can comfortably draw. Then draw back to the point before the wheel or cam starts to roll over to reduce the weight (where you feel the weight stacking) and hold it there for several seconds with the full weight until you feel the burn. Ease it back down. Rest. Repeat until you can't draw anymore for the day.

Continue doing a session every day for a week, then increase the draw weight 5#s per week until you reach the point of being able to draw the bow at the your desired hunting weight.

With a stick bow (longbow or recurve) you are stuck with what you have. Just keep practicing the draw until you become stronger.

July 10, 2007, 10:46 PM
i used to shoot archery, had a nice (for me) Martin compound at 60 LB's. i never got a chance to archery hunt cause i could not practice enough to do right by the animals. i had to sell my whole set up and hang up any hopes of bow hunting when my shoulder, wrists and back gave out from work. good luck - Eric

July 13, 2007, 03:01 PM
There are two excersices that will help you. One armed dumbell rows (or cable/weight) and bench press (or push-ups in absence of a bench). You need to be able to push the bow away and pull the string at the same time.

You can supplement your routine with the following as your strength and endurance increases:
* Sit-ups or crunches--i'm throwing these in to help your back do better the load bearing excercises
* Lat pulls or chin-ups
* Standing barbell or dumbell curls
* Upright rows
* Standing military press
* Tricep extension (lat machine or dumbell style)

Don't bother joining a gym if you're properly motivated--the bar and weights are about the same as your first month or two membership... If you're starting from scratch, start with dumbell rows, bench press or push-ups and sit-ups or crunches. Say Monday and Friday do the bench press, and Monday, Wed, Friday do the bicep intensive stuff. Work other excercises in as time and endurance progresses. When finished have a big glass of milk within 30 minutes, and don't forget to eat meat regularly. You'll be pulling the bow of your choice in about 8 weeks.

One other thing: never do bench presses alone for obvious reasons--push-ups work great too.

July 13, 2007, 11:58 PM
"...to strengthen your arm..." It's not your arm that needs exercise. It's your back and shoulders. Like stevelyn says, archery uses muscles in your back and shoulders you use for nothing else. At least not the way you do with a bow.
You will find that pushing the bow away while pulling the string will help. Do this as you're raising the bow. You should be at full draw by the time you've got the bow to eye level.

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