The kettlebell makes a perfect exercise tool for bowhunters. They take up little space, are inexpensive, and can be used to target the most important area of a bowhunter’s body—the shoulder. Practice these five kettlebell workouts to make drawing your bow a breeze.
Bowhunters depend on their deltoid and trapezius muscles when drawing their bows. Want to be able to increase your draw weight? Target these muscle groups. If you don’t have a gym membership, or a lot of room at home for a weight machine, purchase a few kettlebells for a complete shoulder (and body) workout. In less than 30 minutes a day, three times a week, you can strengthen and tone these muscles to so you can hold your bow more steadily and for longer. The only thing that will make you shake now at full draw is the buck in your sight picture!
Double Arm Swing
With your feet shoulder length apart, bend your knees slightly and grab your kettlebell with both hands. Swing the kettlebell up with both arms straight till the weight is eye level. Slowly lower the weight and return to a slightly squatted position. This is not about lifting heavy weight, but a increase range of motion and flexibility.
Single Arm Press
With your feet shoulder length apart, bend your knees slightly and grab your kettlebell with one hand. Raise the kettlebell and rest it on your shoulder with your elbow tucked in. Using a loose grip, fully extend the kettlebell above your head keeping your arm straight. Lower the weight back to your shoulder, while avoid shrugging your shoulders. Repeat with opposite arm.
Single Arm Rows
Start with the same form as the previous exercises. Lean down and pick up the kettlebell with one arm and pull the weight to your chest, keeping your arm perpendicular with the floor. Try to keep your back straight, so to fully engage the shoulder muscles. Repeat with opposite arm.
Pick up a kettlebell by the sides of the handles with both hands. Turn the weight upside down and rest it under your chin. In a single motion, Rotate the kettlebell completely behind your head and return it under your chin. Use a lighter weight, as this exercise is more about flexibility than strength. Perform halos clockwise, then counterclockwise.
Turkish Get Up
Lying flat on your back, pick up a kettlebell and raise it towards the ceiling. Throughout the exercise you always want to keep your arm straight, perpendicular with the floor. Bend the same knee on the side that is holding the weight and lean forward, resting on your opposite elbow. Move into a bridge position, no longer resting on your elbow, but resting on your palm with your arm fully extended. Move into a lunge position, then stand up. Do the motions in the opposite sequence till you are lying down flat on your back. Switch sides and repeat. Do this exercise slowly and methodically, your form is more important than speed.
The key with all kettlebell workouts is form. Do not try to race through them, rather move slowly to engage the intended muscle groups. Try to do three sets consisting of 8 – 10 reps of each exercise to start. Increase weight gradually over time. You will notice increased flexibility and mobility in a short amount of time. The push/pull exercises will increase your strength to make drawing your bow easier. If you exercise your shoulders regularly, you will be less likely to be prone to injuries to your rotator cuff, a bowhunters’ worst nightmare. Successful bowhunters put a lot of emphasis into preparation. It’s not always about equipment and property management. Use these kettlebell exercises to prepare your body as well!