Are You Challenging Your Muscles

Are you challenging your muscles? A few months ago, a friend posted on social media how she injured herself after her workout while was attempting to remove her sports bra! While it made a pretty funny social media post, I secretly related more than I cared to admit. In fact, those simple movements she described in her story, suddenly became more than a second thought.

We’ve all likely experienced moments when a muscle seizes up or we suddenly realize our flexibility seems to have vanished overnight. No matter your age or fitness level, a regular training routine should be an integral part your overall self-care plan to minimize those potential injuries.

As active participants in a variety of shooting sports such as archery or firearms, we must make concerted efforts to consistently exercise and challenge those muscles that influence our results and ultimately our success on the range or in the woods.

Let’s talk about key exercises to minimize an any injuries and maximize those results!

Best suggested individual exercises:

Single Arm Dumbbell Rows or Pull-Downs

Either of these exercises is recommended for all shooters because they are guaranteed to improve your draw strength, improve your ready stance and overall shooting stamina. Single arm rows offer the opportunity to isolate the smaller muscles and ensure your non-dominant side strength equals your dominant side.

Squats

Squats are the building block which create a durable foundation which positively impacts your range day or hunt and counters the recoil affecting standing and shooting positions. It will also have an exponential impact on your core training.

Planks

Planks are a part of our must list because your core strength is paramount when it comes to your accuracy. Planks improve your overall stability and balance which naturally leads to less movement. Less movement equates to improved hold control which leads us back to that accuracy point.

Best suggested all around exercise:

The Farmers Carry

The Farmer’s Carry is one of the best for activating the muscles we need in order to be at the top of our outdoor game. When performed correctly, the exercise engages the shoulders, back, forearms and core. And as a bonus, they are fantastic for improving grip strength too!

You can use a variety of objects to perform this exercise such as kettlebells or dumbbells, but anything you can grip and carry for a relatively long distance will work.

I sometimes carry a different poundage weight on each side to keep my core guessing.

When added to your regular routine, you will be surprised how much easier it is to carry those loaded range bags for long distances!

I am not suggesting that these are the only exercises to incorporate into your fitness routine, these are some of my favorites. You can substitute machine-based exercises such as seated rows or leg presses, and you also have the option of those old school gold standards such as pull-ups (band assisted or free form), push-ups, air squats, and sit ups. Just keep your body moving and challenging yourself to hit that next target – whatever that might be!

Whatever you choose don’t forget to challenge your muscles, make good food choices and hydrate! All three of these will go along way in helping you be the best athlete you can be.

Check out our other articles on overall health, Ladies where so we find the time…

If you are looking for a great gift this summer season, why not a Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas Gift Card for the new or even experienced Outdoor Enthusiast!

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