By Matt Gadient, PT, OCS, CSCS
Fall is finally here, you saved up some vacation days and have that buck of a lifetime on your trail camera. You checked the weather and the cold front you have been waiting for is here. It’s just after 7:30 AM and you hear the sound of footsteps and crunching leaves, you turn your head and see a wall of antlers coming through the brush…
You grab your bow and make a plan to draw your bow as soon as the buck steps behind the next tree. Here is where your nightmare begins, you pull and pull but unable to get to full draw. By now your dream buck knows something isn’t right and turns 180 degrees and bounds off out of sight leaving you heart broken and in disbelief.
So, what went wrong? Most likely 2 things set yourself up for failure: 1.) it was 25 degrees out this morning and you have been sitting motionless for an hour and a half 2.) you did practice this summer but stopped once bow season started and now it’s November and your muscles aren’t in the shape they used to be.
Cold temperatures can greatly effect your muscles ability to contract, so it is important to keep them warm. First, dress appropriate for the weather. I know putting on extra layers may limit overall joint motion but there’s no point in having shot opportunities if you can’t execute them. Another thing you can do while on stand to keep your muscles warm is to perform some isometric contractions of your arms, back and leg muscles. To do this simply tense or squeeze a particular muscle/body area and hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10x’s. During an isometric exercise your muscles will contract but the joint won’t move and that is good when you’re trying to be still.
Now that your muscles are warmer let’s talk about how we are going to get them stronger. Here are 5 simple exercises that will target the specific muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and core allowing you to build and maintain the strength to draw back your bow when it matters the most.
- BENT OVER ROWS
- PUSH UP WITH PLUS
- SIDE PLANKS
- PRONE T’S
- LATERAL RAISES
I have created a handout of the above 5 listed exercises with videos for you to watch/review along with
repetitions and sets.
Access code: AR29PFZZ
If you are currently having any issue that is preventing you from getting out this fall give us a call at
507-333-2986. Good luck this season and happy holidays
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