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10 Well-Written Archery Research Papers

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Tim Rhodes

Archery is not only a sport, practice, or skill, but it also has historical roots in hunting and combat training.

Archery derived from the Latin word arcus – it has evolved into a modern, competitive sport apart from its roots as a recreational activity.

There are different types of Archery sports, Target, Field, Crossbow, and Flight Archery, all using the same fundamentals of shooting an arrow to the target with a bow.

Archery is not an easy sport, where what you see in the videos or movies looks easy to do because the archer goes through a lot of technical and physiological coordination.

The technical side of shooting the bow begins with the archer on a stable stance and setting up on holding the bow, before raising using the other arm to do an aligned draw on a calculated angle.

There are many kinds of archers, from the recreational weekend bowhunter to the dedicated competition level, where every move is precise and focused.

10 Well-Written Archery Research Papers

If you want to level-up your knowledge and skill in Archery, it’s best you read the research and published papers to learn how to achieve the right form that makes your performance accurate.

The following papers are a collection of articles written by doctors, coaches, and trainers that explain the crucial role of exercise in working on the right form and posture.

1. The Impact of Hand Grip Strength on the Target Shooting Accuracy Score for Archers by Surreya Yonca Sezer

Surreya Yonca Sezer wrote the paper entitled “The Impact of Hand Grip Strength on the Target Shooting Accuracy Score for Archers.

It was published last March 26, 2017, in the Journal of Educational and Training Studies vol.5, no.5: May 2017 by RedFame Publishing.

Research Details

A group of 30 male archers ages 18-20 years old was put on a voluntary training program and evaluated for twelve weeks to study the relation of exercise in achieving a better performance.

The archers were observed for one hour a day, three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the next twelve weeks of rigorous training.

Only the archers without any eye, ear, or orthopedic problems were accepted into the program to evaluate the strength capacity of every participant.

Tests started with the participant standing straight without bending the arm to do the hand-grip strength using the Jamar hydraulic dynamometer device.

Exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups were done to test upper body strength, arm flexor muscle strength, as well as bicep and tricep flexor muscles.

Results and Findings of the study

The exercise heartbeat rate of the archers was measured before and after the exercise program and showed a significant difference.

When the Archer started target shooting after the exercises, the accuracy scores were higher than before the exercises.

The conclusion was that the Biomotor strength test measurements and the exercise heartbeat rate contribute to the skill and focus of the archers.

2. Strength Training those “Archery Muscles” by Annette M. Musta

Annette M. Musta wrote a series of articles in this compilation, but the focus will be on Strength Training those “Archery Muscles.”

You’ll find this article on pages 8-10 of Archery Focus published last Nov.

2, 2000, and accessed on the web in the strengthtrainingandexercise.pdf in Innovative Web Concepts, Inc.

Research Details

The physiological explanation of the overload principle of strength training is when a muscle needs to be challenged or overloaded to achieve results.

A strength training program is a combination of resistance, which is the amount of weight used, and repetitions are the number of times performed.

When you start this, your muscles will increase in size, and the connective tissues will increase in strength that will increase the blood flow into the new tissues improving nerve supply.

The archery shoulder muscles are the deltoids that comprise the anterior, the medial, and the posterior, and the muscles in the upper back are the latissimus dorsi, the trapezius, and the rhomboids.

The accessory muscles are the teres major and minor, the scapularis, the spinatus, and the serratus, while the opposing force is the chest muscles or pectoralis.

Results and Findings of the study

Good archery shots are executed in action, using the upper body’s different muscles and lower body, synchronized together for the archer’s proper performance.

The primary draw muscles include the shoulders and the back, the accessory muscles are the arms and chest, and the stability comes from the abdomen, lower back, and legs.

Strengthening all these muscles will not only improve your shot but increase your endurance during practice sessions and long competitions.

3. Specific Physical Training Handbook by Kisik Lee

Kisik Lee wrote the Specific Physical Training Handbook that is part of his series on SPT Tools for Archers.

This handbook published for training and sports found on the website, www.kslinternationalarchery.com.

Research Details

With a series of picture images, Lee explains the archer’s actual set up position using a strap and stretch bands to simulate shooting the target.

The first series is the strap in the set-up position where the archer has to do proper positioning and engage the back muscle tension to draw on the bow fully.

The triceps’ tightness on the bow arm will keep the shoulder down at full draw while using the stretch band on the wrist to force the hand to relax.

When the stretch band is fastened on the form master, the archer uses back tension and goes through the steps of drawing, anchoring, transferring, and holding the bow for 15-30 seconds.

You must observe how the releasing hand moves in or forward after the shot to determine if the archer held onto their back tension.

Results and Findings of the study

By going through the basic positions using a strap and stretch band, the archer can carefully observe the back muscle tension using the correct posture and form set-up.

The shooting arm scapula is raised towards the target and goes through an angle difference between the set-up and full draw position.

Alignment is checked by looking at the elbow that should be in line with the arrow, while the triceps keep the bow arm shoulder down.

4. Archery Exercises You should Do by Tyler Ridenour

Tyler Ridenour wrote the 4 Archery Exercises you should do for improving your archery skills and training.

It was published on Oct.

11, 2018, in the Technical Archery portion of Archery 360 and found in Archery360: Home.

Research Details

The primary muscles that need focus are the back, core, and shoulders, essential for the draw cycle shot execution and foot stability.

The Single-Arm dumbbell row works on the Latissimus Doris muscles in the middle of the back, which improves the pulling strength when you draw a bow.

The Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral raise strengthens the deltoids on the side of the shoulder and provides strength to support the bow in the front arm while helping draw the bowstring.

The Side plank works on the abdomen, the exterior and interior obliques of the core muscles to stabilize the body while shooting and provide proper posture.

Yoga as an all-around exercise provides stamina, flexibility, core strength, mental focus, body awareness, and controlled breathing.

Results and Findings of the study

Archery is not a sport you take lightly and demands mental toughness as well as physical strength and conditioning.

By doing exercises with high repetitions and light weights, you can do the archery-focused exercises in the comforts of your home.

Muscle conditions build strength without increasing the mass, so there is no need for a gym or CrossFit routine.

5. Weight Training Program for Archery by D.K. Lieu

D.K. Lieu wrote the paper on Weight Training Program for Archery.

It was published last Sept.

8, 2014, for strength-training on the archery.berkeley.edu website.

Research Details

The archer has to start with a light routine, then increase at a rate of ½ plate or 5 pounds once a week with the needed repetitions, or go down to the old setting or stay in the same one for a few weeks.

The exercise starts with the mid-row training of lats, biceps, and rhomboids, followed by the compound and conventional chest press to train the triceps and pecs.

The lat pull and pullover train the lats, rhomboids, biceps, and abs.

The lateral raises and the one side dumbbell raise keeps the shoulder down and elbow in a vertical position to train the deltoids, traps, and lats.

A variation would be to draw the alphabet on each side to develop tone and fine muscle control to support the shoulder.

Results and Findings of the study

The weight training program’s goal is to gain endurance and strength instead of lifting weights to bulk up.

There are nine exercises done over one hour, three times a week for the next 4-6 weeks to see any benefits.

Maintaining good form must always be observed, and correct breathing determined by carrying a normal conversation during the workout time.

6. Biomechanically Efficient Shooting Technique (BEST) Beginnings in Archery by Don Rabska

Don Rabska wrote Beginnings in Archery in his Biomechanically Efficient Shooting Technique, also known as the BEST collection of articles.

It was published in 2008 by Easton Sports Development Foundation.

Research Details

The program starts with learning the shooting system using the lightest muscle load and master each step before moving to the next skill.

BEST guarantees that students learn to shoot without using the arrow as they progress from the training aids to the bow.

The first four steps are the correct shooting posture, shooting technique, stance and body position, and using the form strap.

Once you have mastered the steps, you will start using the training aids that are the stretch bands that develop the drawing, the anchoring, and the follow-through of the shot.

The next step uses the bow with the elastic cord, where you experience the bow hand position, the finger position on a string, the string contact, and the final releasing of the elastic cord.

Results and Findings of the study

BEST represents the shooting method that applies to Olympic style archery, using the scientific study of Biomechanics and sports sciences.

The BEST method is a driven process based on a series of exercises by mimicking the movement, then with training aids, and finally with a bow.

The program will teach the new archer to be familiar with the solid fundamentals of championship shooting form as a starting point.

7. Shooting dynamics in archery: A multidimensional analysis from drawing to releasing in male archers by Cevdet Tinazci

Shooting dynamics in archery: A multidimensional analysis from drawing to releasing in male archers was written by Cevdet Tinazci.

It was published by Elsevier Ltd on May 14, 2011, for the 5th Asia-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology.

Research Details

The study investigates the relationship between physiological and mechanical dynamics when the arrow is released, using the mechanical clicker reaction time (MCRT).

Archery is a static sport wherein drawing the bow, aiming, and releasing and requires strength and endurance of the upper body’s forearm and shoulder girdle.

The athlete’s extended arm pushes the bow and is held in the target’s direction, while the other pulls the bowstring.

The bow is only released when the clicker is heard.

The athlete’s reaction to the auditory clicker is analyzed on the arrow’s release position, which helps determine the performance.

Results and Findings of the study

Postural sways, aiming sway, and body weight shifts are all recorded, showing that as muscle activity decreases, performance increases.

The performance of male archers varies based on the flexor muscle activity where the deltoid and flexor click in before the shot.

Archers develop a specific muscular strategy, aiming behavior, and postural sway to shoot an arrow.

8. Archery Skills, Tactics, Techniques by Deborah Charles

Deborah Charles wrote Archery Skills, Tactics, Techniques for the Crowood Sports Guides.

Crowood Press Ltd published this paper last 2015.

Research Details

As you take a position, your stance, be it square or open, should give a stable vertical posture that provides the shot’s foundation.

As you draw with equal force of push and pull, you must keep both hands relaxed and use the back muscles to gather strength instead of the arms.

Avoid moving the head or resting it on the anchor hand, as well as leaning your head away as the string of the bow is drawn.

You cannot control the hand’s release, but you can adapt what the Koreans teach, which is the release is a reaction, not an action.

As you release the string, the hand should follow in the same trajectory meaning your elbow and hand move along the same line with a finger tracing the neck.

Results and Findings of the study:

The paper deals with the background to better understand Archery, the Technical skills needed, and the Tactics to become a competitive archer.

Archery is a sport of repetition to hit the center target, using a stable form to increase the chances of success.

It discusses making technical adjustments as well as basic shooting techniques for building the best form for competing.

9. Archery Steps to Success by Kathleen M. Haywood Ph.D. and Catherine F. Lewis MEd

The book Archery Steps to Success was written by Kathleen M.

Haywood, Ph.D., and Catherine F Lewis MEd.

It was published in 2014 by Human Kinetics, Inc.

Research Details

Reproducing a shooting style under pressure with good form should be done by habit that is relaxed and without conscious thought.

To do this, visualize placing your body into the T-shape with the T-shape’s straight lines and right angles, then bend from here to adjust movements.

Mimic a T-form shot by taking a stance with your bow arm side toward the target, feet shoulder-width apart, and even weight on both feet.

You can check your stance by imagining a straight line going through the toes of each foot, where the line would go up towards the target.

Stand straight with squared shoulders over your feet and head square on your shoulders to avoid twisting the trunk.

Results and Findings of the study

The Archer’s goal is to establish a perfect form called T-form and consistently repeat this with every shot you make.

The body’s muscular structure can maintain a T-form alignment of the arms and the trunk, while the opposite side pulls evenly in T-form.

Using simple equipment and a finger release that is custom-fitted to your size and strength,

setting up the exact position on subsequent shots is the goal.

10. The role of vision and visual skill in Archery by B Strydom and JT Ferreira

Strydom and JR Ferreira wrote The Role of vision and visual skill in Archery written for the Department of Optometry, University of Johannesburg.

The article for The South African Optometrist, was published in Dec 2010.

Research Details

The visual skills are divided into five classifications: Superior categories, Above Average, Average, Ineffective, and Needs immediate attention.

Twenty-one male and seven female archers ages 12-58 years old with different skills from beginner to expert level joined the experiment.

Distance judging and accuracy were measured using monocular and binocular aiming to measure the archer’s ability to judge the distance of objects and unknown distance.

The vital visual skills in Archery are visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, stereopsis, eye-hand coordination, eye-body coordination, and vision response time.

The athlete undergoes the sports vision study on his visual ability in recreational or competitive sport to develop accuracy, stamina, and consistency.

Results and Findings of the study

Vision is the most dominant sense – sensory receptors and visual skills contribute to how the athlete will interpret the information.

Eye motility, speed of recognition time, ability to see dim illumination, dynamic visual acuity, peripheral awareness, spatial location, depth perception, and eye-hand/foot coordination are factors to consider in Archery.

Specialized sports vision focuses on screening the athlete’s response as well as correcting the visual defects to help perform better.

Final Thoughts

You must be a serious and passionate archer or athlete if you have taken the time to read the published articles and studied it carefully.

It only proves that you want to go beyond field training and do your self-study to learn what the experts have to say to perform better.

study to learn what the experts have to say to perform better.

The coaches, trainers, and doctors’ common advice is that to achieve performance and accuracy, you’ll need to develop a stable form and posture, developed through the exercise of the upper body and stable stance on the lower part.

There are exercises and drills that you can do while allowing your body to adjust to the form needed for archery.

It is recommended you start with a light muscle load while doing a drill, and if you can sustain the repetitions without exerting effort, then you can add a bit more weight as you go along.

On the last note, once your body is used to the T-form posture with nicely developed back muscles to hold on to the bow, you’ll reap the rewards of all the effort and preparation before the competition.

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