Strength & Stability Exercises – Dumbbell Lunges

[Updated 1 January 2024] After a day at the shooting range with a few buddies, I realized my shots getting sloppier as the day went on.  My arms and shoulders became slightly numb over the course of just a few shots. The strings on my bow are relatively new but, I didn’t have the necessary upper body strength to hold the bow stable enough before I take the shot. I realized that body stability together with hand/eye coordination are a few of the deciding factors that go into the perfect shot.

A few days after, I told my sister about what I realized and she recommended that I come with her to the gym and consult a trainer about body strengthening and stability. I took her advice and the trainer really helped, and it was because I had a clear reason for why I wanted to get better!  I learned that there are muscles in the body that work together to make a straight and more stable shot for archery. 

Here are a few exercises you can do to improve your balance, stability and strength for a perfect shot on a bow and arrow.

Dumbbell Lunges


Affected muscle groups for this exercise

  • Hand Abductors
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Serratus Posterior Inferior
  • Gluteus
  • Biceps Femoris

The dumbbell lunge is a variation of the farmers walk exercise. Instead of walking on a straight line with dumbells on both hands, you will be kneeling on one leg as you maintain balance. It strengthens the legs and improves posture when shooting your bow. The dumbbells strengthen the muscles in your hand as you use it to keep yourself in upright position.

  1. Hold the dumbbells in both hands with the thumbs pointed forwards by your sides. Bring your chin up and your eyes forward. Keep your shoulder blades closed and your abdominals engaged. Position your feet apart square under your shoulders.
  2. Make a large step forward with a straight back, keeping your balance. Pause and keep yourself balanced by strengthening your hips and your glutes.
  3. Slowly bend the opposite knee towards the floor without touching it. Both your knees should be at a 90º angle. Keep yourself upright while maintaining a straight back.
  4. Lunge back in reverse to your original standing position. Make a brief pause, breath and do the same with the opposite leg.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Ques: What muscles do dumbbell lunges target?

Ans: The following muscles are targeted by dumbbell lunges:

  • Abdominals
  • Quadriceps
  • Back Muscles
  • Calves
  • Gluteal Muscles
  • Hamstrings

Ques: Are dumbbell lunges bad for knees?

Ans: At extreme angles, lunges put more strain on the joints and create knee discomfort. If you’re leaning too far forward, your knee won’t be able to bend at a 90-degree angle, making balancing difficult.

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