Strength & Stability Exercises – Plank


[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.

Affected Muscle Groups for this Exercise

  • Deltoids
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Abdominal External Oblique
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Trapezius
  • Serratus Posterior Inferior
  • Gluteus
  • Biceps Femoris

Static Plank

The static plank is an intermediate core strengthening exercise. It improves core muscle stability on the back and front of the body and improves posture as well as balance.

  1. Bring yourself to a face down position. Lift your body up with your elbows leaning against the floor.
  2. Keep your back, legs and your shoulders straight. Stomach and glutes squeezed. Keep the position for about 1 minute and release.

Dynamic Plank

A variation of a static plank exercise to improve overall core balance, glutes and hamstring strength together with shoulder and back stability. A progression from the static plank incorporating movement and improves body coordination and stability.

  1. Start at a static plank position. Both elbows and toes on the floor. Keep your back as straight as you can. Hold this position.
  2. Reach out with one hand and stretch forward. Lift the opposite foot up from the ground and hold the position for a second.
  3. Return back to starting position and do the same with the opposite side. Do as many reps as you can and progress whenever it gets easier over time.

Front Plank

Select a posture that allows you to stretch your entire body length. Using an exercise mat will provide enough cushioning for you to be comfortable on all fours. Choose whether to do a plank on your palms or forearms.

  1. Start in the plank position, with your toes and forearms on the floor. Your elbows are positioned beneath your shoulders, and your forearms face forward. Your eyes should be focused on the floor, and your head should be relaxed.
  2. Draw your navel toward your spine, engaging your abdominal muscles. Keep your torso rigid and straight, and keep your body in a straight line from your ears to your toes with no bending or sagging. This is the neutral spine posture. Make sure your shoulders aren’t rising toward your ears. Your heels should be positioned over the balls of your feet.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds. Come down to the floor with a release of your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Ques: How long should a beginner keep a plank position?

Ans: When you’re new to this, aim for a 20-30 second plank. Try doing it for a week, then increase the amount of time you can hold it until you’re able to do it for 40-50 seconds.

Ques: What are the benefits of planks?

Ans: The plank improves the strength of your spine, rhomboids, trapezius, and your abdominal muscles, which leads to a strong posture. Developing your posture may help you live a healthier life and prevent the development of other diseases. Keeping your bones in proper alignment is known as good posture.

Ques: Why do I tremble when planking?

Ans: It’s perfectly natural to shake or quiver during a plank. This simply indicates that you’re pushing the muscular contraction to its greatest extent and testing its endurance level.

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