Hunting Exercises and Stretches
Hunting enthusiasts it may be time to think about gearing up for the season, not just getting your equipment ready, but also your body. The following tips and exercises should help not only prevent injuries, but improve your hunting abilities. (Be sure to check with your physician if you have any pre-existing conditions)
1. Warm up before you shoot a bow or gun. Simple range of motion exercises such as slowly rolling your shoulders back, circular motion with your arms, and slowly twisting your trunk, for a minute, are good warm ups.
2. Stretch after your warm up, holding each for at least 30 seconds with no pain:
-Interlace fingers above your head with palms facing upward, with elbows as straight as possible. You should feel the stretch in your arms, upper back and shoulders.
-Interlace fingers behind the back, turning elbows inward, keeping them as straight as possible. You should feel the stretch in your chest, arms and shoulders.
-Tilt your head to one side and hold, then switch sides; turn your head to one side and hold, them switch sides; tilt your head forward and back.
3. Exercises to strengthen and tone those muscles that havent been used since last season is great prevention of injuries.
-Wall push ups, start with 20 repetitions and work up to 50 (pain free).
-Dumbbell exercises such as bicep curls, wrist curls, shoulder shrugs, bent over rows and lateral arm raises, start with low weight and 20-30 repetitions, when youre able to work up to 40 repetitions and not feel sore the next day, then increase the weight.
-If a bow hunter, draw a stout bow 10 times as an exercise and work up to 30 (pain free).
4. Start slowly into your sport. Go out on several occasions 3-6 weeks at least prior to the season to acclimate to the sport. The first week start with no more than 30 minutes and progress slowly to 2-3 hours by the start of the season.
5. Listen to your body. If it hurts to shoot, something is wrong and the sooner you take preventative measures the less time youll lose in the field.
If you have any questions please contact the Rehab Center at 1 (734) 429-6893, Laurie Fitzgerald, PT and Kathy Garza, COTA will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.