Warming up before exercise is crucial to mobilise muscles and lessen the chance of injury. A good warmup will take 5 minutes and focus on using all the muscles required for the exercise about to be undertaken. An archery warm up has been developed by AGB which when done correctly before shooting will help decrease injury and improve performance.
There are 14 main warm-ups that AGB recommends, divided into three sets. All 14 should be performed before every shoot.
The first set of warm-ups is designed to raise your core body temperature and loosen some of the joints exercised later. Movement should not be fast and loose (balistic), but slow and controlled.
Forward - Backward Arm Swings
Start with the arms in a neutral position. In a controlled manner, swing the right arm forward and the left arm back until horizontal. Then swing back and repeat in the other direction.
Alternate Overhand Swings with Trunk Rotation
Start with both arms straight, and extended upwards. Turning the torso, swing the right hand down in front of you and the left hand behind you. Swing them back to the top and repeat in the other direction.
Crucifix Hand Reaches
Stand in crusifix position: feet slightly apart and arms paralell to the floor. Bend right arm towards the torso and extend it towards the left hand, running it along the left arm. Reverse the motion and then repeat with the left arm.
Full Lateral Raises
With feet hip-distance apart, raise your arms from a neural position, out to the side, and then up to the sky, keeping them straight at all times. Then swing them back to the initial position.
The second set of warm-ups is to activate the muscle groups used in archery, in particular the rotator cuff muscles and trapezius.
Crucifix Internal - External Rotation
Begin in a crucifix position with the palms facing forwards. Twist the arms in opposite directions (so that one palm turns downwards and the other upwards) as far as possible, then return to the starting point and repeat in the other direction.
Alternate Arm Abduction Position Internal - External Rotation
Hold arms at shoulder height with the elbows bent so that the fingers point forwards (as if resting your arms on a large box). Rotate the shoulders such that the one hand drops towards the floor and the other rises to the ceiling (keeping the elbow stationary, but rotating). Return to the starting position and repeat in the other direction.
Scaption Position Internal - External Rotation
With the arms in the same plane as the chest, elbows held away from the body at a right angle (such that the arms form a W), swing both arms towards the belly and out again.
Four-point Scapula Protraction - Retraction
With both arms extended forward, hands above your forehead line, stretch forwards with your hands (opening the shoulders) and then back (squeezing the shoulders together). Repeat with arms at eye level, then horizontally and finally at a 45 degree angle downwards. Then repeat from the bottom upwards for one repetition.
Alternate Scapula Depression
Move one shoulder backwards and then downwards in a controlled manner and then repeat with the other side.
Behind Back, Across Body Retraction Sequence
This warm up is performed moderately quickly and with alternating arms. At no point strain yourself: this warm up is designed to get you moving as much as stretching.
In turn bring your arm up and bend the elbow to bring your hand behind your head (possibly touching the upright elbow with the other hand) and stretch downwards, then bring the arm horizontal across the chest (again pulling slightly with the other arm) and finally bring the arm straight in front of you and retract the shoulder.
Multi-plane Head Movement Sequence
Slowly tilt the head forward, backwards left and then right. Finally look over your left shoulder and then over your right.
Lateral Neck Stretch
With feet shoulder-width apart and arms neutral at the side, slide one arm down the leg as far as possible and return. Bend the neck in the opposite direction whilst sliding arm downwards to stretch out the neck. Repeat with the other side.
With your arm in front of you at just-above-shoulder height, reach out as if to grab something from a shelf, then retract the shoulder. Repeat with the other arm.
Standing Straight Arm Across Body Pull
Here you should pracice any exercises that you find useful before a shoot. This differs from archer to archer and may involve practicing your shot sequence with a clingy band or working a shoulder you know needs more warming up. As you shoot more, you will learn what to put in this section.