I remember slacking off and taking a break from practicing archery for a month or two when we all went into quarantine last year, thinking it would be over soon. But I got back to practicing just right after and am really glad about my decision.
There are actually many ways you can still continue to practice archery, including ways to work on specific forms, building up muscle, to perfecting your shooting stance—all mostly without using your arrow.
For that, here are ways how to practice archery at home that I have mostly used back and forth since last year to continue my practice. All you need is your body and mind to get back to the feeling of doing archery. And it is also a great way to stay active and get rid of boredom.
Ways to Practice Archery at Home
Here are some of the ways you can practice archery at home. You can try one for a while or try different ones in a day for good training practice.
1. Practice Shooting in Your Garage
If you live in a house and have a mostly empty garage, then you can do archery practice range shooting as usual from at least 10 yards or 9 meters. Place the target board or face inside the well-lit garage and stand outside to aim and shoot.
However, if 9 meters of space is not available within your indoor archery range, then even 3 meters is enough for good practice at home. To make the most out of it, practice refining a specific form you are struggling with or wish to perfect while doing so.
2. Try SPT (Specific Physical Training):
As painful as it gets, this is one of the best ways to build up strength and also practice consistently while stuck at home. If you are not aware of this training method, let me tell you a little about it.
It was developed by Coach Lee, and more than its actual abbreviation, it is mockingly known as Severe Physical Torture (SPT). Okay, wait, here me out!
If you don’t have the space to do a bow and arrow practice in your home, then this is an excellent way to stay consistent in form. Doing one of these training for an hour is said to be equivalent to shooting around 300 arrows!
That being said, there are three kinds of these training which are called holding, power, and flexibility. SPT only requires you to use your bow to train or bow practice, so you won’t be shooting any arrows. And I will explain in brief how you can try them all.
Tip: Use a mirror in front of you to check and correct your form.
Holding SPT, you need to draw the bow and hold your correct form for at least 15 seconds; then, you get to rest double of the time you hold.
That means, if you hold your form for 15 seconds, then you get to rest 30 seconds after that. Following the same pattern, you need to do it for an hour straight.
It will improve your form and also build up a lot of strength. If you are still learning, it will help you build enough strength fast for you to not feel the weight of the bow when holding.
The power SPT requires you to fully draw your bow with your form and follow the pattern of holding it there for two seconds and slightly letting it go or release the tension in the bowstring. Be careful not to dry fire in the process accidentally.
You need to do it seven to ten times. It also requires a lot of muscle power and strength, and I would not recommend you trying unless you are confident in your strength because it is very easy to dry fire with it.
Flexibility isn’t necessarily like the other two SPTs, as the goal is to shoot arrows afterward you are done with it.
Plus, you have to use a device called a clicker. If you don’t have a clicker set up on your bow already, then you need to shoot a couple of arrows to set it up accurately.
Now, if you have a clicker set up already, you can draw the bow practice target, again, without the arrow. Once the clicker clicks, you need to try to expand your form further back for about 10 seconds. You need to do this 10 times.
Ultimately, you don’t really need to do the entire SPLT training every day or even all of them a day. You can try to focus on building up strength through one of the training and continue at your pace. Among them, the holding SPT is great for a start to building up strength.
3. Use Stretch Bands:
If you don’t have a bow at home or you just want to work on your form without one, then a stretch band is a great way to do that.
Get a slightly thick but light, not weighted, stretch band. Hold and stretch it using your both hand as to how you draw the bow and get into your form.
One of the archery practice tips I follow is always to have a mirror in front of me when I am practicing at home to check on my form.
It is basically a simple and effective way to correct and check your shooting and drawing form without having to hold a heavy couple of pounds bow.
4. Shot Trainer:
The shot trainer is a highly effective tool used by the archer to help maintain their back tension when drawing and releasing the arrow. And it is an excellent way to train yourself and your body to shoot an arrow without actually shooting one, making it perfect for at-home practice.
It is basically a tool that covers the arm you use to shoot, while there is a strap that connects your elbow to the bowstring. So when you draw the bow, you can release it without dry firing, and the impact feels the same as a bow and arrow target practice.
This way, you can continuously practice “shooting” an arrow. It is most effective to do this along with using a clicker as one of the archery aiming drills to get your body and mind used to the movement.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to practice archery without a range?
You can try using a stretch band to train your muscles and practice bow and arrow shooting form. Other than that, you can use a shot trainer, try SPT, etc., to practice archery without a range.
Where can I practice shooting my bow?
If you are looking for a place for archery target practice or shooting your bow at home, you practice in your garage, basement, or backyard using a target face. Other than that, you can always go to your local archery training hall to practice.
Can you do archery in the rain?
It is safe to use your compound bow to do archery in the rain; however, you might want to rethink that for a recurve or traditional wooden bow. If you are going to do archery in the rain, make sure to wax your bow properly before heading outside.
Apart from that, the rain does affect your overall performance while shooting, but it is possible to get used to it with enough practice.
Although we are stuck at home, it doesn’t mean there is no way to go on with our everyday lifestyle as per usual. And I hope you found how to practice archery at home useful enough to continue your archery training from this article.