Tip: You Need the Bow and Arrow Drill

Keep your shoulders healthy and strong. Here's how.

There's no shortage of prehab and rehab-based shoulder exercises out there, but why not add one more? The "bow and arrow" exercise combines three elements of training that benefits just about anyone, regardless of their specific training goals.

Here's what the drill looks like:

  1. The first function the exercise satisfies is seen at the rear arm as it performs scapular retraction and shoulder abduction – two common weaknesses. Oftentimes, lifters won't slot their elbow properly in relation to the shoulder, but the name of the drill automatically prompts proper positioning since everyone knows how to fire an arrow.
  2. The next benefit is seen with the lead arm. Resistance is created for both arms against each other through counterforce action. As the rear arm drives back it creates tension for the lead arm and vice versa. The lead arm is going to be working towards proper protraction in this movement.
  3. The final benefit is anterior core activation. To be able to help drive more effort through the arms and balance all the force being transmitted through the body, your core has to create some solid tension.
  • Perform 5-8 reps per side for 2-3 sets.
  • Use as a filler between exercise or as part of your warm-up.
  • Adjust the band width to determine the level of resistance.
Travis Hansen specializes in human-performance enhancement for athletes at all levels. He is also the leading authority on speed development for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Follow at www.resultsbyscience.com