“Sport specific training” is a big buzz word for any activity. Bow Hunters scour the internet and youtube for “hunting specific” exercises that will increase their ability to harvest deer come fall.  As a fitness professional and international presenter I deal with lots of questions from clients and other trainers regarding how to develop sport specific programs but is “sport specific” really the way to go? Does sport specific training even exist in the fitness world? 

 

A good mechanic looks at the entire truck to make sure everything is working together properly for maximum performance and increased life.  He addresses problem areas as they relate to the whole.  If he does not look at the whole there can be problems, what it I want better off road traction and he decides to put on the best off road tires money can buy but never check to see if they will work well with the vehicle.They might be good tires but if they are wrong for my truck it will kill my gas mileage (performance) and possibly put extra wear and tear on other parts decreasing the life of the vehicle.

 

The body is no different.When we look at training and exercise from a sports specific platform we often miss the forest through the trees and perform exercises that are wrong for us or do not help with our weak points.Here are a couple reasons why to look past those sport specific training articles and videos for bow hunters.

 

·        The goal of any training program should be to create a solid foundation of stability and strength so you can move effectively and without limitations or pain.  All humans move the same, I’m not saying all training programs should be the same but there always needs to be a focus on building the foundations of human movement so it is ready for any sport or activity.

 

·        If you want to be sport specific play your sport!  If I want to be a better golfer I need to play golf!  You can’t exercise your way to increased sports skills.  I see ads all the time for “Bow Trainers” vertical sticks with resistance tubing so you can practice drawing your bow.  Here’s an idea, why not just draw your bow!Using an exercise routine that develop all the systems necessary to draw and hold well paired with lots of target shooting will put you way ahead of the curve.

 

·        Look at the demands of your exercise compared to what happens in real life.  You will read over and over that the bench press is a great sport specific exercise for football linemen because they have to be strong pushing people away.  True; but in a game are they on their backs, supported by a bench, moving an evenly balanced weight a slow steady pace?  If an exercise was truly sport specific it would exactly match the movements and environment of competition

 

 

As a performance and fitness professional when I work with clients and athletes of all sports and activates my goal is to clean up & increase their movement efficiency.Developing sport specific skills is their coach’s job.  For more information on movement based training check out these articles;

 

 

What Should Bow Hunters Look for in Gyms and Fitness Offerings – http://primal360.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-should-bow-hunter-look-for-in-gyms.html

 

Also check out www.TRXtraining.comfor great products and info on movement based training