In the September 2012 issue of North American Hunter, I shared advice for archers to prevent and treat some of most common shooting-related ailments in my article titled “When Pain Strikes.” Below is more advice to help you strengthen your muscles for bowhunting.
Rubber fitness tubing creates ideal workout resistance by helping to condition and stretch muscles, all at the same time. However, some tubing can create too much resistance, causing discomfort and possibly making your injury worse. For this reason, be sure to purchase a fitness tubing kit that includes an assortment of bands with different tensions so you can match one to your strength. As you become stronger, you can gradually switch to greater tensions.
As a general rule-of-thumb, exercise the injured area no more than 2 or 3 days a week, and never on consecutive days. This will prevent overuse, serious discomfort, and the chance of re-injury. When beginning the workout for the first time, do half the amount of weight or reps as suggested in the plan. Wait a couple days, and if no major discomfort or pain exists, only then proceed to full rep amounts. Remember, don’t ever push through the pain when exercising or stretching. Your symptoms will only get worse.
For an effective workout, I highly recommend the Bowfit Exerciser and the company’s 10-step exercise-plan booklet.
Another great resource is offered by the Ortho Associates, which covers exercises for rotator-cuff rehabilitation. It’s available free online.
For tennis elbow, check out “The Super 7″ and this info from Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT). Both suggest useful exercise routines.