A Kinematic and Electromyographical Analysis of the Shoulder Complex Regarding the Sport of Archery with an Olympic Style Bow Adam Androlia and Mark Hartford

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The purpose of this study was to examine the muscle activity controlling the pull arm during the arming and sighting phases of an archery shot. Five competitive archers (3 men and 2 women) participated in this study. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to record the activity of the biceps brachii long head, middle deltoid, posterior deltoid, upper trapezius and middle trapezius of the pull arm. EMG activity was recorded for 2 rounds, 5-6 arrows a round, for a total of 10-12 arrows. Eight shots were used for the final data analysis. A standard FITA, ten ring, 5 colored, 122cm faced target was used and placed at a shooting distance of 70 meters. For each muscle tested the highest activity occurred during the isometric sighting phase versus the primarily concentric arming phase of the shot. The relatively low muscle activity recorded for all five muscles (mean EMG was 30?52% of maximum) also confirms that archery is dependent more on muscular endurance than muscle strength and or power. The combined data for the men and women showed that the mean duration + standard deviation was 2.28 + 0.51 seconds for the arming phase and 3.82 + 1.79 seconds for the sighting phase. The relatively low muscle activity recorded, coupled with the longer duration of the isometric sighting phase versus the primarily concentric arming phase, indicates that archers should focus on developing muscular endurance, and in contrast to most sports, incorporate a significant isometric component to their training program.


Stuart Rugg




Ford Research Endowment

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