Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Athletic Injuries; Muscles -- physiology


Archery is becoming more popular as a recreational sport, so it is likely that physical therapists will be seeing more archery-related injuries and will need to know how to treat these athletes. Few studies available specify which muscles are used when shooting compound or traditional bows. The purpose ofthis study is to identify the muscles around the wrist and elbow that are recruited from draw to release, the specific timing ofthis recruitment, and the differences in recruitment and muscle activity when using a compound bow compared to a traditional bow.

Six males between the ages of 37 and 51 were selected for this study. They were recruited from the Red River Archer's Club and had at least three years of archery experience. Electromyography and motion analysis equipment provided by the University of North Dakota Physical Therapy Department was used to collect the data. The subjects performed approximately 4 to 6 draw and release movements with each bow, shooting at a target approximately 5 feet away. Reflective markers were attached to the bow at three locations and video analysis was used to record bow string angles.

The results of our study indicated that the traditional bow overall required more muscle activity to shoot for both the draw and bow hands as compared to the compound bow. This is due to the presence of the let-off mechanism in the compound bow. Included in this study is an example of a protocol that archers can use for strengthening muscles around the shoulder and wrist.