Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Biomechanics; Electromyography


Background/Purpose: Archery is quickly becoming an increasingly popular sport, with limited research in the training and rehabilitation of archers. The purpose of this study is to identify the major muscles and timing of recruitment during the drawback and hold of a bow, and to determine the presence of differences in this recruitment between a compound and traditional bow.

Subjects/Methods: Seven males between the ages of 36 to 51 years of age completed 6 drawbacks each with a compound bow and a traditional bow. Surface electrodes on the subjects and reflective markers on the bow were used to analyze electromyographic activity of 12 muscles and calculate bowstring angles during the drawback and hold phases of shooting a bow. The following muscles were analyzed: l)right posterior deltoid, 2)right middle deltoid, 3)right teres major, 4)right triceps brachii, 5)right biceps brachii, 6)right brachioradialis, 7)left middle trapezius, 8)right middle trapezius, 9)left middle deltoid, IO)left posterior deltoid, 11 )left triceps brachii, and the 12)left brachioradialis. A descriptive analysis was then performed comparing the two bows.

Results: 1) The compound bow requires the greatest muscle activity during the middle of the drawing phase. 2) The traditional bow requires the greatest muscle activity following the point of full draw.

Conclusion: Most muscles demonstrated a considerable distinction between the two bows. Decreased muscle activity was generated following let-off to full draw in the compound bow when comparing it to a traditional bow. The traditional bow required heightened activity during full draw.