Unless you are a bodyweight training specialist, or calisthenics pro, then the chances are you haven’t heard of an Archer movement. Archer movements are cornerstone bodyweight exercise movement patterns for improving your strength, stamina and progressing to harder exercises. If you can do 20+ press ups and 10+ pull ups and want to take your training to the next level, then this is for you. If you are struggling to crack more than a handful of pull ups, check out our blog on improving your pull up game.
What does ‘Archer’ mean?
An Archer movement is an exercise where one arm stays straight, while the other bends. Much like an archer pulling the strings of their bow to fire an arrow: the front arm holds the bow, while the rear arm bends to pull back the strings.
Why are they good?
Archer movements place more emphasis and body mass on one limb – meaning they are harder than ‘regular’ movements. For example an archer press up means that one arm is taking the majority of the weight of the upper body, rather than equally distributed as in a normal press up. This means that you can improve your single arm strength, and progress to one-arm press ups more easily.
How to control the movements and progress/regress exercises.
The aim for each archer exercise is to have your arms as wide as possible, this is the hardest variant as it places the most weight and stress on the working arm.
To begin, start with your hands at slightly wider than normal width, and focus on pulling or pushing to one side. This means your weight will be only slightly unevenly weighted. Then as you progress, set your hands slightly wider, placing more emphasis on the working arm.
Archers pull ups and press ups are the best way to progressing to one-arm pull ups and press ups.
Archer Pull ups