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Fitness Testing for Archery

To many people, archery is not usually seen as a sport requiring high levels of fitness, however archers need to attain a certain level in many aspects of fitness to allow them to perform the action of shooting with accuracy and be able to repeat the actions without fatigue. With high fitness levels the archer can shoot with greater intensity and frequency during training, and to shoot without fatigue during competition. A successful archer requires good vision, hand/eye coordination and balance, flexibility, strength, aerobic fitness and low body fat level. See more information about fitness for archery.

Fitness Tests

Although fitness only plays a small part, it is an important component in the success of an archer. Below are listed fitness components that are relevant for archery, and some example tests that can be completed to measure these components. For a discussion of how to design, conduct and interpret fitness tests, go to the fitness testing guide.

Fitness Component example tests comments
Body Fat Skinfold measures should be performed to determine body fat levels. excess body fat does not aid performance and increases fatigue.
Aerobic Fitness Due to the low initial fitness level of most archers, a sub-maximal test of aerobic fitness would be suitable, such as the Astrand cycle test. An easy test to perform is the Cooper 12 minute run. You can find information on many aerobic tests from here.

With high aerobic fitness players can reduce the effect of fatigue during tournaments. Good physical fitness also assists in concentration,
confidence, and maintenance of skill under pressure.

Balance There are many general tests of balance Balance and coordination are important for the controlled movements in archery.
Flexibility There are a few shoulder flexibility tests. The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility.

The flexibility tests should be specific to the actions of archery, and involve the trunk and shoulder region.


A handgrip strength test should be conducted, as well as Maximal strength tests for specific exercises.

Strength should be done to determine strength levels and to monitor strength changes in conjunction with training programs.

Strength Endurance Abdominal or core body strength can be measured using Sit Up tests, and upper body strength endurance can be measured using the Push Up test. tests of strength endurance are used to measure the ability to perform strength movements repeatedly.
Vision Sports Vision Tests Archers may benefit from vision testing to ensure there are not limitation with their vision.

Australian Archers Fitness Standards

Archers who wish to compete for Australia at the World Championships are now required to pass a fitness test as part of the selection process. The test comprises a 2.4 km run (or 5km walk). The minimum fitness standards are listed below. The selection policy also allows for those who, for legitimate reasons, cannot meet the minimum standards.

  males females
age group 2.4 km run 5km walk 2.5 km run 5km walk
< 26 10:10   12:09  
26-30 10:37   12:36  
31-35 11:04   13:03  
36-40 11:26   13:30  
41-45 11:53 44:00 13:57 45:00
46-50 12:25 45:00 14:24 47:00
> 50 13:03 45:00 14:51 47:00

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