Movies and TV shows make hunting look easy. Walk out into the woods, aim your gun or bow at an animal, and suddenly, it’s dinnertime. There’s much more to it than just point and shoot in the real world. 

Here are some exercises to add to your workout regimen that will help improve your hunting skills.

  • Rucking

Rucking is simple: Fill a backpack with weights and go for a hike. This exercise boosts your stamina and endurance while improving your strength and increasing the amount of weight you can carry over long distances. 

Start small with 20-30 pounds on your back and a 60-minute hike. You can add more weight and take longer trips as you increase your strength.

  • Yoga

Flexibility and agility can be incredibly helpful while out in the wilderness. Sitting for long periods while waiting for your quarry to cross your path can leave you stiff and aching. Keeping your body stretched and limber reduces the chances of finding yourself in pain while on a hunt.

  • Mindfulness

The brain needs exercise as much as the body. Mindfulness means being in the moment rather than focusing on the past or dreading the future, and it can be a valuable tool for hunters. It can help keep you grounded while hunting, especially when paired with breathing exercises. 

There’s a lot of waiting in the average hunt, especially if you’re setting up in a blind and waiting for your prey. Mindfulness can keep your mind from wandering, anchoring you in the present moment, so you’re ready to pull the trigger as soon as you spot your target.

  • Strength Training

A person cannot thrive on cardio alone. Shooting a big buck is amazing until you find that you can’t carry it home. Strength training can increase the amount of weight you can lift. It can also help you burn more fat, alter your body composition and make you a more efficient hunter overall. Strength training should be part of your workout regimen if you’re active.

  • Shooting Drills

They say practice makes perfect. You may not be a competition-level marksman, but practicing with your weapon of choice will help you hit what you’re aiming at when you’re out in the woods. Head to the range and work your way through some shooting drills. 

You’re building muscle memory in addition to honing your skills, so when you need to aim and fire quickly, your body knows what to do before your brain catches up.

  • Planks

If you’re sitting in a tree for hours on end, you need a strong core to help you maintain good posture so you’re not hurting your back. Skip the crunches and situps, which can cause back if you’re not careful. 

Planks are a fantastic full-body exercise that increases your core strength. Work on keeping your core engaged and lenthening the time you can spend on each plank. The world record for holding a plank is nine hours and 30 minutes if you need a goal to work toward. 

  • Pushups and Rows

Working on your upper-body strength is essential even if you’re not bow hunting. Alternating between pushups and rows can help work all the muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest to ensure you’ve got the power to draw a bow, pull yourself up into your blind or lift your quarry once you bring it down. 

It’s overlooked in favor of squats or deadlifts, but there are so many applications for these exercises that it would be difficult to list them all here.

Exercises to Improve Hunting Skills

You can just grab your rifle and hunting license and head out into the woods on a whim. In most cases, you’ll be just fine. However, adding these exercises and practices to your daily routine can help improve your experience if you plan to hunt regularly. Hunting isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard with some good exercise.