Become a Better Archer with the Shot Trainer

What is the Astra Shot Trainer, and What Will it do for me?

For those of us serious about shooting their bows, the shot trainer is for you. The Shot Trainer helps with building ‘shot muscle’ in order to improve your accuracy down range or chasing big game. The Shot Trainer delivers excellent warm-up before hitting the hunt and can keep seasoned hunters working smoothly on the range and in the tree stand.

The Astra Shot Trainer looks a little different than standard bowhunter kit, and might even draw some curious looks from salty old hunters when you’re pulling it out of the gear bag at the range, but it represents huge value in what it can offer when worked into a normal practice routine.

Using the device is kind of like Babe Ruth putting a few weights on the end of his bat and swinging it around before taking them off and stepping up to the plate to slam a home run.

Use the Shot Trainer from Astra Archery with you
Use the Shot Trainer from Astra Archery with your bow for the best improvement of your form.

The Shot Trainer is very simple to set up and use.
The Shot Trainer is very simple to set up and use.

How The Shot Trainer Works

The Shot Trainer wakes up the body by reinforcing what needs to happen in the shot – supercharging the muscle fibers and brain response – as demonstrated by the body’s response to the first shot after removing the connecting strap. When you release the bow string, the kinetic energy of the bow is transferred to your elbow, forcing you to maintain back tension strength and direction through the shot sequence. The first shot is the most dramatic, but you can see the benefit after the first 10 minutes of use, and with long-term and regular use the results will radically improve your shot confidence, stability, and accuracy.

Pliable, strong parachute cording loops around the bowstring forming a rock-solid connection that won't damage your string serving.
Pliable, strong parachute cording loops around the bowstring forming a rock-solid connection that won’t damage your string serving.

The adjustable center strap allows for easy adjustment in seconds to the specific archer.
The adjustable center strap allows for easy adjustment in seconds to the specific archer.

How to Set up and Adjust the Astra Shot Trainer

Wearing, adjusting, and using the Shot Trainer is a pretty simple affair. Slip the sleeve over the arm (offered in two sizes) and adjust the slack while the draw fingers are curled, similar to full draw but not holding the string – about 1” slack is a good starting point. When adjusted too short, the string won’t move when released, too long and the slack in the material can cause a whip action on the arm or neck, which stings a little. To avoid the ‘Kiss of the Shot Trainer’, it is better to sneak up on the right adjustment by starting too short and gradually increasing the length.

Always refer to the owner’s manual and understand all warnings. Full instructions for usage and adjustment can be found at the 3Rivers Archery web site.

The Shot Trainer guides and strengthens the large, archery-specific, lower trapezius shooting muscles in the back by harnessing the draw weight that would normally disappear from the archer’s draw-hand/arm/shoulder as the arrow is released. The feeling of being tethered to the bow string is unique and you have to be ready for it, so be ready to hold technique while catching the draw weight of the bow.

After putting the sleeve on and adjusting to the proper range, start slowly and get used to drawing and holding at full draw for a comfortable beat before letting the bow down gently. This a great way to start out and use the training aid as a safety catch or dry-fire preventative in case the string grip slips while drawing and letting down the bow during warm-up.

The Shot Trainer can handle any bow weight but standard recommendation for archers is to start with a bow in the teens to twenty pound range for draw weight, or even a stretch band. This is simply to avoid injuries and help an archer understand the proper adjustments and feel before moving onto that custom 75# longbow or other potent shaft launcher and being painfully humbled by the heavier draw weight. Compound shooters will also get all of the same benefits as any other archer, but remember to never use the Shot Trainer on a compound bow. If you’re a compound shooter that wants to use the Shot Trainer but doesn’t have a non-compound bow to practice on, there are a great deal of tutorials online for how to make a hardware store PVC tube bow for a few dollars. This solution will work the same as any other non-compound bow with the Shot Trainer.

When adjusted in the proper range, the device might tug a little for some archers as they’re raising the arms and hands to draw the bow. Once the draw is started, the tugging is usually gone for most archers; this depends on the adjustments of the device, body size and shooting style.


The first shot after taking the Shot Trainer off is a profound experience and just a few minutes of use is capable of providing this remarkable effect. The archer will feel a well controlled, powerful release that’s as clean and precise as a match trigger. This can be witnessed, but to truly be appreciated, must be felt.

The Shot Trainer is all handmade in the USA and built with durable and comfortable materials. The whole rig barely weighs anything and takes up a tiny piece of real estate, so it’s easy to throw in the truck, bag, or box for a few warm-up shots before hitting the trail or doing some range work.

Some of us barely warm-up or stretch at all prior to shooting and adding another step may be outside of habits or preferences, but with a tool that offers so much with minimal investment in time and money – the Shot Trainer is right on target.

Astra Shot Trainer in use
Buy the Astra Shot Trainer here at 3Rivers Archery

By Tyler Domenech and Astra Archery (modified by 3Rivers for use) Learn more from Astra Archery Astra Archery Facebook page or at their Astra Archery web site