In bowling, and as in any sport, to perform your best and have good stamina, it’s important to be in good physical condition.Bowling itself is a great exercise because you can burn about 250 calories in an hour using an 8-16 pound ball and you can actually build some muscles in your biceps by holding the heavy ball, and the quad muscles get stronger walking along the approach and holding your form after the ball is released. The exercises I have listed below help keep my fingers, arms, wrists, and legs in good shape, which in turn helps me to achieve higher scores.
1. Finger Pulling: Clasp the fingers of both hands together and try pulling them apart holding them for about 10-15 seconds
2. Tricep Stretches: Touch your back with your right hand. Then grab the back part of the elbow and pull gently for a nice stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. I usually do this at the lanes just before I bowl to help get my muscles loosened up and release any tension.
3. Palm Stretch: Hold your palms together and press down with your right hand and push up at the same time with the left hand. Hold for the count of 15 or 20 seconds.
4. Aerobics: Bowling is an "anaerobic" exercise meaning that you don't really sweat much while doing it so I feel it is important to get some aerobic exercises in during the week. They are a great and fun way to stay in shape and I try to do them at least 3 times a week for at least 20-30 minutes which allows me to get a good cardio workout. I used to get tired by the end of the 2nd game but now I have more stamina and energy for that 3rd game, and my score is much higher. Walking is also a great way to get exercise and easy on the joints if you're not walking really fast.
5.Ball Squeezing: Hold a small rubber ball in your right hand and squeeze it with your fingers 10 times. Then hold the last squeeze for at least 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the other hand. This gets your fingers stronger to help hold onto the ball, especially if you use a finger tip ball or plan to get one in the near future.
6. Bicep Curl: Buy a pair of 5-10 pound dumbells or some resistant bands. Lift with each hand to the count of 10 to start, then work your way up to 20 or more. You can also do some push-ups if you like. Do weight lifting every other day, because it’s important to let your muscles rest a day in between. You can do weight lifting every day if you are working different muscle groups each day.
7. Deep Knee Bends: Put your arms out in front of you and lower your body into a deep squatting position (as if you were going to sit down in a chair). Don’t let your knees go past your toes or you could injure your knees. Repeat this squat 10 times and work your way up to 20-30 repetitions. When you get good, you can hold weights in your hands and do them. This will help the quadrisep muscles to get stronger, to help you have a deep knee bend when releasing the ball onto the lane.
Try getting yourself into a good exercise routing so it becomes part of your day like brushing your hair and washing your face. You can also do some stretching, deep knee bends, and arm circles at the lanes before you begin league practice to loosen up a get some of the muscle tension out from a long day and it also helps to prevent any injuries. I know exercising will help your scores improve like they did for me. Reading my blog shows me that you are a bowler that really wants to improve, so why not get into better physical shape as well. I believe that in the long run, looking better and feeling better will also help your bowling scores to get better!
Join me next week when I will be discussing an important topic that some bowlers have no clue about, even people in leagues, “Bowling Etiiquette”.
Good luck and high scoring this week!