In bowling, and as in any sport, to perform your best and have good stamina. It’s important to be in good physical condition and bowling in itself is a great exercise because you can burn about 200+ 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.
These exercises I have listed below are the ones I like to do and they help keep my fingers, arms, wrists, and legs in good shape, which in turn helps me to achieve higher scores.
1. Finger Pulling: This exercise will help keep your fingers strong so you can hold onto the ball and don't drop it since it is somewhat heavy. You can also work your way up to get a Finger Tip Grip drilled in your bowling ball which will give you better leverage and lift for more striking power. To do this, clasp the fingers of both hands together and try pulling them apart holding them for about 10-15 seconds
2. Tricep Stretches: Any kind of stretching is great before doing any type of sport. It loosens up the body and muscles to prevent any injuries. To do this one, 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. Bicep Exercise: This helps to make the biceps stronger if you don't have any hand weights. Hold your palms together, (bowling hand facing up) and press down with the opposite hand and push up at the same time with the bowling 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 after doing cardio 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. The legs do a lot of work while you're bowling so keeping them in shape is really important. If your prefer biking, that's also a great cardio exercise. You can make it harder to pedal which will make the quads stronger.
5.Ball Squeezing: This one helps keep my wrist and fingers strong. Just hold a small rubber ball in your bowling hand and squeeze it with your fingers 10 times. Then hold the last squeeze for at least 10-15 seconds. This gets your fingers stronger to help you hold onto the ball, especially if you use a finger tip grip or plan to get one in the near future.
6. Bicep Curl: If you can, 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. If you don't have any weights, you can put some groceries from your pantry in a bag and just lift that.
7. Squats or Deep Knee Bends: You legs play a very important part in your bowling game and they need to be strong. To do this leg exercise, 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 achieve a deep knee bend when releasing the ball onto the lane. Squats also help with stability and good balance.
You can also incorporate other exercises like Jumping Jacks, Swinging the legs back and forth, arm swings, and sit ups to keep the core strong. 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 your league practice session. Doing these will help to loosen up some of the muscle tension in your body after a long day at work, and it can also help prevent getting any injuries.
Because Bowling is a physical activity, there are so many health benefits that can be gained from being in a weekly league:
vessels and builds up over time which doesn’t leave much space
for blood to flow. LDL is caused from things like smoking, eating
foods high in fat, family history, and inactivity. Regular physical
activity like bowling can help lower bad cholesterol by 15% and
can raise HDL (the good cholesterol) by 20%. HDL carries
cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver where it
that makes bones become thin and more brittle. This condition is called “Osteoporosis”. People who have this condition are at a much greater risk for broken bones if they should fall. Bones are living tissue and will change for the better when forces are placed upon them. The weight of a heavy ball can help bones become more dense over time and help maintain healthy strong bones.
* Burning extra calories: Everyone knows that a body in motion will burn more calories
than a body at rest. Before I joined a league, I was a couch potato. Getting out there each week, I have lost a bit of weight and feel great. You can burn 80-100 calories for every 20 minutes you are bowling, and bowling three games a week is like walking a mile.
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, “What is Proper Bowling Etiiquette”.
Good luck and high scoring this week!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.