When thinking about the kind of sports that demands rigorous training regimes and strength conditioning, you could be forgiven for dismissing bowling.
However, like any other activity that involves movement and lifting of bulky weights, bowling requires proper warm-ups, stamina, endurance, and necessary protection, such as elbow braces and wrist supports, to help you get the best out of your game.
It’s important to note that if you’re not taking the proper measures and incorporating regular exercise into your workout routine, your next trip to the lanes could end in unprecedented injury.
No one would dare deny that a sharp mind is a vital quality of any bowler, and it’s a well-established fact that exercise not only boosts your physical fitness and wellbeing but also aids your cognitive functions. This will undoubtedly help you in mapping out your shots and anticipating lane conditions.
A workout routine is especially important for players with ambitions to take their bowling to the next level and test their mettle at tournaments. Any pro-bowler worth their salt will regularly be taking time out of their day to fit in a training session, and will particularly be doing so immediately before playing.
Bowlers can benefit from a range of exercises and fitness workout routines. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best strength exercises to help you improve your cardio, upper body strength, and overall physical preparedness so you can prevent injury and improve your game.
5 Best Exercises for Bowlers
Lunges are a simple exercise that conditions your leg muscles, posterior chain, and some main muscle groups that are subject to repeated strain during games. It’s advisable that you not only include this exercise as part of your daily routine but also immediately before plays.
For this exercise, you should have both hands on your hips and ensure your back is perfectly straight while in a standing position. Then, position one leg in front of the other and step forward, planting your heel on the ground first.
Next, lower your body and bend your knee. Hold this position for a few seconds and return to your original position to then do the same with the opposite leg.
You can also combine lunges with sit-ups to also exercise your upper body.
This is another straightforward and easy to do exercise that will assist you in relieving tension from your upper body—shoulders, triceps, and forearms— thus helping you prevent injury from bearing heavy weights or from repeatedly throwing a bowling ball.
The overhead stretch is also another exercise that should be performed before and during games.
Simply raise your arm above your head and reach over to the opposite shoulder. With your shoulder in one hand, raise your opposite arm to the elbow and gently pull.
Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat with your other arm.
Once again, this is an exercise that’s recommended to be included as part of your regular regime as well as at the lanes. Adding cross stretches into your workout routine is great for limbering up your shoulders and triceps and preventing the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.
For this exercise routine, raise your arm stretched outright and place it across the width of your chest. Grasp your elbow with the opposite arm and gently pull until you can feel a stretch in your shoulder and tricep.
Hold this position for a few seconds and proceed to do the same with the opposite arm.
Adding this exercise into your workout routine will really give you a head start in conditioning and strengthening your body muscles to best prepare them for long intervals of handling heavy bowling balls.
With enough time, you can also put yourself at an advantage in that you’ll be able to put extra power behind your throws and generate even more pin action on your bowling ball. Dumbell curls in a workout routine can also enhance your grip strength.
For this exercise, make sure you’re beginning with a weight that feels manageable for you while creating a sufficient amount of resistance to really work your arm muscles and body muscles.
Begin with your arms by your side with both dumbells in hand, then turn your hands with your palms facing forward and slowly lift the weights up towards your chest. Do this for 10 repetitions, rest for a minute or two, and then continue.
Consider combining this with wrist flexion for a total wrist and arm workout routine.
Now, of course, cardio is broad and constitutes a range of exercises and activities. What’s great about this, however, is that you can decide on what works best for you and what’s the most convenient for you as part of your workout routine.
There are few activities that are quite as effective at improving your overall strength, stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness as swimming.
A weekly swimming session as part of a workout routine can help you focus on every individual muscle group without any kind of over-application of pressure or stress. It’s particularly beneficial for your insides, as it promotes healthy organ function, lowers your heart rate, and reduces blood pressure.
If you’re weighing up the best exercises to boost your endurance during your games and to somehow train your abdominal muscles, there are few better places to start than your local swimming baths.
Like swimming, running and jogging can work wonders for your overall form.
As it involves you bearing your own weight, you can promote bone strength and joint health, which is hugely advantageous considering the repeated stress bowlers place their legs under during their approach to the lane.
In addition to enhancing overall cardiovascular fitness, running is also super convenient. You only need a pair of running shoes and a spare 30 minutes, meaning you can fit in a jog at whatever time works best for you.
While this is by no means the full extent of the exercises or workout routine you could be doing to promote proper form, prevent injury, and unleash your potential, they’re some of the most important strength training drills and activities that every bowler should have as part of their weekly workout routine.
Not everything may work for you, of course, but by incorporating at least some of these entries into your schedule and workout routine, you’re off to a good start. Whether you are a newbie practicing bowling at home or a seasoned player preparing for a big game, these exercises will surely help your performance and enhance your bowling skills.
Don’t be duped into neglecting your physical wellbeing by thinking that bowling is little more than a leisurely activity that doesn’t require proper preparation and training because if you do, you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to a world of pain and finding yourself out of the game for a long time.