Article Contents

  • 1. The goals of training
    • 1.1. Training age
  • 2. Injuries
    • 2.1. Common bowling injuries
    • 2.2. Reducing injuries
  • 3. Timing of training
    • 3.1. Off-season training
    • 3.2. In-season training
    • 3.3. The bucket process
  • 4. Putting it together

Early on in my career as a strength and conditioning coach, I spent time in the weight room coaching teams of other sports. It seemed a part of every team’s culture to get into the weight room and put in work outside of their on-field drills and practices. During my time working with those teams, I reflected on the fact that this culture didn’t seem to exist in bowling, and I couldn’t understand why. We throw bowling balls that are 14, 15, or 16 pounds for hours during leagues and tournaments. Surely, strength plays some role in our sport, and we could benefit from off-lane training to improve movement and reduce the risk of injury.

I also noticed that, even though all these teams were different in many ways, the training in the weight room looked very similar for all of them. Basketball players were doing many of the same things that football players were doing during their lifts. Soccer players were also following similar training plans. There were some small differences in the volume and intensity of the training, depending on whether they were in-season or off-season, but most of their strength training exercise modalities were the same.

Fast forward to the present day, after being in the strength and conditioning field for over 10 years, and I have a solid understanding of why all athletes need the same foundations of strength training, bowlers included. I wanted to write this article to share some key information about this, as it seems bowlers are always looking for something significantly different than what other athletes do. There is this misconception that our sport is so unique that what works for other athletes isn’t necessary for a bowler, but that isn’t the case.

As I began offering training programs and coaching through BowlFit, my target audience and clientele were bowlers, and many were excited to have a program designed by a bowler because they felt that many other strength and conditioning coaches in the industry didn’t understand our sport. When people hear “bowling-specific workouts,” they expect that it will look something like ...

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Heather Sterner

About Heather Sterner

Heather is an NSCA-certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Functional Strength Coach, and a Licensed Massage Therapist. She has a Master's in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). Heather is a former collegiate bowler for Robert Morris University and assistant coach for the University of Central Missouri. She currently works with athletes of all sports and has recently launched BowlFIT, a website with training programs for bowlers. Heather is also the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for SUNY Brockport.