Article Contents

  • 1. So what’s wrong with a good workout?
  • 2. A cliché that is actually true
  • 3. Putting “less is more” into action
  • 4. Don’t run up the down escalator
  • 5. How do you know if you are working too hard?
  • 6. Some bowlers have actually learned too well
  • 7. Like all rules there are exceptions
  • 8. Suggested reading

Sometimes I get tired watching bowlers. It’s not that I have grown bored with our wonderful sport, but that some bowlers put so much physical effort into throwing a bowling ball, I get a workout just watching.

So what’s wrong with a good workout?

Nothing. I just recommend it as an activity best performed at your local gym. I have found that the majority of bowlers who work hard at throwing the ball are doing so needlessly. They are wasting a lot of energy trying to accomplish something that can be done with much less effort and with more consistency shot to shot. I have lost a lot of good bowlers in recent years to shoulder, wrist, and back injuries, and nothing saddens me more. Putting too much effort into throwing a big heavy bowling ball has a cumulative effect on your body and it will show up one day.

I call these over-exerted bowlers muscle-bound. I am not using the traditional definition of the term muscle-bound, which means over-developed muscles. My version of muscle-bound means that the muscles are overused and become bound up, not being able to flow freely. The majority of muscle-bound bowlers are big strong men, and not tiny women or smaller framed guys. There is a place for a little properly executed and timely placed muscle in the games of smaller framed men and women, but more on that later.

If you are overly using your muscles to produce ball speed and/or revs, it is much more difficult to repeat shots at a high level or be accurate. Over-exertion is a common source of under/over ball reaction on sport patterns, which I think is a leading cause of premature baldness in male bowlers. Under/over ball reactions can definitely cause you to pull your hair out in frustration. I think that’s how I lost my hair!

A cliché that is actually true

I am sure a lot of you have heard the cliché “less is more”, and while it certainly sounds like a contradiction, it is actually true in a lot of cases. For some bowlers, less effort with the hand will actually equal more revs and, for some higher rev bowlers, less effort with the hand will actually equal more strikes. Less effort put into throwing the ball hard can actually increase its speed, if it’s done in a more efficient way.

Our sport is about knocking down pins and the guy who knocks down the most pins does not always do it with brute force. Sometimes less speed and/or fewer revs will knock down more pins, either through an increase in carry percentage or the creation of more room for error. The guy or ...

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Ron Clifton

About Ron Clifton

Ron Clifton has been coaching at the professional level for 25 years. He conducts “Advanced Bowler Training Clinics” across the U.S. and is the inventor and manufacturer of Ron C’s Magic Carpet for thumbholes. Ron can be found on the web at