For a long time now, I’ve come across people who have opted to focus on aerobic exercise over resistance training due to fear of becoming bulky and immobile. Everyone seems to automatically associate lifting weights with looking like a bodybuilder and not being able to move their arms anymore, like Randy bundled up in his jacket in the movie, A Christmas Story.
When I first began focusing on fitness for bowlers, there were many people I talked to who were hesitant to engage in a training program because they thought it would tighten them up and ruin their loose armswing. They wanted to keep their shoulders mobile by not lifting weights, which—paradoxically—is actually the worst thing you can do.
While joint mobility is great, you also need strong ligament and tendon structures to support the joints. These are built through proper strength training and stabilizing exercises. So, what we need as athletes in our sport is to have a solid foundation of functional strength in combination with healthy range of motion in our joints. This combination together will help to prevent injuries and allow you to compete longer.
How do you find this perfect combination of mobility and strength? Easy. Your training has to have an outline that includes every factor needed: soft tissue work, stretching, warm-up, power, strength, and conditioning.
So, to kick off this article series, I’m going to go over what a pre-workout stretch and warm-up should look like. This can be applied to both training in the gym as well as to preparing to bowl on the lanes. Some people may look at you weird when you stretch before bowling, but I can assure you many of the pros can be seen doing that these days, as fitness for our sport has been recognized by them as something of importance.
Soft tissue mobilization
Before every workout, I recommend warming your muscle tissues up with some soft tissue work. This could include foam rolling, rolling a lacrosse or tennis ball on certain muscle groups, or using something like a TheraGun or ...
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