Article Contents

  • 1. Tendonitis and bowling
  • 2. Mobility exercises
    • 2.1. Wall walks
    • 2.2. Hand flips
    • 2.3. Tucked thumb wrist abduction
    • 2.4. Soft tissue rolling
  • 3. Strengthening exercises
    • 3.1. Fingertip plate holds
    • 3.2. Dumbbell wrist curls, extensions, and rotations
    • 3.3. Finger extension drill
    • 3.4. Therapy putty hand exercises
  • 4. Building this into your bowling warm-up
  • 5. Final thoughts

In my previous articles over the last few months, I’ve covered ways to keep the knees healthy and how to maintain shoulder function with preventative mobility and strength exercises. Continuing with this theme, this article focuses on the health of the forearm, wrist, and hand. I don’t think there is any question as to why this is important to consider for our sport. I suspect that a vast majority of bowlers have experienced issues in their hand, wrist, or elbow at some point in their time on the lanes.

There can be many contributing factors to injuries in the forearm, wrist, or hand. Aside from an improper fit in the bowling ball, bowlers might suffer from overuse, weakness, lack of flexibility, or mobility. All of these problems can be made worse by jobs that center around technology or have repetitive motions that affect hand and arm health. It’s no wonder that many bowlers feel the need to use wrist guards and athletic tape to provide additional support to the wrist.

By no means am I suggesting that bowlers should never wear a wrist guard or protective tape. Sometimes, these are necessary, but this article will present methods that can help reduce your reliance on them, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your overall performance.

Tendonitis and bowling

There are over 30 muscles in the hand, and most of them assist with the movement of the fingers and wrist. Some even extend all the way to the elbow to control the movement of the hinge joint. This means that having the wrong pitches in your fingers can lead to pain or tendonitis symptoms all the way to the elbow!

Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons that attach the muscle to the joint. It is caused by overuse from repetitive movements. Because bowling consists of constant repetitive movement of the forearm and hand, tendonitis is a common chronic condition ...

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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.