Article Contents

  • 1. Out with the old…
  • 2. Ground reaction force
  • 3. …and in with the new!
  • 4. Coming soon

Out of all the possible injuries experienced by bowlers, I feel that the most common type are knee injuries. From young adults to older adults across the board, it is fairly common in our sport to see someone wearing a knee brace or athletic tape on their knee to alleviate pain experienced during bowling.

You can clearly understand why someone might experience knee pain just by watching the mechanics of the approach and the finish at the line. In the recent ESPN Sport Science segment, for example, the biomechanics of the bowling delivery were examined with sensors and it was shown that the sliding knee of Sean Rash experiences a force more than 7.5 times his body weight at the foul line. That force causes a tremendous amount of stress that is a lot for one joint to handle!

Out with the old…

Often in the world of physical therapy and strength and conditioning, the common prescription to clients who have knee pain is to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. For many years, physical therapists have had their clients perform knee extensions, hamstring curls, and lunges to improve strength and knee stability. While improving strength in the quadriceps and hamstrings is important, a new theory has gained popularity in the strength and conditioning world after years of research in helping athletes combat injuries. This new approach seems to be much more effective in improving the long-term health of the knee.

In Mike Boyle’s Advances in Functional Strength Training book, he explains that where there is pain, you should assess the joints above and below the pain. For example, if you have pain in your back, you should assess the health of the shoulder joint and the hips to look for the dysfunction and compensation. Therefore, if an individual is experiencing knee pain, this school of thought ...

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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.