Seven Exercises to Improve Your Stability

Off-lane training that will help you achieve better balance at the line

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Avid bowlers know that the key to scoring your best isn’t just about how well you can throw the ball. Rather, it’s about how consistently you can repeat shots. Being accurate with targeting, consistent with ball speed, and powerful in generating rev rate all come down to a bowler’s ability to get to the line consistently. A bowler has to get to the line, get stopped with stability and complete control over the body, and post the shot. But if you are looking to improve your balance and stability at the line, it’s not simply a matter of working on your bowling technique.

The stability at the line that bowlers need depends entirely on having good athletic balance. To have good athletic balance means to have strength and stability in the ankles, the knees, and the hips, along with a stable trunk or “core.” With this in mind, here are seven exercises to include in your training to improve balance and stability in your joints so you can improve your balance and stability at the foul line.

Single-leg balance with multi-directional reach

This single-leg exercise is one I often include as part of a warm-up. It is a great way to kick the central nervous system into gear and improve ankle stability. The activity is simple, but it is by no means easy. Standing on one leg, the goal is to reach in several directions using the opposite hand. If you are standing on your left foot, reach with the right hand, and vice versa.

In the photos below, I use three cones spaced at equal distances to the left, in front, and to the right. I recommend doing this drill without shoes on, as it will allow for more proprioception and contact with the ground. Sneakers often provide extra support around the ankles, so by doing this drill without shoes, you will really challenge the ankle joint into more ranges of motion.

Once you can safely perform this drill with your feet on the ground, it can be progressed by standing on an unstable surface, such ...



Heather D'Errico

About Heather D'Errico

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.