Bowling Health and Fitness Articles

Some people might try to tell you that health and fitness are topics that don't matter much to bowlers. The deceptively "simple" motion of throwing a bowling ball often leads them to this conclusion: bowling is certainly a sport that can be successfully enjoyed by the young, the old, the strong, the weak, the overweight, the underweight, the tall, the short, and everything in between. That is really one of the great things about bowling.

Any one of us can easily point out examples of successful bowlers who are out of shape and/or overweight. Whatever you do, however, don't fall into the common trap of thinking that this serves as evidence that fitness isn't important to bowlers! In reality, there are MANY reasons why competitive bowlers should seriously study health and fitness for improving their performance. Here are just a few:

  • Improved technique: Some of our sport's movements and techniques are just too difficult for people who aren't as fit as they could be. For example, getting into and maintaining a solid release position with sufficient sliding leg knee bend can be significantly more difficult and stressful for bowlers who are overweight.
  • Improved power: In recent years, bowling is increasingly becoming a sport that requires power in the form of high ball speed and high rev rate. When combined with proper technique, improved leg, core, arm, wrist, and hand strength can lead to drastic improvements in the amount of power you transfer to the ball at the release.
  • Improved endurance: While bowling isn't a true aerobic endurance sport in the same sense as sports like running, cross-country skiing, and soccer, it does require significant amounts of anaerobic endurance. Anaerobic endurance is what allows our bodies to produce quick bursts of force repeatedly throughout a long tournament block without experiencing fatigue. This kind of endurance can definitely be improved with proper training.
  • Injury prevention: Bowling is a very repetitive sport and, worse yet, it tends to be fairly one-sided. This can lead to severe muscle imbalances that can lead to injuries. Bowlers can reduce or eliminate these imbalances with proper training.

We know we can't convince everyone that they can improve their bowling with proper diet and exercise, but we do hope we've convinced you! If you are serious about having a long and successful bowling career, then you owe it to yourself to take care of your body.

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"I often get ask when participating in Pro Am events what is the place to go for coaching, technical bowling information, or generally how to improve knowledge of the game. I always point them towards BTM, as the knowledge I have learned from BTM's authors and coaches have helped me improve and take my game to a much higher level, including a PBA regional title! Topics from the physical game, to lane play, to ball motion and the mental approach are all covered. It is a must for all serious bowlers who want to improve and continue learning more about the sport we love."

- Stephen Haas (bowler, PBA regional champion, and Bowling This Month subscriber)

Featured Bowling Health and Fitness Articles

Mobility and strength exercises to improve shoulder function

Keeping Bowling Shoulders Healthy

In my last article, I covered some key mobility and strengthening exercises to keep the knee joint healthy. After many of our readers reported this as being very helpful, I decided to continue that theme by detailing some ways to...

Exercises to maintain knee function and bowl pain-free


Over the past 10 years of providing advice and training programs to the bowling community, I would say that the most common questions I get are about knee pain. I don’t think there are any bowlers who question the strain that bowling can place...

On-lane and off-lane training systems to improve your performance

Solving the Practice Puzzle

Aside from identifying the areas of your game to work on, one of bowling's biggest challenges is knowing what to work on, and when. When it comes to off-lane training, how do you balance your workouts with your tournaments so...

What is sport-specific training for bowlers?


Early on in my career as a strength and conditioning coach, I spent time in the weight room coaching teams of other sports. It seemed a part of every team’s culture to get into the weight room and put in...

Why systemic inflammation could be making things worse

Bowling and Joint Pain

If you're a bowler, you've likely experienced joint pain at some point. This pain occurs when joints become inflamed. Inflammation seems to be a buzzword right now in the health community. We often hear things like, “That particular food causes...

Bowling Health and Fitness Article Directory

The table below lists all of our bowling health and fitness articles.

You can sort this table by clicking on the header row of any column. Also, you can filter the data in the table by entering a search term in the search box below.

IssueArticle TitleAuthor
Keeping Bowling Shoulders Healthy
Keeping Bowling Knees Healthy
Solving the Practice Puzzle and
Bowling-Specific Strength Training
Bowling and Joint Pain
Seven Exercises to Improve Your Stability
Snack Better, Bowl Better
Why Bowlers Should Lift Heavy
Resting More for Better Performance
Functional Strength Training
A Five-Step Approach for Improving Anything
The 10 Exercises That Every Bowler Should Do - Part 2
Health Coaching FAQs - Part 2
Health Coaching FAQs - Part 1
The 10 Exercises That Every Bowler Should Do
The Importance of Sleep
Optimizing Recovery to Improve Your Bowling
Fitness Myths Debunked
Sticky Resolutions
Mindful Eating for the Holidays
Warming Up for Bowling
Improving Your Habits Off the Lanes
Why I Decided to Improve My Health
Ditching the Diet Mentality for Lifelong Health and Improved Bowling
Dealing With Lower Back Pain
Combining Strength and Mobility in Training - Part 2
Combining Strength and Mobility in Training - Part 1
Training the Core for Trunk Stability
Common Injuries and Dysfunctions of the Lower Body - Part 2
Common Injuries and Dysfunctions of the Lower Body - Part 1
Common Conditions of the Arm and Shoulder - Part 2
Common Conditions of the Arm and Shoulder - Part 1
Exercises for Preventing Rotator Cuff Injuries in Bowlers
The Use of Kinesiology Tape in Bowling
The PWBA Round Table: Physical and Mental Toughness
Reducing Your Knee Pain - Part 2
Reducing Your Knee Pain - Part 1
Training Recommendations for Younger Individuals
Training Recommendations for Older Individuals
Will Upper Body Strength Training Ruin My Swing?
Improving Your Finish at the Line
How To Properly Recover From Your Workouts
What is the Cause of Your Back Pain?
How Specific Muscles Contribute to an Elite Release
To Cardio or Not to Cardio...
The Bowling Diet - Part 2
The Bowling Diet - Part 1
Sports Performance vs. General Fitness Training
Exercise Smarter, Not Harder!
Functional Strength Training For Bowlers
The X-Factor in Bowling