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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Featured Bowling Health and Fitness Articles
Combining Strength and Mobility in Training – Part 1
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...
Training the Core for Trunk Stability
When considering the physical training needs of bowlers, the most commonly discussed areas are building core strength and leg strength. While I discussed numerous ways of strengthening the lower body in my last two articles (here and here), I'd like...
Common Injuries and Dysfunctions of the Lower Body – Part 2
The thigh and knee
In my previous article, I discussed common pathologies in the hip and pelvis that may be seen in bowlers. This included things like piriformis syndrome, SI joint dysfunction, and excessive anterior or posterior tilt. In this article, I will go...
Common Injuries and Dysfunctions of the Lower Body – Part 1
The pelvis and hip
If you've been bowling for a while, then I'm sure you know by now that lower back issues are a common problem among avid bowlers. The imbalances created with the lower body during the repetitive movements in our approaches can...
Common Conditions of the Arm and Shoulder – Part 2
The forearm and wrist
In my last article, I discussed some conditions that are often developed by bowlers in their shoulder joint and rotator cuff muscles. This month, I will move down the arm and cover some overuse conditions that can be experienced by...
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