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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Over the years, I think the most common question to pop up in my inbox is, “What exercises should I do to improve my bowling game?” I have always struggled with responding to this, because it is a very loaded...
The Importance of Sleep
How minor changes affect athletic performance
Over a decade ago in the August 2009 issue of Bowling This Month, I wrote The Secret Weapon of Champions, which discussed how sleep can maximize performance. The power of sleep to enhance performance can’t be overstated. Sleep became one...
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