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Bowling Specific Strength Exercises

There are many aspects of bowling that make it a difficult sport. The heavy ball, slippery shoes, and the one-sidedness of the throw are just some of the challenges that bowling presents. One of the great things about participating in sports is being able to take on different challenges, and figure out ways to overcome them. There is no better feeling than having tangible improvement! Going to the lanes and practicing hours on end will no doubt help your game, but there are other ways to improve as well. Strength training is one method that you can do from the comfort of your home. So on the days when you don’t have practice or a game, it is a convenient option to continue working on improvement of your bowling game.

Strength training varies, depending on the sport. While most sports require the fitness of your entire body, there are certain body parts that get stressed more often in certain events. For example, soccer players’ lower bodies are exerted much more than their upper bodies. While tennis players’ shoulders and arms get an enormous amount of action. Therefore, soccer players’ strength training often has a focus on lower body exercises, while tennis players have to make sure to adequately strengthen their arms and shoulders. This does not mean that you neglect the parts of your body that are not used as much in your sport. It simply means that it is important to pay specific attention to the body parts that are receiving the most use, IN ADDITION to the rest of your body’s fitness.

For bowling, your core, quadriceps, and dominant arm muscles are what get continually stressed while you throw. Strengthening these muscles will improve your balance, control, and power and hopefully will lead to improvement in your game. Below is a list of exercises that involve the aforementioned muscle groups. These exercises can be done in a circuit. Meaning that after you complete one exercise, you move right into the next. After all of the exercises are complete, take a two-minute break before repeating them again. The number of times the circuit is completed is dependent on the individual athlete. It is important that strength training is challenging, and completed with proper form. As soon as the athlete loses form, it is a good place to rest in the workout.

Bowling Circuit:

  1. Warm-up: The October 16th post (Preventing Bowling Overuse Injuries) includes a bowling specific warm-up routine

  2. Walking lunges

  3. Forward (25 yrds)

  4. Backward (25 yrds)

  5. Push-ups (x10)

  6. If 10 is too challenging in the traditional position, it is okay to drop the knees to the ground.

  7. Air squats (x15) (see demo below)

  8. Make sure that the knees do not go in front of the toes


  1. Tricep dips (x10) (see demo below)

  2. Find a bench or a chair for support. Legs can either be straight out (harder) or bent (easier).


  1. Lunge jumps (x5 each side) (see demo below)

  2. Start in a lunge position, and jump so that your other leg is now in front


  1. Planks (30 seconds)

  2. Assume a push-up position, except have your elbows and forearms on the ground.

  3. Keep your body in a straight line from your heals to your head

  4. Squat jumps (x10) (see demo below)


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