Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Bowling is Comparable to Exercises Like Walking

Bowling is a popular past time and while considered by some to be no more than a game, it is actually regarded as a sport. Today bowling can be found in over 90 countries worldwide and is participated in by almost 100 million players each year. Most bowling alleys include time slots for recreational use and bowling leagues for different age groups. Bowling may not be ideal for weight loss or cardiovascular fitness, but it does include similar benefits to walking with free weights and can help keep muscles and ligaments stretched. If you limit the intake of  “alley food” and alcoholic beverages, bowling can be a great addition to your weekly workout routine for stress relief.

Choosing the Right Bowling Equipment

Most bowling alleys come with rental bowling equipment, consisting of bowling shoes in various sizes and bowling balls of different weights and hole configuration. Bowling alleys do spray bowling shoe rentals with disinfectant and deodorant, but you have the option of purchasing your own bowling shoes for greater comfort and a better fit. The bowling balls that are provided by the bowling alley are not usually organized by weight or hole size so finding the right one may be difficult. Keep in mind that with your thumb, middle and ring fingers in the ball, your second knuckle should be outside of the hole, and the palm of your hand should be resting against the curvature of the ball. If your hand is arched and not touching the ball, or if the second knuckle of your fingers are not on the edge of the ball you should find a better fitting ball. If the hole configuration or weight of the bowling ball is not as accurate as possible you may risk straining any one of the numerous muscles in your hand, wrist and arm.

If you are planning on joining a bowling league, it would be best to find a “pro” shop either in the bowling alley itself or around town and purchase a pair of bowling shoes, a bowling bag and a bowling ball that has been custom drilled to fit your fingers. As with all sports equipment, you can spend as little or as much as you want on bowling equipment. Generally speaking, the better the bowling equipment, the longer it will last and the better it will perform.

Becoming Better at Bowling.

Practicing is as essential for bowling as it is in any other sport. Most bowling alleys rent lanes per hour or on a per game basis. Find a time where the lanes are not busy and you can focus on your body's mechanics while you bowl. There are many techniques and variants on throwing a bowling ball. Some bowlers prefer to use wrist supports that allow them to curl the bowling ball with their wrist and add additional spin to the ball (called a curve). Some bowlers will throw the bowling ball as straight as possible. No matter what technique is used, there is a “pocket” or sweet spot that lies between the head pin (closest to you) and the pin on either side of the head pin. It is almost always the case that if you miss the head pin you will not bowl a strike (knocking all pins over on the first try). But be careful; if you hit too much of the head pin, as is the case with bowling straight at the head pin, you risk getting a split. A split is when several pins are separated by more than a bowling ball width.

As you are practicing bowling you want to be aware of key areas on your body and how they are positioned. Many times an amateur bowler will bring the ball back at an angle which produces a forward thrust of the ball at the opposite angle. Your ideal form is one where your shoulders are level and your arm is brought straight back and released straight forward. Some junior league coaches tell junior bowlers to “follow through” with their bowling arm. Following through is just bringing your arm back, and after you have swung and released the bowling ball, your hand continues to rise (with a bent elbow) and slowly rests either by the side of your head or in front of your face. The act of following through can ensure that your bowling ball is released straight.

Your best approach to getting higher scores is to research online instructional videos, pay for lessons, or observe some of the more seasoned bowlers at a lane and try to mimic their body form and style.