Getting Back Into Shape

Getting Back Into Shape


League season is right around the corner, and you may not have had time to go bowling over the summer. Well, there are a few things you can do to get your body back into bowling shape.

The main source of power in bowling comes from your legs. Start by walking a little each day to strengthen this part of your body; increase how far you walk each day but make sure to increase your distance slowly so not to cause injury. Everything should be done at your own pace. Working this part of the body will help you get the leverage you need at the foul line to make consistence shots.

Your upper body is just as important but in a different way. The more free you can make your swing, the less muscle you will use which will help with consistency and accuracy. Use some arm swings to get these muscles loose. Most bowlers notice they are tight and not as consistence shot-to-shot the first few weeks back, and getting these two body parts loose can help you get back into the swing of things a little quicker.



Now that we have taken care of a few things off the lanes, let’s talk about getting back into physical bowling shape with your game. Practice – yes, practice – a few games before the first night of league. We suggest at least two weeks prior to league, grab a few of your teammates and practice a few games. Your teammates can help watch you to see if you look like your old self when bowling. When you go to practice, have a game plan.

  1. Your grip – You will probably need some tape in your ball to get the fit you had last season. By not bowling as much, your hand will surely change, so don’t be afraid to use some bowler’s tape for a good fit. Seek the assistance of the center pro shop for help if you don’t have what you need or are unsure of what you should do.
  2. Approach – Work on walking to the line the same way each time until it becomes more natural and consistent again. Do not push trying to be perfect on your first few shots. It will take a while for you to feel comfortable again and have the same feel that you have during league season. 
  3. Smooth swing – Using the least amount of muscle possible will make for a smooth swing and release. Don’t force the ball into your pushaway, be smooth and let it drop into the swing naturally.


The one-step drill can help with getting you comfortable again in your stance (start), creating that smooth pushaway feel, and get you back to using your legs for the slide and a good balanced finish position.


  1. Set up in the athletic pose (your starting position) about one-and-a-half steps away from the foul line
  2. Initiate the swing without moving your feet 
  3. As the ball starts its descent from the top of the backswing: 
    1. Slide or step forward with their non-ball-side foot 
    2. Then push off with the ball-side foot 
  4. Your leg will continue moving behind you, with the foot rolling onto the outer edge of the shoe to clear a path for the armswing and ball 
  5. Complete the delivery and then follows through with the elbow finishing next to your head.



Do this drill several times until you feel comfortable with all components. This is a great drill to do during the league season the first few shots of your practice session, just to get your body ready for competition.

For other drills and exercises go to the Coaching section of for the Bowler Development Guidebook and Exercise manual.