October 23, 2009
By Nick Bohanan
USBC Exercise and Strength Conditioning Specialist
Success at this level requires hard work, dedication and determination on and off the lanes. That means doing more than just putting in your practice time on the lanes; it means making a commitment to molding your body into a well-oiled bowling machine. In order to accomplish this, you're going to have to begin dedicating some time to increasing your strength, endurance and flexibility. That means hitting the gym.
Since everybody has different strengths and deficiencies when it comes to physical fitness, I would recommend consulting a certified personal trainer as you begin your strength and conditioning program. These trained professionals will be able to help you evaluate your current level of strength and fitness in order to pinpoint the areas you need to target for improvement. From there, the two of you can create a workout program that will allow you to get your body into competitive shape. Your workout program should include the following elements:
Stretching - Flexibility is a crucial and oft-overlooked component of successful bowling. It also reduces muscle soreness and the risk of injuries.
Strength training - Pay particular attention to increasing strength in your legs, core, shoulders and wrists/forearms. These areas are crucial to your bowling success.
Cardiovascular training - Many people view cardio as their least-favorite element of working out, but that doesn't have to be the case. Remember, cardio doesn't just mean running on a treadmill or jogging through the neighborhood. There are many fun options to choose from, such as biking, swimming, kickboxing, etc. Find the activity that works best for you.
Once you have a routine in place, stick to it just as you stick to your on-lane practice regimen. Remember, if you cut corners, you will only be cheating yourself!