How to Prepare for a Busy Spring Bowling Season
by Heather D'Errico
With Nationals and many other big bowling events coming up in spring, there are things you can do OFF the lanes to prepare your body for all the anticipated bowling. Many people are looking to improve endurance for longer formats. The biggest mistake people make in doing so is ramping up the cardio instead of some weight training.
Bowling is an extremely repetitive sport and sports of this nature are most known for overuse injuries that are chronic. Running is the same way- you are always moving in the same plane of motion and repeating the same movements over and over again. By not moving in the other planes of movement, muscles begin to compensate for weak body parts not being worked. Therefore training for bowling by doing another repetitive motion but with even higher impact, is going to INCREASE your chances of experiencing a chronic overuse injury.
Instead of ramping up the cardio, increase your muscular endurance with weight training. Bowling is not a sport that challenges your heart rate, but rather it is repeated short bouts of muscular power and strength. Start with building base strength in the muscles with light weights and 10-12 repetitions. In addition I recommend strength training in the planes of motion that aren’t getting attention when you bowl. For example, you don’t do many lateral movements when you bowl so incorporating an exercise such as side lunges would be very beneficial. As the season approaches, you will want to decrease the volume of the weight training but keep the intensity higher to maintain the strength.