Bowling Fitness Training

Bowling Description

Bowling is an activity in which the object is to knock over pins placed upright at the end of an alley with a ball. An estimated 68 million Americans bowl one or more times per year. Bowling can be fun and relaxing for people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be done individually or through league/team play. Skill is the major requirement to be a good bowler. If you want to become a good bowler, you should consider taking lessons from a qualified bowling instructor.

Bowling Warnings

  • People experiencing chronic ankle, knee, hip, lower back, shoulder, elbow, neck, foot, wrist or pelvic pain or injury should consult their physician prior to bowling.

Bowling Risks

  • "Bowler's thumb": scar tissue surrounds nerve and causes numbness or pain on underside of hand
  • Thumb sprain from overuse
  • "Bowler's elbow": similar to tennis elbow, usually caused by keeping the elbow untucked during the bowling approach and ball release
  • Toe injuries: from dropped balls; hyperextended front toes
  • Shoulder strain which is caused by using a ball that is too heavy
  • Wrist or hand sprain from improper release of ball
  • Lower back strain, often the result of improper body positioning during approach
  • Blisters and calluses often develop on the bowling thumb

Bowling Sport-specific applications

  • Bowling competition at national and international levels (Pan Am Games medal sport in 1991, Olympic exhibition event in 1988)
  • Amateur and professional levels of play

Bowling Equipment required

  • Ball: maximum weight 16 pounds, maximum diameter 8.5 inches, and usually three finger holes
  • Alley: 60 feet long, 39 inches wide, made of wood, straight pathway, gutter rows on each side
  • Pins: usually consist of plastic-covered maple wood weighing between 3 pounds 2 ounces and 3 pounds 10 ounces with a height of 15 inches
  • Shoes: semi-rigid smooth sole to allow proper sliding motion and provide foot support
  • Wrist wraps (optional): to provide wrist support

Bowling Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • U.S. Tenpin Bowling Federation: 5301 S. 76th St., Greendale, WI 53129, (414) 4219008
  • American Bowling Congress: 5301 South 76th St., Greendale, WI 53129, (414) 4216400 (publisher of Bowling Magazine)
  • Women's International Bowling Congress: 5301 South 76th St., Greendale, WI 53129, (414) 4219000 (publisher of The Woman Bowler)
  • National Bowling Council: Courthouse Plaza, Suite 1107, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201, (703) 8411660



Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 0
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 0
  • Muscular Endurance 1
  • Body Fat Recution 0

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 0
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 1
  • Coordination/Skill 3

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: quadriceps, calves, shoulders and forearmsAssistance muscles: biceps, triceps, chest, upper back, hamstrings, gluteals, abdominals, hip flexors and obliques

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.021 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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