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Proper Bowling Exercises to Prevent Injury

Most people don’t consider bowling to be a particularly dangerous sport, especially when it’s compared to other, more violent ones, like football or boxing. However, while physical contact with other players may be nonexistent in this sport, that doesn’t mean that bowling doesn’t pose some risk of bodily injury. Thankfully, there are some simple exercises that require minimal equipment that can improve your health and keep your bowling career injury-free as well. Keep reading to see what you can do to protect yourself from the strain and repetitive stress of this sport.

#1—Reverse Lunge
This exercise is great to add to your daily routine, but it’s also perfect for your pre-game warm-up at the bowling alley. The reverse lunge will open up your hips, shoulders, and torso—plus, it’s great to help correct any muscle asymmetries you might experience in this one-sided sport.

To perform the reverse lunge, begin by standing upright. Then, bring one leg back so it is completely extended, while your front leg bends at the knee. Only bring your back leg back as far as is comfortable to avoid the risk of injury. One variation on this lunge that will really work your torso is to bend forward and touch the ground with your hands. Hold this position for three to five counts, and repeat with the position of your legs switched.

#2—Shoulder Rolls
Many bowlers have the tendency to really focus on the power of their biceps as they toss the ball; however, the proper technique should involve your entire shoulder working as a human pendulum. When this isn’t the case, the muscles of your chest become very short and tight, which can feel restrictive and lead to injury. To help correct this, spend some time in your daily exercise routine performing shoulder rolls.

For this technique, you will need to purchase a large, inflatable fitness ball.  Begin by balancing yourself on the ball (your abdomen should be touching it the most) and slightly spreading your legs. Then, begin lifting and lowering your arms with as wide a range as is comfortable for you. This should be done for one to two minutes each day.

#3—Plank Arm Lifts
When you bowl, your body creates lots of energy that must be successfully transferred through your hips, torso, and shoulders. When it’s not, this can lead to injury. Plank arm lifts will ensure that your muscles in each of these areas is strong enough to pull their weight, as well as give a feel for what the successful transfer or energy feels like.

Begin in a starting push-up position (this is also known as plank position) and raise one arm into the air and slightly outward without adjusting your torso. This should be repeated at least 20 times for each arm.

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