Bowler's Reference
Bowler Fitness

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All sports requiring physical effort translates into work. Bowling, is no different from other sports in this respect, also demands sport specific physical exertion.

Exercise is broadly categorized as aerobic or anaerobic.  Aerobic (with oxygen) exercise is a very active type of exercise that involves improving the flow of oxygen throughout the body.  Anaerobic exercise relies on stored energy sources. Anaerobic exercise uses your muscles at a high intensity for a short period of time.

Sports are either aerobic or anaerobic in nature.  As an anaerobic sport, bowling does not require a continuous period of physical activity and is similar to other anaerobic sports such as golf and weightlifting.

Aerobic sports differ from activities such as swimming, tennis and running.  These sports require continuous and sustained motion that cause stress on their cardiovascular system.

Bowling places physical demands on an athlete’s body that are different than in other sports.  Sports are further categorized as either symmetrical (shape or object has two halves that are exactly the same) or asymmetrical (shapes or objects has two halves that are not the same). 

Bowling, as an asymmetrical sport, places physical demands more on one side than the other. The asymmetrical motion of bowling creates stress on several areas of the athlete’s body:

Shoulder Elbow
Hips Wrist
Knee Trunk
Ankle Thigh

To strengthen the muscle system controlling these body parts, a fitness program that enhances body strength and bowling performance. 

Before Bowling

Even though bowling is an anaerobic sport, there are major benefits to including aerobic training as part of your conditioning.  Aerobic exercise challenges the heart, lungs and circulatory system. When engaged in aerobic exercise, the cells within the muscles demand more oxygen. The heart, lungs and circulatory system respond accordingly to deliver the needed oxygen to the working muscles. By exercising regularly, the heart, lungs and circulatory system become more efficient.

Aerobic training designed to build muscle mass, endurance and stamina, provides a worthy fitness program, and can reduce the risk of injury when bowling.  For aerobic exercise to be effective, it must be practiced at least three to five times per week.

Pre-Game Exercise

Bowlers also utilize anaerobic exercises to stretch and warm up prior to bowling.  It is well established that muscles stiffen when not being used. Athletes starting any type of activity are well advised to limber up prior to use or risk possible injury.

Although advising an exercise program is with pure intent, seeking appropriate guidance and permission from a qualified licensed physician as well as following common sense, remains at the cornerstone of this section. 

Word To The Wise

heart.gif (6084 bytes)Staying in shape is one of the best ways to avoid trauma to your body.  You are encouraged toward an aerobic and strength program to strengthen the body and reduce the risk of injury.

Injuries are often experienced because proper exercise bowling technique has not been employed or mastered.  The time to think about exercise is now, and not after an injury.

Because of the necessity to seek professional guidance, only recommended areas that should be considered are included here.  Employment of proper exercise technique should be obtained from qualified sources.

  • Aerobic 

    • 3-5 times a week

    • 20 minutes - 40 minutes

    • Gradually increasing your Target Pulse Rate to recommended levels.

      • Fast Walking

      • Jogging

      • Bicycle Cycling

      • Swimming

      • Stair Climbing

      • Rowing

      • Treadmill


  • Anaerobic - Strength Training

    • Train muscle groups gradually

    • Build repetitions

    • Vary workouts

    • Maintain Regular Schedule

      • resistance and frequency

      • Hip and Shoulder Rotation

      • Lateral Back Stretch

      •  Hip Rotation

      • Rotator Cuff Stretch


A vigorous walk will do more good for an person than all the medicine and psychology in the world.
The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.

Exercise should be regarded as a tribute to the heart. 


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