Skip to content

How Fitness Levels Affect your Bowling Performance

Much like any sport that involves physical movement and endurance, bowling is not much different in how your overall health and fitness levels can make a mean difference in your game.

Granted, the sport of bowling is considered very low impact, and although the game is not too heavily dependent upon actual physical capabilities, making changes to your physical structure either by gaining or losing weight, can play a huge role in how you maintain your techniques and form.

Let’s compare the differences between a bowler that is considered to be fit and lean, with that of a bowler (like myself) that is…err…FAR from being fit and lean.

Fit vs. Fat

If we assume that both of our model bowlers have a very similar game and style, even down to an almost identical result in their approach, we can break down how the differing fitness levels can affect their individual games and performance.

First off, our fit bowler has a very smooth and controlled approach including a wide range of motion with a steep back-swing and more flexibility in the release and follow through.  Also, if we are about three games in, our fit bowler may be able to roll another three games or more without much fatigue or huffing and puffing.

Our second bowler, let’s say, has about fifty pounds on our fit guy to contend with.  Not only does this change the approach dramatically as the additional weight may add some instability as well as hinder not only the bowlers range of motion, but…you guessed it, it also affects flexibility and control.  Not to mention, about three games in, which I can attest to, the body starts to grow tired sooner and consistence may head to the bar before the rest of the body is ready to do so.

Why Should I Be Concerned if I Lose Weight?

Any dramatic changes to the body is going to affect just about everything in how that body performs.  As a former personal trainer, I’ve had my share of ups and downs in the weight department and one of the most noticeable changes I’ve seen in my bowling is how my entire approach changes as well.

Consider our “not so fit” bowler from earlier…to paint the picture, he weighs in at about 250lbs and stands at 5′ 10″.  Football didn’t quite work out, but bowling…hell yeah, bowling is fun so, that’s the game for him.

Over time, our bowler decides to make some changes in his health habits and begins to lose weight at a decent pace.  With that weight loss, his body begins to shrink as far as fat loss goes.  His legs, arms and core begin to come down in size and with that, comes a change in stability and center of gravity.

One of the first indications of such a change may be seen in the timing of one’s approach as when the weight begins to fall, the body has been used to carrying that extra weight.  The arc and swing of the ball may change as the overall loop used to be much closer to the body, coupled with a potential increase in range of motion, the ball will not feel as though it is on plane as it once was.

This seemingly small challenge is met with the fact that the approach and delivery are staples to the bowler’s overall game, and these changes need to be readjusted, including the timing.  The stride length may increase as well, and again, this may being to play mind games with the bowler as it just doesn’t “feel” right anymore.

The Positive Side of Weight Loss for Bowlers

Imagine being able to go longer, play more, hit the pocket harder…hey, stay out of the gutter…this is a family blog!

Our bowler’s stamina and endurance levels go up, dramatically.  This reduces the onset of fatigue in the later games and that only assists in keeping up with, or surpassing the competition.  Range of motion and flexibility may also increase allowing for a more powerful release and follow-through resulting in a stronger delivery into the pocket, which can increase your number of strikes.

What Say You?

How has your fitness levels affected your game, especially if said levels have made a change over your time as a bowler?  Can you share any other positives/negatives that go along with such fitness changes?  I’d love to hear from you so go ahead and leave me a comment below!