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How To Practice Your Bowling Arm Swing

The Swing is the Thing!! The key components of an effective bowling arm swing are speed control and accuracy to your target. Tempo and direction have always been keys of successful arm swing. Let's begin by examining how to practice your bowling arm swing at home. Practicing at home can help you develop muscle memory and to repeat good swings when you are at the lanes.

Good swing direction means that if extend your arm fully in front of your bowling shoulder with your hand in a "handshake position", then move your bowling fingers slightly further to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder, you will have created an angle between your shoulder line and your arm extended forward of about 100 degrees, slightly more than a right angle of 90 degrees. Visualize your shoulder line being parallel to the foul line on the lane and your hand extended forward with the bottom of your bowling elbow slightly above shoulder level and the bowling fingers pointed ahead and positioned to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder. This arm, hand, and shoulder positioning is the same relative positioning needed after you release your bowling ball on the lane and complete your follow through portion of your arm swing.

Next, if you wish to learn how to practice your bowling arm swing at home, move to a wall in your home with no obstructions nearby to prohibit you from taking repeated swings of your bowling arm. Face the wall so your shoulders are nearly parallel to the wall with perhaps your bowling shoulder being about one inch behind your opposite shoulder. Move your bowling arm into the position described earlier with your arm extended fully and your hand in a "handshake position" with your bowling fingers pointed to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder and with your elbow at least shoulder level. Stand close enough to the wall so your fingertips are about 1/2 inch or 1 inch from touching the wall.

Next, pick a spot on the wall where your fingers are pointed about the same level as your hand, and swing your arm loosely and smoothly back to a full back swing height behind you and swing forward and upward so your bowling fingers swing to the line you are sighting on the wall. Try and make a series of swings back and forth with your bowling fingertips passing directly up the line on the wall located at the outside edge of your bowling shoulder. Train your arm swing muscles to follow through to the same finishing follow-through position over and over again along the path of the line on the wall. It will surprise you how much practice is needed in swinging to a specific mark on the wall; it is not as easy as you might imagine.


The relationship of swinging your arm and bowling fingers toward the target line on the wall at home is the same concept as swinging your arm and delivering your bowling ball toward a target at the bowling arrows on the lane about 15 feet past the foul line and one located directly to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder when you arrive at the foul line to deliver the ball. Since when you are bowling at the lanes you must slide with your opposite leg from your bowling arm entering the foul line and with your trailing leg moving behind you and to the opposite side of your body for balance, it is helpful and useful to position your legs in much the same release position at home in front of the wall to practice your arm swing technique as you will do when you are in a good bowling posture and finish position delivering the ball at the lanes.

Learning to swing upward when standing so near the wall will encourage a proper upswing path of your bowling arm. It is important to not try and "reach out" but rather "reach upward!" Swing your arm fully extended in an upward path to the precise length of your arm and bowling fingers and not more. Reaching forward and allowing your bowling shoulder to extend in front of your non-bowling shoulder could cause you to pull deliveries to the inside of your target line. Also, if you reach too far forward while practicing your swing in front of the line on the wall, you will smash your fingers into the wall. That alone will help you pay attention to developing an upward swing and follow through motion and not a reaching motion.

Once you have gotten used to swinging your arm upward in front of the line on the wall at home, turn your body 90 degrees and position your bowling shoulder against the wall or about 1/2 inch from contacting the wall. Then assume the position of releasing the bowling ball on the approach at the lanes by flexing your knees slightly and place your trail leg behind your slide leg. Move your bowling arm to the same finish position with your arm fully extended and your fingertips pointed to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder as you did in the first practice drill. Your fingernails of your bowling hand should be very, very close to the wall but not touching the wall.

Swing your arm upward repeatedly with your bowling hand swinging back behind the bowling shoulder arm pit area and then forward and upward as to brush the wall slightly with the finger nails of the bowling hand and with the arm fully extended and your bowling elbow at least at should level or higher. Repeat this swing motion over and over until you can control your upswing and fingertips to brush the wall lightly time and again. You will notice that you will be training your arm swing muscles to follow the same path as a proper swing and follow through motion on the lanes must follow to develop and maintain bowling accuracy. This alignment and swing practice technique will help you develop a slightly inside to outside swing path which is desirable when rolling a hook ball delivery on the lanes.

These same practice techniques in front of the wall at home should be used when releasing your bowling ball and following through to your target on the lanes. The relationship between your shoulder line and your swing path must be maintained at all times on each and every swing. Practicing at home using a wall and some imagination will no doubt help you develop a proper bowling arm swing direction and improve your accuracy on the lanes.

If you have any questions about swing direction techniques, we recommend you seek consultation with a certified bowling coach or with a top amateur/professional player in your area to work at improving the effectiveness of your arm swing. While you are here at our site, please take some time to examine our extensive list of bowling products and kindly be reminded that our discounted prices are available with free shipping on every item at bowlingball.com. When you are ready to make your purchase, simply follow our easy online order instructions because our store is open 24 hours per day, each and every day. Thank you for visiting bowlingball.com!