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POWER POSTURE: Proper Posture Will Ensure Consistency In Your Release

By Bryan O’Keefe

For some reason posture isn’t talked about enough in bowling. It’s talked about all the time in golf and other sports. The truth is posture has a significant impact on your consistency. In fact, aside from timing, posture is probably the most important factor in creating more power and more leverage to your game.

Every bowler knows that you need to get low for a powerful release. But the most common problem is that bowlers tend to bend at the waist. The result is that their torso is out ahead of their lower body, which actually causes them to lose leverage and power.

Compounding the problem, bending at the waist tends to throw off the shape of the bowler’s swing, forcing them to use more muscle to bring the swing back into line. The more muscle you have to use the more difficult it is to repeat a shot. Consistency becomes a problem.

Good posture through the approach starts with bending at the knees instead of the waist. Keep your knees bent and your hips low. Your center of gravity will stay consistent and you will be in a better position at the bottom of your swing. The ball will be underneath your body, which puts you in a more powerful position.

Still, we’re not talking about bending completely at the knees and being straight up and down. You have to maintain a slight forward lean with your upper body. You just need to make sure you don’t increase that lean as you enter the slide. Keep it consistent.

The two main benefits from maintaining proper posture are balance and a flatter swing plane. Balance goes back to your center of gravity. By staying centered and more balanced, you’ve got a better chance of repeating shots. Keeping your swing plane flatter increases your margin of error at the release point. Ideally, the longer the plane at the bottom of your swing, the more room you have to release the ball on target.

Conversely, by bending at the waist and having your head and shoulders out ahead of your hips, the steeper your swing and the lower the margin for error. I liken it to the base of a bowl. The wider the bottom of the bowl (or the flatter the swing plane), the more time you have to find the target. The narrower the bottom of the bowl, the more precise the release spot needs to be. The flatter plane allows for greater accuracy and consistency in your release.

A low posture doesn’t necessarily mean a longer swing plane, but it does allow for greater consistency. The more consistent you keep your posture, the more consistent your release: when your posture changes as you approach the line, the swing plane changes with it.

— Bryan O’Keefe is Assistant Coach and Facility Manager at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

Permission granted by USBC/Luby Publishing