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The Warm-Up Before Your Bowling Warm-Up

Let’s look at warming up before taking your warm-up deliveries prior to beginning your league or tournament competition. Everyone knows they will get a few warm-up shots before recording scores in competition but those bowlers who also take care to stretch their bodies and do a few warm-up exercises before beginning the competitive session accomplish a couple of additional and useful things.

First, taking a few moments to stretch your body before you bowl helps you avoid possible pulled muscles or lower back injuries when attempting to swing and deliver a heavy bowling ball.

Warming up before delivering your bowling ball shortens the time to be completely ready to bowl for score. It gets you up to full operating speed when you might only get three or four warm-up deliveries before starting your competitive session.

Bowlers in cold climates typically take longer periods of time to get ready to bowl than do those bowlers living in warm climates. Everyone understands being limber and loosened up before bowling for score is an advantage but it is surprising how few bowlers do any stretching or pre-bowling physical exercising prior to competition.

Stretching before you make your first delivery is a good way of getting the muscles of your legs and arms loose, warm and ready to bowl. Since you must walk and swing your bowling ball in a synchronized manner, it makes sense to stretch your leg muscles before beginning to bowl.

Slow and smooth stretching exercises working the big muscles of your legs is key to limbering the legs in preparation to bowl. Stretch your hamstring muscles and the big muscles in the front of your legs to a point where the legs feel warm and stimulated before bowling. Make this practice a permanent part of your warm-up routine.

Because you must make a good knee flexing motion when sliding and releasing the bowling ball, your legs need to be relaxed, stretched out enough to avoid injury, and allow for a long stride and sliding action into the foul line.

If you stretch for just a few moments slowly and smoothly before beginning to bowl, you will start off your session with good tempo and good footwork to the foul line.

Avoid hurried motions by walking quicker than your footwork pace when you are bowling your best. Anxiety creates tension and tension keeps your muscles tight. Tight muscles will not move as consistently as when properly loosened and stretched in preparation for bowling.

The same strategy should be used with your arm muscles and with limbering the shoulders before bowling. Again, general stretching exercises will work nicely regarding your upper body muscles.

Rotate your arms, one arm at a time, in a swinging full-range of motion in large circles slowly and smoothly and then reverse the rotational direction. This type of motion loosens the shoulder sockets and the big muscles of the arm and gets your blood flowing before you bowl.


Stretch your arm across your body to a full extension and with your opposite hand placed on your elbow of the arm which rests against your torso, gently stretch the arm so the shoulder muscles get loosened in preparation to deliver the bowling ball.

Stretch both arms in the same fashion individually. It is never a good idea to stretch only one side of your body but rather stretch both legs and both arms in the same manner during the warm up process. It is also a good idea to loosen your hand, wrist, and ankles before releasing a bowling ball at full speed, particularly for those of you living in cold climates.

Make sure your first four or five warm-up deliveries are at half speed. Do not rush to release the ball at full operating speed until you have made several deliveries.

By building gradually to your full speed, you will retain consistent tempo and make good bowling ball releases as opposed to hurrying your first full-speed delivery without warming up to the task.

Develop a pre-shot routine like the pro bowlers use. Each time you get ready to bowl, perform your physical stretching exercises. Be precise in your warm-up routine just as you wish to be when delivering the bowling ball. In fact, many bowlers like to stretch a little at home or at work before heading over to the bowling center.

We recommend you consult a certified bowling instructor or local bowling professional to help you improve your game. The same holds true with consulting your doctor or a physician about warming up properly before beginning your session on the lanes. A good coach and proper medical advice can both benefit your game tremendously.