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Your Bowling Swing Is The Thing

Everything in bowling is built around a good arm swing. The key components of an effective bowling arm swing are tempo and direction. If you are in the 160 or less average range, then developing a good swing will set you on the road to improvement.

Tempo and direction have always been keys of successful arm swings.

Once your bowling ball is set in motion at the beginning of your swing cycle, allow for a free, loose, and uncontrolled back swing along a path where the ball will attain a shoulder level or a higher height with your bowling hand positioned behind your shoulder at the completion of the back swing.

If your shoulders are parallel to the foul line, then your bowling swing will be aligned to release the ball up-the-boards of the lane. This swing alignment is useful if you do not hook the ball much.

If you have a release which encourages a decisive bowling ball hook motion, then your bowling shoulder should be slightly trailing your opposite shoulder during your approach and entering into your release. Your bowling shoulder may be from one to three inches lower than your non-bowling shoulder. All swing movement must be with little or no tension in your bowling arm.

The looseness of the back swing sets the stage for overall pace of your entire swing process. If your push-away motion (the beginning motion of your arm swing) and your back swing are restricted and slowed because of tension in your arm muscles, then the tempo of the swing will not be consistent from delivery to delivery.

It is important to develop a "gravity swing" whereby the tempo of your arm swing is developed by relaxing the muscles in your bowling arm. Allow the ball to swing uninterrupted from the beginning of the swing and throughout the back swing cycle.

From the height of the back swing, allow your ball to fall into the forward swing with little or no control with your arm. This “gravity swing” technique produces a reliable forward swing and prevents you from grabbing the ball at the top of the back swing and forcing your delivery.

Waiting for the forward swing and delivery is key to regulating ball speed and prevents an overturning motion of the ball during your delivery.

The bowling ball should be held with relatively light gripping pressure with slightly more pressure imparted on the bowling finger pads than on the inside gripping portion of the thumb. A consistent and light gripping pressure throughout the entire back and forward swing motions allows the muscles of your bowling arm to move smoothly and unencumbered toward the top of the back swing and forward to completion of the full follow-through motion.


The forward swing should move downward and under your bowling shoulder arriving next to the ankle of your slide bowling shoe with about one inch or less of space between the ball and your ankle bone to avoid hitting the ankle with your bowling ball as your hand begins to release the ball.

Ideally, the front part of your bowling arm should be facing the pins at the moment of release. The forward-swing continuing motion after the release, known as the follow-through, should also maintain a target orientation. The swing should follow-through high enough as to allow the elbow of your bowling arm to attain shoulder height or higher each and every delivery.

These tips will help you produce effective, smooth swings with good tempo and direction and, also help you regulate ball speed control. Your swing is the thing!

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