Strength Training For Bowling – What You Can Do Now!

Ever considered Strength Training for Bowling? I’ve often seen the surprise on people’s faces when I say strength training and bowling go hand in hand. It’s true that bowling seems more about skill, timing, and precision.

But underpinning these is a foundation of physical strength that many overlook. Years of experience have led me to recognize that by boosting muscular power, bowlers can elevate their game to surprising new heights.

The idea isn’t to bulk up like a bodybuilder. Instead, the goal is targeted strength that enhances performance on the lanes. From stabilizing your core for that perfect swing to the explosive power in your final release. The application of strength training can make a profound difference.

This article isn’t just a collection of exercises. It’s a comprehensive guide designed to give bowlers an edge over the competition. You’ll learn not only what kind of exercises to do but when and how to do them to coincide with the bowling season.

Here is a great article on Pro bowler Kyle Troup and how getting fit advanced his performance. Superstar Bowler Kyle Troup

But before we charge ahead, you need to understand a concept that gives structure to this entire approach: periodized training. It’s a method that breaks down training into phases, each with its specific goals. Getting a grip on this will change how you see sports training and especially how you apply it to bowling.

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Unlocking Peak Performance – The Role of Periodized Training

Periodized training might sound like a term reserved for elite athletes, but it’s just as relevant for bowlers aiming to improve their game. Essentially, it’s a systematic training approach that changes workout variables over time.

This method is designed to optimize performance and reduce overtraining risk by dividing the training schedule into distinct phases. Each phase targets different fitness components, building upon the last to progressively improve your physical abilities.

Understanding the importance of periodization can give you a strategic edge. Bowlers who skip it often hit plateaus, suffer injuries or burn out. They’re not giving their bodies the necessary stimuli to advance.

Periodization works because it respects the body’s need for adaptation. Imagine your muscles encountering the same weights and exercises every session. Soon, they adjust, and your strength gains stall. But if you vary your intensity, volume, or exercise selection, your muscles keep adapting, and you keep improving.

The relevance of periodization in bowling becomes evident when considering the sport’s demands. These include explosive strength for the delivery and endurance to last multiple games.

By periodizing your strength training, you’ll address all these facets strategically, ensuring you’re not just strong but also sport-specifically fit.

Now, it’s crucial to translate this concept into a practical regimen tailored to a bowler’s calendar. This is where we progress into designing a seasonal training plan.

Crafting Your Knockout Plan – Strength Training For Bowling This Season

Bowling might not appear as grueling as other sports, but successful bowlers know the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Creating a specialized strength training regimen that syncs with the ebb and flow of the bowling season is CRUCIAL for peak performance. Let’s walk through each phase of the seasonal cycle and understand what it takes to roll with the best of them.

EARLY PRE-SEASON: Laying the Foundation with Functional Strength. The early pre-season phase is about preparing your body for the demands ahead. Your objectives here are to build a solid base of functional strength and bulk up a bit, within reason. I focus on compound movements–like squats and deadlifts–that enhance coordination and engage multiple muscle groups necessary for bowling.

Transitioning into the LATE PRE-SEASON, you’ll want to shift from general conditioning toward achieving maximum power output. At this point, exercises become more dynamic and specific to the movements of bowling.

Think plyometrics, medicine ball throws, and high-intensity interval training. These are designed to equip you with the explosive power needed for that perfect delivery.

When the competitive stage arrives, the IN-SEASON training aims to maintain the peak conditions you’ve worked so hard to build. The strategy is simple: maintain, not gain.

Concentrate on core stability and light resistance workouts that keep you at the zenith of your prowess without causing fatigue that could impair your game.

The OFF-SEASON calls for a downshift in intensity. It’s about rest and recovery, yes, but your fitness shouldn’t take a complete vacation. Engage in light activities, think swimming or yoga; keep your body moving and ready for the cycle to begin anew.

Mastering the Moves: Targeted Exercises for Bowling Vitality

The journey to boost your bowling game significantly starts with mastering key exercises that elevate upper and lower body strength. Splitting the focus between these two areas ensures a harmonious development in the muscles that matter most in bowling.

For the upper body, think about the crucial role your shoulders, arms, and core play in delivering the ball. Tightening up these areas not only enhances ball control but also reduces the risk of injury.

Let’s address exercises like the overhead press, which improves shoulder stability and strength. The bench press, which fortifies the chest and arms. And core exercises such as planks and rotational twists to ensure a firm, powerful core.

When I say precise form and technique take priority over the amount of weight lifted, it stems from a focus on injury prevention and maximizing the benefits of each exercise. No matter the enthusiasm, it’s better to start light and increase the load gradually.

Don’t forget: a sturdy lower body is the launch pad for that explosive release at the foul line. Bowlers will benefit from squat variations and lunges that contribute to robust leg muscles and endurance. Including deadlifts can also aid in developing a strong back—critical for maintaining good posture during the approach and delivery.

For beginners, the key to success lies in learning the correct form with lighter weights before scaling up. Experienced athletes might explore more intensive routines, perhaps blending powerlifting with agility-focused exercises to maintain speed and flexibility along with muscle gain.

To seamlessly transition from strength to skill, weave these exercises together by following a well-considered schedule. Doing this leads us into essential tips for bowlers on how to approach weight training systematically and sustainably, forming the crux of the next section.

Empowering Your Game With Strength Training For Bowling

Throughout this guide, I’ve presented a comprehensive strength training regimen tailored for the unique demands of bowling. You’ve found out how special workouts can really help your bowling skills. And you’ve learned some exercises to make your arms and legs stronger. And how to plan your training throughout the year.

By faithfully following these practices, you stand to gain not just speed and power in your delivery, but also build a defense against injury. It’s vital to remember that the end goal isn’t merely to become stronger, but to transform that strength into more precise and consistent bowling performances.

If you’re new to the concept of weight training for bowling, I encourage you to start slow. Focus on mastering the form and technique of each exercise before ramping up the weight. Your patience will pay off with improved muscle balance, coordination, and endurance on the lanes.

For seasoned bowlers who already incorporate strength training, keep pushing your limits while listening closely to your body. Remember, progress is a gradual climb and plateaus are an opportunity to reassess and refine your approach.

To bolster your knowledge further, and for those looking for a deeper dive into the intricacies of strength training for bowlers, seeking out additional resources such as professional coaching, reputable fitness websites, and instructional videos can be especially beneficial.

By challenging common misconceptions about weight training for bowlers and emphasizing science-backed practices, I hope to have shown you how integrating strength training into your regimen is crucial for elevating your game.

Thank you for joining me in exploring the powerful role that strength training plays in the world of bowling. May your commitment to these exercises bring you steadier strides, mightier rolls, and, most importantly, a sport you can enjoy healthily and enthusiastically for years to come.

Sample Bowling Strength Training Workout Schedule

Day 1: Upper Body Focus

Day 2: Rest or Light Cardio

  • Rest day or engage in light cardio activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming for 20-30 minutes.

Day 3: Core Strength and Stability

Day 4: Lower Body Focus

Day 5: Rest or Active Recovery

  • Rest day or engage in gentle activities like yoga or foam rolling to aid recovery and flexibility.

Day 6: Full Body Circuit

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio
  • Circuit (complete 3 rounds with minimal rest between exercises):
    • Push-ups (10-12 reps)
    • Bodyweight Squats (12-15 reps)
    • Plank (30-60 seconds)
    • Dumbbell Rows (10-12 reps per arm)
    • Russian Twists (12-15 reps per side)
  • Cool-down: Stretching for the entire body

Day 7: Rest and Recovery


  • Ensure proper form and technique for each exercise to prevent injury.
  • Adjust the number of sets and repetitions based on your fitness level and individual needs.
  • Listen to your body and rest if you experience any pain or discomfort.
  • Stay hydrated and refuel with a balanced diet to support your training efforts.

By following a weekly routine you will not only improve your bowling game, but your overall health as well.


Frequently Asked Questions
Why should bowlers consider strength training?
Strength training enhances performance by boosting muscular power for a more precise and powerful delivery.
Is strength training just for bulking up?
No, it’s about targeted strength to improve performance, not bodybuilding.
What is periodized training?
Periodization systematically changes workout variables over time to optimize performance and reduce overtraining risk.
What exercises are essential for bowling vitality?
Exercises like overhead press and squats strengthen key muscles for better control and power.
How can beginners start strength training for bowling?
Start slow, focus on form, and gradually increase weight to avoid injury and improve muscle balance and coordination.

Thank you for reading my article. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will answer you ASAP.


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4 thoughts on “Strength Training For Bowling – What You Can Do Now!”

  1. Your article caught my attention because as you said at the beginning of your article, not many are aware that such exercises are needed for Bowling. 

    Bowling is a sport, and all sports need exercise if one wants to take them seriously or professionally. For those who want to take bowling seriously, your article is a must-read. For people like me who take bowling or karting as entertainment do you think this segment also needs to consider such exercises?

    • Hi Investor,

      You are right on when you say all sports require exercise! many bowlers believe that they get plenty of exercise from bowling. That is simply not true. Sure, you get some exercise from bowling, but not enough to keep you healthy and able to perform at your best. Karting is a very physically demanding sport and definitely requires a regular exercise routine! Some exercises could be changed to meet the demands of that sport.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, please stop back soon!


  2. As a dad who’s always looked for ways to bond with my kids over sports, I’ve recently turned our attention to bowling. It’s been fantastic for family outings, but now we’re getting a bit more competitive, and I want to ensure we’re all playing at our best. The concept of strength training for bowling caught my eye, and I see it could be a game-changer for us. Before diving into a new workout routine, I have a few questions to make sure it’s suitable for the whole family. Firstly, how can I adapt these exercises for different age groups, especially considering my youngest is eager to join in but is significantly younger? Also, regarding periodized training, is there a simplified approach that can fit into a busy family schedule, perhaps focusing on the most impactful exercises? And lastly, with an emphasis on injury prevention, what are the key signs I should watch for to ensure none of us push too hard or risk strain, particularly with the more dynamic exercises like plyometrics?

    • Hi Kyle,

      Thank you for sharing your experience and interest in strength training for bowling! It’s fantastic to hear that you’re finding ways to bond with your kids through sports like bowling.

      When it comes to adapting strength training exercises for different age groups, especially with younger participants, safety and proper form are paramount. For your youngest family member, consider focusing on bodyweight exercises and lighter resistance to ensure they can participate safely. You can also incorporate fun and engaging activities that mimic the movements of bowling, such as medicine ball throws or bodyweight squats.

      As for periodized training, simplifying the approach to fit into a busy family schedule is definitely achievable. You can prioritize the most impactful exercises that target essential muscle groups for bowling performance, such as core stability, upper body strength, and lower body power. Designing shorter, more focused workout sessions that can be completed together as a family can make it easier to stay consistent and see progress over time.

      In terms of injury prevention, it’s crucial to pay attention to any signs of discomfort or strain during exercise. Encourage your family members to listen to their bodies and avoid pushing too hard, especially with dynamic exercises like plyometrics. Watch for signs of fatigue, excessive soreness, or any sharp pain, and modify or stop the activity if necessary. Emphasizing proper warm-up, cool-down, and stretching routines can also help reduce the risk of injury.

      By incorporating these considerations into your family’s strength training regimen, you can enjoy the benefits of improved performance on the bowling lanes while promoting safety and enjoyment for everyone involved.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment and asking some great questions as well!

      Best of luck to you and your family on your bowling journey!

      Warm regards, 



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