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Bowling Preparation: Why Stretching is Important

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

Bowling Injuries ARE Possible

Bowling injuries are not very common, but it is possible to hurt yourself while bowling. The most common types of bowling injuries are in the back, shoulders and legs. In order to avoid injuries, as with any sport, it is important to stretch before your game or match.

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The body part bowlers injure most often is their backs. The twisting motion of coming forward from approaching the lane to releasing the ball can often hurt a person’s back. People who bowl fast and put a lot of power behind the ball are especially prone to get hurt this way.

Shoulder and arm injuries are caused when bowlers swing the bowling ball to roll it down the lane. This puts strain on the ligaments and tendons of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Without proper stretching, not only is a bowler more susceptible to pull these muscles and tendons and less commonly, leg injuries.

Stretch to Get Your Bowling Game On

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Stretching your joints and muscles before your bowling game is the single most important way to prevent injuries. Bowling really involves the whole body, so bowlers should not just concentrate on one area, but a full-body stretch instead. Neglect of any body part can lead to injury in that area.

Back

There are numerous ways to stretch your back. One way is for the bowler to lie on their back, with their right arm extended out to the side. The right leg is bent at the knee and pulled across the body with the left hand. This should be repeated for the other side.

Hips

While standing with feet shoulder width apart, the bowler lunges forward with the right leg, until the stretch can be felt in front of the opposite hip. They then step back into position and lunge with the opposite leg, feeling the stretch in the other hip as well.

Legs

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Since there are so many muscles in the legs, they require more stretches. There are three areas of the leg that need stretching, the calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
  • For the calves, putting the hands on a chair or other low surface and leaning forward into the stretch.
  • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, the bowler should bend forward pulling their head and torso as closely to their legs as they can. This stretches the back of the thighs.
  • Holding on to a chair and standing on one leg, pulling the other foot back as far toward the buttocks as possible will stretch any bowler’s quadriceps nicely.

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There are a couple of important points to remember about stretching. The first is to NEVER bounce a stretch. Leaning into, or increasing it gradually without bouncing can further prevent injuries. Also, a bowling stretch, or any other stretch for that matter must be held for more than 10-15 seconds to be effective. The longer the stretch, the more the bowler will be able to feel the muscles loosen up.

Bowlers can significantly decrease the chances of suffering injury by making sure that they stretch out before each match or game. Young and old bowlers alike should take at least 5 minutes to do this before beginning to bowl. This way, they will be able keep bowling for as long as they like injury free!

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