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The Sport of Bowling

Bowling is an extremely popular sport throughout the world for people of all ages and its origins can be traced back to children’s games in ancient Egypt. All major cities and most small towns and villages in the United States and abroad have a bowling alley or a place where certain types of bowling-esque games are played. Bowling is a form of “target sport” wherein the bowler rolls a ball at a target (10 pins in the traditional sense) and attempts to knock – or bowl – them all down. Traditional pin bowling is played over a lane, which is basically a wooden surface with oil applied to it to facilitate the ball movement down the lane. The goal of traditional pin bowling is to knock all ten pins down each throw – effectually notching a “strike” in the frame. The most strikes per round will find that player declared the winner. Equipment for traditional bowling is fairly Spartan, necessitating only the pins, a ball (weighing anywhere from six to sixteen pounds) and specialized shoes to facilitate sliding on the oiled lanes. Other forms of bowling include bocce ball, lawn bowling, carpet bowling and even curling (played on an ice surface). Bowling has a long rich history as being the favorite pastime of US Presidents, kings, aristocrats, celebrities, luminaries and religious figures. Professional leagues have been established all over the globe with the PBA, or Professional Bowlers Association, being founded in 1958 in Akron, Ohio. To date, this is largely considered the highest level a professional bowler can achieve.

Important Muscle Groups for Bowling

The sport of bowling requires the athlete to engage a number of different muscle groups within the body. Muscles in the hands and arms – particularly the thumb, elbow and wrist areas will see a great deal of stress and strain during a round of bowling. Core muscles will be engaged as you move towards the throw and balance the ball on your approaches. Your shoulders and arms are engaged as you bring the ball up to steady it before a throw is made. The glutes and thigh muscles are engaged each toss so the legs should be in good working order when undertaking the sport of bowling.

A bowler’s main muscle group focus with respect to training and conditioning should be on the hand, the wrist and the elbow. The hand (and as a subset the thumb) is perhaps the most important factor in being able to control the track and speed of the ball down the lane to the target (pins). The muscles in the hand must be used with precision in order to be an effective bowler. Bowlers can use weight training and muscle memory exercises in order to keep their hands in pristine shape for the sport. The athlete’s thumb is key in controlling speed using a backhand grip style of toss (the most common). Thumb injuries can greatly hinder a bowler’s accuracy and overall success playing the game. The wrist, then, is crucially important for gripping and throwing the ball respectively. It works in direct coordination with the hand and the rest of the arm in unison to execute the toss down the lane. The elbow is the pivot point and is critical in the lateral movement adjustments needed to accurately aim and generate power to propel the ball down the lane. Stretching and weight training will greatly aid the competitive bowler in avoiding injury and improving overall accuracy during the duration of the round.

Nutrition for Bowlers

Nutrition for bowlers is going to be similarly important to any athlete that engages in long-term sustained activity. Getting plenty of dark, leafy greens that possess vitamins A & C as well as eating whole grains such as cereal, bread and pasta will help keep energy levels up during long play or tournament situations. Getting plenty of fruits and the appropriate amount of dairy will round out the bowler’s nutritional needs. Bowlers, specifically, need to be mindful of taking on extra body weight. Carrying too much body fat puts a great deal of stress on the body and can result in fatigue, affect training and result in a diminished skill level throughout the course of play. Bowling alleys are not typically known for their healthy food options (think baseball game, county fair food types). Salty snacks and sugary sodas or alcoholic beverages are all too often the only options so it is recommended that a competitive bowler forego the snack bar and bring their own healthy food options. Protein shakes, granola bars and fresh fruits will help the bowler achieve their health goals and provide them with sustainable energy during competitive play. 

‘Balanced Energy’ For the Bowler

Based on the particular needs and challenges of a bowler, we here at Vitagaming recommend our ‘Balanced Energy’ supplement to assist the athlete in boosting their performance. Particularly, the adaptogens found in ‘Balanced Energy’ are extremely effective in boosting stamina and energy levels as well as improving levels of attention, alertness, reducing fatigue, enhancing cognitive performance and boosting the bowler’s immune system. ‘Balanced Energy’ can take the place of an energy drink or sugary soft drink on the lanes as a healthy alternative when options at the bowling center are limited. The bowler will see enhanced vitality and stamina in a healthy and beneficial way.

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