Fighting the Aging Process
While bowling isn't an extremely physical sport, it will wear you down over the years. When I was younger (and I think many can say the same) I took for granted my health. Now, having just turned 32, things are very different.
I suffer from a strutural knee problem on my sliding leg, my elbow hurts and even causes my arm to fall asleep a lot, and my hip bothers me from time to time. After talking to a specialist, it was recommended that I spend time working out my quad muscles to help reduce the pain in my knee. This brings me to an important aspect that I think can really help a bowler's game.....working out.
I think it's important to understand that the repetative nature of bowling will slowly cause damage to your muscles and joints. I know a tonne of bowlers that no longer bowl due to injuries and pains. I think everyone needs to be proactive to protect yourself from your body breaking down.
Common problem areas for bowlers are knees, shoulders and backs. There are many different ways to build these areas, without spending a lot of time invested.
Legs: Start with something simple. A lot of work on your quad muscles can help in this area. Start with squats, without weights and work your way up to light weighted squats. Another good exercise is to do lunges, once again starting without weights then slowly working your way to what is called active lunges.
Shoulders: I think it's important not to overdo your shoulders. A lot of time people try to use too much weight when working out the shoulders. Simple overhead shoulder presses work well. Another great exercise is the shoulder fly. A few reps of these with light to moderate weight will get you feeling the burn in no time.
Back: The back is tricky due to the fect that you don't always feel the burn right away. Be careful not to overwork your back. Bent over rows and back extensions are my personal favourite back exercises.
It's important that even if you're younger and are in great shape, that you should really look at investing the time into doing some light exercises to avoid problems down the road. I've already seen too many great bowlers hampered by problems, which have reduced their bowling abilities and desire and especially with the large increase in hard throwers in our game. Problems will arise down the road and now is the time to prevent those problems when you get older.