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Swing Your Bowling Arm Up, Not Out


For years, bowlers were coached to “reach out” when delivering the bowling ball. In sports, coaching philosophies change and techniques improve over the years. At bowlingball.com, we are committed to paying attention to the evolving improvements in sports training techniques.

Today we prefer to coach bowlers to swing your bowling arm up, not out. Regardless of your delivery style, to maintain balance and leverage during the critical release phase of your approach, learn to swing your bowling arm up, not out.

If you over-reach instead of following through in an upward motion, you are in danger of leaning too far forward where your head and shoulders lean ahead of your bowling knee cap which pulls your trailing balance leg off of the approach floor. You also bend too far at the waist and the result is an overall loss of balance.

Allowing your head and upper body to lunge in front of your knees in an effort to extend your your bowling arm out when sliding at the foul line creates too much bending at the waist. By bending too far forward at the waist while you are releasing the bowling ball, you lose balance, leverage, and power and are in danger of pulling your ball off line.

By training your follow-through motion to swing your arm from your bowling shoulder in an upward motion to its full extension, you can maintain good body balance. Also, your spine angle will remain constant while delivering the bowling ball.

Your head and shoulders will remain aligned directly above your sliding knee, your head will not lower so far as to lose sight of your target. You will also increase your ability to deliver your ball accurately when you swing up, not out.

When a tailor measures your arm for a long sleeve shirt size, you are measured from your shoulder to your wrist. If that number measures 30 inches, for example, do not try to extend that measurement to 40 inches. Extending your arm swing by reaching out over the foul line too far causes the challenges mentioned above.

By allowing your arm to swing up to its natural extended length, you avoid over-rotating the bowling shoulder too far ahead of your non-bowling shoulder and you reduce the risk of losing accuracy when delivering your ball to your target.


If we closely examine the most successful professional bowlers, we see that “Strokers”, “Tweeners”, and “Power Players” all swing their arm upward without over-extending and reaching too far over the foul line.

It is important to make sure at the precise moment you release your bowling ball, the front part of your bowling shoulder is aligned to your intended swing path. Swinging your arm up will improve your ability to maintain accuracy and prevent a loss of balance and power.

The simple tip which really works is to swing your bowling arm up, not out.

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