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How To Begin The Bowling Arm Swing

Two key components of an effective bowling arm swing are tempo and direction. Tempo and direction have always been keys of successful arm swings so let's begin by learning how to begin the bowling arm swing.

Hold the bowling ball in your stance position with the center of the ball in positioned in front of your bowling shoulder so the ball is ready to begin the swing cycle along your target line path. Regardless if you refer to hold the ball knee high with your arm extended downward and the back of your hand resting on your leg, if you hold the ball waist high, or if you hold the ball shoulder high, begin the swing motion by moving the ball smoothly toward your target on the lane. Try to sequence the beginning movement of the ball with the first step of a four step approach or slightly before the first step.

It helps to reduce muscle tension by holding the ball against or very nearly against your body. The further from your body that you hold the heavy bowling ball, the more tension in your arm muscles will occur.

Place the ball into motion by allowing your bowling arm to extend fully in order to develop a full radius arm swing path. As you begin the first movement of the ball, simultaneously release your support hand from the ball so the weight of the ball will swing freely, smoothly, and uncontrolled into your back swing.

Ladies should consider holding the ball in the stance position a little further toward the outside edge of the bowling shoulder than men to avoid the ball from swinging back and contacting the leg or hip. A good rule of thumb is to hold the ball with the center part of the ball in front of the bowling shoulder or toward the outside edge of the bowling shoulder, a good technique when learning how to begin the bowling arm swing.

The first movement of the bowling ball is sometimes referred to as the "pushaway" motion. Smoothly "pushing" the ball toward your target on the lane will initiate the swing cycle. Once you have moved the ball into motion toward your target, your ball will swing naturally and smoothly with the force of gravity allowing your bowling arm to be fully extended as your arm begins the back swing cycle. As little of tension as possible in the muscles of your bowling arm will help you begin the "pushaway" motion in a smooth and consistent manner.

Try to avoid a quick and "jerky" motion when beginning the swing. Your "pushaway" can be shaped slightly into an outward and downward rolling motion if you hold the ball waist level or higher. If you hold the ball low with your ball just above knee level, as example, then you should move the ball forward toward your target and then allow the ball to swing back once your bowling arm is extended. In all cases, it is important to begin the swing cycle smoothly and allow your feet to match the pace of your arm swing while maintaining alignment with your target on the lane.

We hope these tips help you learn how to begin your swing. If you have any questions about swing direction techniques, we recommend you seek consultation with a certified bowling coach or with a top amateur/professional player in your area to work at improving the effectiveness of your arm swing.

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