Using Your Balance Arm in Bowling

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Do you know what to do with your balance arm? Odds are, you’ve never given it a serious thought, because most amateur bowlers don’t think about how they’re using their balance arm when they go through the motions of their bowling stroke.

For many bowlers the opposite arm does what it wants, and it’s just there to make sure they don’t fall over when they release the ball. But in this lesson, we want to give you a few simple tips that will alter the way you think about your balance arm, and teach you how to make slight adjustments to your stroke to help you get the most out of it.

Paying attention to your balance arm

Despite common thinking, the opposite arm is good for more than just maintaining your footing. With slight changes to timing and placement, the balance arm can actually affect ball speed, rev rate and even the action your ball takes on the lane. With that idea in mind, USBC Gold Coaches Stephen Padilla and Hank Boomershine talk about some of the ways you can improve your bowling stroke by being a bit more mindful of what you do with your opposite arm.

The coaches explain why some of the best bowlers in the world focus so heavily on their balance arm, and cite a few examples of pros who gain much needed leverage by tinkering with their opposite arm. To demonstrate this concept, Hank shows you a simple trick you can use during training to pay closer attention to what you’re doing with your balance arm during your stroke. See how a little bit of added weight on the wrist can drastically affect the way you think about that opposite arm!

Discussion
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5 Responses to “Using Your Balance Arm in Bowling”
  1. Howard

    Sorry but I cannot see any significant difference in the direction of the balance arm. Are you not promoting having it in front of your body rather than to the side the traditional way? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Howard. We agree that there isn’t a big visual difference in the opposite arm position in the student bowler videos provided. The important point, emphasized by coach Hank, is the bowlers feeling of the use of the opposite arm during the approach. It may be a slight physical change that enhances the game and provides the necessary adjustment for successfully repeating shots. The traditional opposite arm position can be affective if the bowler is flexible enough to repeat it. Having the opposite arm mirror the bowling arm can increase ball speed, leverage, and improve balance throughout the approach. The opposite arm position is different for every player and while it’s recommended that the opposite arm “mirror” the bowling arm for balance it’s simply not going to work for everyone. Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy.

      Reply
  2. Pitch Perfect

    I didn’t see any real difference in the position of his balance arm throughout the swing with the weight on it versus no weight!!! It would be really helpful in these videos if you would point out whatever differences you are trying to say are important right in the video sequence that they occur.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      There is currently no calculation, that we’re aware of, for all the variables that would affect pin carry and directly relating a percentage of a ball motion phase (50%, 75% etc.) to carry isn’t practical or applicable to a bowler’s game. Variables including speed, axis rotation, axis tilt, lane surface, lane condition, pin spot, etc. would all need to be factored in and precisely repeatable which again isn’t practical to a bowler’s abilities. Thanks for the recommendations with future video shoots, we’ll consider making these adjustments for clarity and better explanations.

      Reply

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