Leah Zahner

Grip Control Exercise

Leah Zahner
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Duration:   1 mins

Bowling’s hook release consists of the thumb exiting the ball first with wrist rotation and the fingers releasing from their holes next. Bowlers hook the ball to get the most entry angle into the pocket, limiting pin deflection and ultimately giving them the best opportunity to strike.

The bowling ball is a heavy object, and our thumb, fingers, and wrist need to be as relaxed as possible to get the best hook possible. Grip-strength training is a great way to improve your wrist and hand function anytime, anywhere.

A Softball or Something of the Like

Start by holding the softball (or any other small object) in your hand and squeeze your fingertips to grip the ball while leaving your thumb free. Next, rotate your thumb. This grip-strength training will improve your range of motion and build strength in your fingers, thumb, and wrist.

You shouldn’t have any tension in your forearm while performing this exercise or while bowling. If you notice tension in your forearm while you are bowling, you should stop by your pro shop and get your fit checked. The reason those muscles are engaged is because you are actively squeezing the ball to hold onto it throughout your approach and release.

Take It to the Lanes

After you’ve completed your grip-strength training, head to the lanes and take the approach out of play. Utilizing a lightweight house ball, you’ll learn how to get the ball onto your hand and wrist at the point of release, creating leverage and a solid finish position in your physical game.

Here’s how:

  • – At the foul line, put your slide foot next to the foul line and your other foot behind you.
  • – Insert your fingers into a lightweight house ball and palm the ball onto your hand and wrist.
  • – Pick an arrow down-lane to target. It’s important to note that it is completely irrelevant where the ball ends up at the pins. Concentrate on hitting your target at the arrows.
  • – Bump the ball forward. Let the ball come back, keeping your elbow tight to your body during the backswing and release.

Check out Bowling Release Drill: Foul Line/No Step with a House Ball to see it in action. National Bowling Academy has another great video on grip about enhancing your bowling grip in different environments. And don’t forget to check out more bowling exercises that will help make the difference when working to improve your game.

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