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EQUIPMENT Don’t laugh. Plenty of bowlers take

that approach. They’re also the ones who come to the center a few days lat- er saying, “Oh, my shoulder is really sore,” and “Oh, my legs are so sore,” and “Oh, my hand hurts because my ball doesn’t fit.” There are ways to avoid those pit-

falls, and they don’t require five days a week at the gym or a month of prac- tice. With a little physical preparation and a few short practice sessions you can get yourself back into bowling shape.

EXERCISE The first step in your bowling rehab doesn’t require a bowling center, or even a bowling ball. There is a lot of muscle memory

when it comes to sports, and when you are away from a sport for an extended period of time your mus- cles tend to forget what they were accustomed to doing. Bowling is about lower-body strength, not arm strength. Virtually all of your power in bowling comes from your legs. You get your leverage and stability from your legs, so getting them back into some semblance of bowling shape is important. Strengthening your legs also will enhance your stamina. Again, we’re not talking about

hours in the gym doing leg presses. Something as simple as walking

CHECKLIST BOWLING BALL: Does it still fit? Have your fit checked at the pro shop. You cannot out-bowl a bad fit!

SHOES: Do the soles and heels need to be changed, or just cleaned? Leather can get dry and crack after months of non-use.

ACCESSORIES: Make sure your bag includes thumb tape, scissors, rosin bag, grip sack, extra soles and/or heels.

TREAT YOURSELF: End-of- summer sales in the pro shop make this the perfect time to check out the ball/bag/shoe offers.

around the block four or five times after dinner will go a long way to in- creasing your leg strength and endur- ance. Work your way back into things slowly.

STRETCHING What you don’t want to do is risk injury. That means don’t be tempted to walk onto the lanes opening night and hurl that 16-pound ball at warp

speed on your first throw. Stretch your bowling muscles for 10 minutes a day in the weeks leading up to the start of leagues. Do shoulder stretches and wrist flexors, along with a few lunges and squats. Get your body mo- tivated again. Also, do a few dynamic stretches

like jumping jacks and torso twists just prior to bowling. After you are finished bowling, do a few static


stretches, like shoulder stretches and hand flexors, and you’ll be less likely to strain a muscle or tendon. Stretch- ing will also cut down on the tight- ness and soreness you might feel after your first few practices and league blocks.

EQUIPMENT A lot of factors impact how well your equipment fits and performs from

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