How to Improve Bowling Arm Swing- Effective Tips for You

Bowling Arm SwingDo you want full-on consistency and accuracy in bowling? From beginners to many professional bowlers often struggle for a perfect arm swing. If you aren’t satisfied with the way your ball rolls on the lanes and hit the pins, perhaps, an incorrect arm swing is the reason behind it. You can ask your coach or your friends to observe your arm swing to identify the issue visually.

You can also set up cameras and see the recording of your bowling and how you’re swinging. Once you can identify the problem, you can start practice accordingly to improve bowling arm swing and be better at it. 

How Do You Improve Bowling Arm Swing?

There are many ways you can improve your bowling arm swing. All you need is patience, practice, and hard work. Let me elaborate:

Developing Free Swing

If you want to limit or get in control of your excessive muscle stimulation, the free swing is the best. Instead of you controlling the ball with your arm in a free arm swing, the ball controls your arm. Many amateur players tend to get their arms high as much as possible, thinking this will give them more rev rate and will create more energy. But, this high backswing actually does the opposite.

The main component of arm swing is to control your bowling speed and maintain accuracy. You’ll have to put only mild to light grip pressure and this will set up your swing first. When you’re standing with the ball in your hand, be relaxed and push the ball back. This will let the ball down and the gravitational energy will get your arm to the apex. As soon as you reach the apex, you’ll have to slide forward and release the ball without pulling and grabbing. Put only a minimum grip pressure on the ball. By lowering the grip pressure, you’re letting the energy to be created easily. Do not try to increase the speed at any cost.

You can also swing your bowling ball 2-3 times instead of just one. Free arm swing works best with one-step drills. It will help your arm relax and with only 50% of your usual effort, you’ll get perfect shots every time.

Use Electric Stimulators

Muscle tension can cause a bad arm swing. Hence the electric stimulators to increase/control your physiological and nervous activity level. Many bowlers use electric stimulators to correct their arm rotation while bowling. What electric stimulators really do during bowling is- they generate impulses that are delivered through adhesive pads (a.k.a. electrodes).

The muscle on which the device is connected gets stimulated. The impulses control the muscle contraction during your arm swing and ensure better ball release. It lets you focus on the angle and target. During the swinging motion, the stimulated muscle makes you aim in a particular manner so that you swing the ball surprisingly better. Practicing with electric stimulators help you get in control of your arm rotation. 

There are many well-designed electric stimulators out there in the market. To find the best one for yourself, first, learn the differences between Powerdot and Compex Stimulators. With devices like these, you can easily adapt to better arm swing, prevent arm swinging injuries, and improve your overall gameplay.

Shoulder and Arm Synchronization

Firstly, you must extend your bowling arm to exactly at your should level or higher and make sure the angle between your shoulder and your bowling arm is about 100°. Don’t forget to keep your shoulder parallel to the lane’s foul line. A proper relationship with your arm and shoulder will help you achieve consistency in your arm swing.

Aligning your shoulder with the foul line helps you deliver the ball with enough hook. Once you can do that, and your ball is in motion, seek a controlled and smooth backswing where the ball will reach at least to your should level or higher. To gain the repeatability of your arm swing direction, you’ll have to practice a lot. Whether you’re playing on dry or oily lanes, this technique will help you maintain the angle and same swing path every time you deliver the ball.  

Forearm Direction

Forearm gives you an indication as to what direction the ball will roll. The forearm direction in the downswing needs to stay straight up or in the same direction the bowling ball is pointed. If you notice your forearm rolling down or roll away, it can change the direction of the ball path. If you do that, it’s hard to achieve the repeatability of the same bowling ball swing. So, just keep the forearm in line with the swing direction. Your forearm has to stay up at your stance, and then during the downswing, the forearm will be pointing down to the floor. 

Thumb Positioning

If you’re facing bad arm swing even after these, you’re probably positioning your thumb the wrong way. During your release, if you suddenly decide to change the direction of the thumb position, it can give you a bad arm swing. For example, on the downswing rolls in toward your body, it places the ball inline or in the direction of your body and can take the ball off the line from the intended target.

Also if your thumb goes away from your body or out of the way of swing direction, it can change the arm swing shape and therefore, change the ball position and ruin your aim. So you need to be aware of the thumb position, relative to the forearm, and with all that you can ideally swing the ball straight from start to finish.      


Bowling is all about delivering the ball precisely to the lanes. And, for that, you need the perfect arm swing. If you’re facing issues with that, go through the article and try to identify and work on it. With sufficient practice, you can easily achieve consistency and accuracy in your arm swing. Thus you can improve your bowling arm swing. 


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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