Bowling is a fun sport enjoyed by people from all walks of life. One of the reasons why bowling is so popular is because anyone with the smallest amount of coordination can play the game. Of course, the more coordination you have the better as you will be able to perfect the most important part of bowling, the approach.

The Importance of the Bowling Approach

In order to succeed in the sport of bowling, you need to have a proper bowling approach. Without a quality approach, it is difficult to duplicate your throwing motion every frame and consistently receive a high score. Using the proper bowling steps enables you to gain more power with your throws and therefore receive higher scores. The bowling approach keeps your bowling steps in alignment you’re your throwing motion, which in turn keeps your body stable and allows you to release the ball in one fluid motion. This will increase your accuracy while bowling and have a dramatic effect on your overall bowling success.

Types of Bowling Approaches


The Four-Step Approach:

The Four-Step Approach is one of the most popular bowling approaches. It is called the Four Step Approach because you take four steps during your approach before releasing the ball. This approach is designed to help keep your body balanced and stable so that you can throw the ball accurately at your target.

To perform the Four-Step Approach, you need to start with your feet together. Your first step will be with your swing side foot, the foot on the same side of your body as your throwing hand, and will end on the opposite foot. As you are taking your first step, you will want to begin your pushaway at the same time. If you time this correctly, your push away should have good stability since your foot will be almost directly under your ball. To help with your stability, you will want to use both hands to support the ball and keep it in line with your shoulder and your target.

Remember to not grip the ball too tightly as you will have unnecessary tension in your hand, arm, wrist, and shoulder joint. You can use your balance arm to support the ball in your swingside hand to reduce this tension as needed. Also, you must keep your back upright and firm. You may want to follow the ball with your upper body, but it is important to keep your back straight and upright. Repeating the phrase, “lead with my chest” will remind you to keep your back straight.

Your shoulders must also stay level if you want to achieve the perfect throwing motion. Keeping your shoulders and back in a rigid “T” will allow your swing side arm to move freely. Keep your knees straight but not locked as well and make sure to land on your heel during the first step. Using a normal heel-toe walking stride will help keep your balance and avoid stomping and shuffling.

The Five-Step Approach:

The Five-Step Approach is a more advanced bowling approach used by many professional bowlers. The Five-Step Approach is essentially the same as the Four-Step Approach with an added fifth step. The fifth step is really just a half step that helps a bowler achieve more balance, power and stability during the bowling approach.

When attempting the Five-Step Approach, you will want to begin your approach a half step further back than you normally would when attempting the Four Step Approach. When taking the first half step, you will want to keep the ball motionless in your hands. After the first step, your mechanics will be the same as the Four-Step Approach where the ball will coincide with your steps.

For a right-handed bowler, the steps during the Five-Step Approach will go left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, and ending on your left foot as you slide during your throw. The ball will remain stationary during the first step. During your second step, you will push the ball away from your body a little bit to stabilize it in your throwing hand. When making your third step the ball will drop down as you prepare to bring it back during your approach. The fourth step sees the ball starts to drop in your pendulum swing. Finally, during the fifth step, you will release the ball as you are sliding on your left foot, keeping your eye on the target the whole time.

There is no right bowling approach. You should use the approach that feels the most comfortable and provides the best results. Most beginners and intermediate players will utilize the Four-Step Approach as it is the most natural bowling approach. However, if you are looking to improve your game by increase the power of your throw, consider switching to the Five-Step Approach. The extra step can really have dramatic effects on your bowling results. Just remember to not get discouraged while practicing the Five-Step Approach as you are sure to have some difficulties making the adjustment at first when adding a new step into your bowing approach.

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