A majority of sports involve the use of hands – tennis, basketball, football, baseball. Basically, anything that involves the use of a handheld tool and a ball requires careful hand-eye coordination.
Sometimes a sport requires you to have good feet positioning, such as golf. Bowling falls under the bowling category where the feet are as involved as the hands do. So next time you go play at a center like Bowlero, do serious footwork because it’s a necessity.
Your Feet Helps With Your CoG
In physics, the CoG (center of gravity) is the place where all the mass is concentrated. For example, a circular disc’s center of gravity is in the middle, while a triangle’s is in the intersection of all three lines that originate from the corners going perpendicular to the opposite side.
Your body has a center of gravity too, and it depends on whether you’re a male or a female. Men have higher centers of gravity due to the inverse triangular shape formed by the shoulders and the hip, while women have lower centers of gravity.
The center of gravity is important because it shifts when an additional weight is present. In the case of bowling, this additional weight will shift the CoG to the side of the body where the arm is holding the ball.
You don’t want to be toppling forward when you swing the ball, that’s why positioning your feet effectively helps you make better throws during the approach.
Women innately have more stability when it comes to bowling because of their lower CoG, but that doesn’t mean men can’t work around with theirs.
After playing several games, you will have noticed that most of the weight will transfer from the center of your body to somewhere else. This area will be between the hand that’s holding the ball and the side of the body where the ball is near.
Taking advantage of this weight shift will lessen the chances of you falling over, plus you save yourself from the additional embarrassment that comes with you sliding across the lane instead of the ball.
Your feet affect how you set up your stance, and how your spine is aligned, to a degree. What you want to happen is for the spine to not bend out too much, as it is naturally curved forward and backward, not left and right.
The natural foot alignment during a stance would be for the leading foot to be slightly behind, about 2 or 3 inches.
While this may look weird when reading about it, it’s the natural position your feet will lock into when holding the ball in your hand. It helps support more weight from behind during the backswing and prevents you from falling backwards.
As most of your weight is centered in the abdomen, it makes sense that the bone structure supporting the body the most would be the spine. Several muscles are engaged when in a position prior to swinging the ball. Just making sure the feet are positioned properly helps prevent injuries.
In bowling, everything matters – the type of shoes or if you use two hands or one during the approach.
It’s barely noticeable, but people who have been playing for a long time take into account if their foot is sliding across the floor. Not only does this help with lessening weight transfer between each step, it also helps increase ball motion by bringing the momentum forward.
Heel placement is also an important factor during the approach. During the time the ball is swinging forward, the center of gravity also shifts towards the ball. For men, this will be a problem. If the center of gravity shifts outside the body, they will find themselves being thrown forward.
Most people who make this mistake are using their toes to stop their bodies. The toes aren’t reliable because of their limited contact with the floor. If the heels are used, it has a wider surface, and hence, a bigger stopping power.
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