According to my observation, many newbie 2-handed bowlers have an awkward feeling when adopting the 2-handed style. I wonder if we can have simple steps for anyone to start bowling with 2 hands and quickly enjoy the game? I found it and would love to share it with you guys in this article.
My tips are truly short and simple. Once you understand the concept, you can quickly adopt this style and can even teach anyone how to bowl 2 handed within a few minutes. My tip is:
Spine rotation – Open hips – Elbow In
Let’s go to break it down!”Let’s go with spine rotation. There are 3 primary movements that contribute to the swing of 2 handed bowlers.
1. Forward spine tilt
2. Lateral spine tilt
3. Upper spine rotation”
Firstly, the Forward spine tilt
Lean forward a bit when holding the ball with 2 hands at waist height. By doing this, the ball is positioned right in the center of your body giving you a stable and grounded feeling to be ready to go.”
Secondly, lateral spine tilt.
Lateral spine tilt gives you room to swing the ball. Without lateral spine tilt, there would be no swing slot for the ball. Basically, the body naturally adopts the lateral spine tilt when you turn to the side for the ball to have room to swing back and forth. Lateral spine tilt also decides your ball launch angle.
Forward and lateral spine tilt is the 2 main basic movements contributing to both 1 handed and 2 handed styles. It’s easy to understand. And if you are aware of these basic movements, your learning progress would be much easier.
The third movement is the upper spine rotation
This is what many people don’t realize. According to my observation, by instinct, most newbie bowlers use the rotator cuff joint as the hinge to swing their bowling arm when bowling 2 handed. In fact, the upper spine rotation is the main movement that triggers the 2 handed swing.
The human upper spine or thoracic spine starts from T12 up to T1 vertebrae. This part of the human spine is designed to have a larger angle of rotation than the lower or lumbar spine.
You can see the difference in the range of rotation between these 2 parts of the spine.
The upper spine rotation helps you turn your left shoulder to the right side and make it align back and forth with the right shoulder. And that is exactly the movement of the 2 handed bowling swing. You also use a bit of the rotator cuff joint during the swing but the main trigger is from the upper spine rotation.
If you only use the rotator cuff joint to trigger the swing, it would look like this. You see the range of motion of the shoulder is limited. ”
“If you are a 1-hander switching to 2-handed style, you can temporarily forget the concept of “free swing”. Because it’s not fully adapted for the swing of 2 handed style.
The difference in bio-mechanics between 1-hander and 2-handers is 1 hander creates power by utilizing the swing height + foot speed + body kinetics. The proportion of each element depends on their style. But 2 handers create power by mostly utilizing the body’s kinetic energy and then foot speed. The body’s kinetic energy comes from the movement of skeletal and muscle movements.
Forward spine tilt, lateral spine tilt, and upper spine rotation are the 3 main movements of 2 handed bowling swing. The 3 movements altogether create an optimized swing. It’s crucial to understand these movements when learning 2 handed styles. Otherwise, you would be confused and don’t know how 2 handers swing their balls.
Now let’s examine the second element: The open hips.
Open hips help make average 2 handers become the good ones. Open hips, together with the lateral spine tilt open space for the swing slot and help your arm stay more behind the ball during the downswing.
Lateral spine tilt is crucial for the swing slot but it’s not enough without the open hips.
By instinct, your body adopts the lateral spine tilt and open hips when you bowl 2 handed. However, there’re still many newbie bowlers struggling with these 2 movements to have an optimized swing. The reason lies in the way you align your body and approach the foul line.
At the moment, there are 3 types of body alignment and approach.
The first style is the preset alignment.
“With this style, you turn your body and match it to the target line with a preset swing slot and open hips. This style of alignment is mostly adopted. You nearly have no problem with the open hips using this style.
The second style is called “walk-straight-to-the-foul-line”. Some people don’t like to preset their body alignment. They stand in a perpendicular line to the foul line, walk straight to the foul line, and turn their body to match the target line during the approach.
Bowlers with this style often struggle with the open hips problem. Walking straight on a line twists your lower body, and when your hips begin to open, it opens like a compressed spring which exaggerates the open hips and ruins your ball launch angle. Some bowlers manage to adjust this flaw but not quite many people can, so they struggle.
This problem can be resolved with the drift step technique. This style is the signature move of Jason Belmonte. With this style, bowlers stand in a perpendicular line to the foul line and don’t open their bodies or hips to the target line. They drift left on the 1st step of the 5 step approach. The first drift step helps prevent the lower body twist and moderate the open hips so that you can control the swing slot, and the ball launch angle and especially stay more behind the ball before the release.
In my experience, when applying the drift step, most bowlers would feel more comfortable swinging their balls. So you can try and see.
In some special cases, if you are using the preset alignment style and struggle with the open hips, you can also try the drift step to fix it.”
Now we move to the last element: Elbow In
Watching many newbie bowlers’ videos from behind, I came up with this tip. What people usually do with their swing is unconsciously flare their elbows to the outside part of the body. These bowlers often complain that they struggle with keeping their hand more behind the ball.
The problem is easy to explain. When you keep your elbow to the outside part of the ball when swinging, you’ve already seeded your bowling hand to the side of the ball when releasing it.
The fix is also easy. Just tuck your elbow to the inside part of the body when pushing the ball away. The convenience is when you tuck your elbow inside, the arm automatically pushes the ball forward. So you don’t need to think of pushing the ball away but tuck the elbow inside the body only. Once you adopt the tucked elbow, the problem is immediately fixed. Easy right?
So that’s it. Let’s conclude the tips: Spine rotation – Open hips – Elbow In. When training new 2 handed bowlers, you should watch them roll the ball by instinct first, then see if they need to adjust any of these 3 elements. Some bowlers are gifted with these 3 elements from the 1st day rolling with 2 hands. But if they’re not, you can help them quickly adopt this style with these 3 simple tips.
- Show them the basic movement of the spine rotation. You can showcase using the foul line drill like this.
- Helps them adjust the open hips if they struggle with it. You can tell them to try the drift step if needed.
- Tell them to try the elbow in.
Then there they go! Simple and easy.”
Now, it’s time you hit the lanes and try my tips. If it helps improve your game, don’t forget to subscribe and give me some comments; also, like or share this article with your friends if they want to improve. See you in the next article. Until then, enjoy bowling!