What is follow through in bowling?

The follow through is an important part of your shot. It isn’t as complex as some other moves in bowling, yet it plays a vital role.

In bowling, the follow through move is exactly what its name implies. You follow through with your movement and let your arm continue its upward journey till your elbow reaches the same height as your shoulder.

Read on to discover more about follow through in bowling. Learn about its importance and find out some tips to help you improve your follow-through. Happy reading! 

What is follow through in bowling?

What is follow through in bowling?

The follow through is one of the most important moves in bowling. By definition, it is the continuation of the upward motion of your arm after it releases the ball. To some, the follow through might seem unnecessary. Why carry on with your swing when the ball has already left your hand? Isn’t it pointless?

The answer is no. The follow-through is as important in executing a great shot as other moves, such as sliding and swinging your arm. It ensures that your shot is a controlled one and that the ball is released accurately. Stopping abruptly and not following through can result in your shot veering off target.

In the next sections, find out more about why follow through is important in bowling and what you can do to improve it.

Why is follow through important in bowling?

As we mentioned before, the follow-through is important because it allows your arm to continue its natural upward movement and thus release the ball accurately in the final moments. In essence, the follow through completes your shot. Moreover, with a proper follow through, you can impart more spin and speed on the ball!

The follow through isn’t just important in bowling. It is important in any sport in which you have to release the ball using your arm, such as cricket. If the bowler doesn’t follow through correctly, the ball will be released in an uncontrolled manner.

To sum it up, the follow through is an integral part of your bowling shot. If it is not carried out, the speed and accuracy of your shot will be affected.

Read more about speed here: How to Increase Bowling Ball Speed?

How should you execute a follow through?

As with any move in bowling, there are certain steps you must follow to correctly and effectively execute a follow through. You can follow these steps both in an actual game or in a practice session. Here are some of the steps.

  1. Warm yourself up and get into a position like you would normally do for a bowling shot.
  2. Commence your move and get ready to release the ball.
  3. Now comes the important part! As soon as you release the ball, don’t stop your arm’s upward swing abruptly. Instead, let it go upwards till your elbow is roughly level with your shoulder. Your arm should be fully extended throughout the move.
  4. At this point, your arm’s motion will have decelerated quite a bit, and you can stop it from going further. You can also choose to let it continue even further upwards if you’re comfortable with that.

Some follow through tips

Now you know how to execute a follow-through, it’s time to look at a few important tips to keep in mind when executing your follow through.

  • We’ll say this again, your arm should be fully extended during the follow through.
  • Your eyes should always be centered on the target, i.e., the bowling pins. Shifting your gaze away from the target at any point during the follow-through can make you lose control of your shot.
  • Some players also choose to let their arm go upwards, stopping when it reaches behind the ear. Although this follow through might seem quite fancy, it does work. If you’re more comfortable with this approach, then that’s fine too.
  • Your body should be perfectly balanced, and your arm’s movement should take place right next to your face.

How can I improve my bowling follow through?

Learning how to execute a perfect follow through isn’t enough if you’re trying to make your game better. Improving it is also important so that you can make your shots more accurate and consistent. 

The first step to improving your follow through is to start practicing. The practice sessions can either be done with the ball just like a normal game, or you can practice swinging your arm up and down without the ball.

Including stretching and jumping exercises as part of your warm-up can help you execute a follow through more easily. Your body becomes more active and flexible, enabling you to achieve better results.

Which players have the best follow-throughs?

Many top professional bowling players have an excellent follow through. This allows them to pack more power into their shots and execute them with precision. Here is a list of some of those players.

  • Michael Fagan. He executes the follow through perfectly, imparting lots of power and spin on the ball.
  • Pete Weber. Pete has one of the greatest follow-throughs. He raises his elbow higher than his shoulder.
  • Tommy Jones. He has a smooth follow-through and raises his arm fully; sometimes, his elbow goes higher than his shoulder.

What are some other important moves in bowling?

Besides the follow through, there are a few other moves that are essential in bowling. Here we mention some of them.

  • The slide. Bowlers slide to impart more spin and power in their shots.
  • The straight ball shot. This is a simple move in which the ball is released without imparting any spin.
  • The hook shot. In the hook shot, players spin and swing the ball to make their shot more powerful and effective.

The straight and the hook shot is part of the four basic shots in bowling. Here you can read an in-depth article on all of them: The 4 Basic Shots in Bowling


The follow through is an important part of a bowling shot. It completes it and ensures that the shot is controlled and accurate. Since stopping your arm immediately after releasing the ball increases the chances of the ball going off target, developing a good follow-through is important.

Check out the latest posts