Do You Have To Be Fit To Play Bowls? | A Complete Guide

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 2 min.

Bowls is a sport for all, regardless of your age, gender or physical ability. However, many older people don’t feel they are “fit” enough to play. But is this true?

Many bowlers at the top level train as athletes. Also, watching these players getting right down to the floor in their delivery stride can also put many older potential bowlers off.

So just how fit do you have to be to play? Is there a base fitness you need to play, and enjoy the game? Lets have a closer look.

Do you have to be fit to play bowls?

No, you do not have to be fit to play bowls. Even older bowlers with mobility issues can still play with adjusted techniques, support, and aids.

For the average person you can start playing straight away without any special training. You may find your legs are a bit sore after the first few games, but your body will soon get used to it!

For those who feel they may need some support, either because of old age, or from having something like arthritis there are many aids to help you.

Does fitness help when playing bowls

If you want to be competitive in bowls at county, national or international level then being fit will help.

Bowls is a game of repetition, and your bowling stride should be as balanced and controlled from the first shot through to the last – especially if you have to play multiple games in a day.

Having some decent lower body and core endurance will be important.

However, if you just play at club level, or for the social side of the game, then there is no need to be concerned with your fitness levels.

How to get fit for playing bowls

There are plenty of exercises you can do to get fit for playing bowls, however, the best way is to simply play a lot of bowls.

By playing a lot you are getting your body used to the movements required to compete.

Bowls is also a game played over a long period of time – often several hours. It is extremely difficult to recreate that off the green.

If, however you are looking to improve your fitness, and are already playing as much as you can then check out my guide on the best exercises for lawn bowls.


Bowls is a game for all shapes, sizes and physical abilities. Regardless of how “fit” (or unfit as it may be) you can enjoy and play at a good standard.

However if you are looking to reach the peak of the sport, and play nationally or internationally then a physical fitness plan would be beneficial.