What Do Bowling Compression Sleeves Do For Bowlers?

While most bowlers tend to choose an arm sleeve based on the design, there is a lot more to these sleeves than just that. Bowling arm sleeves are an essential piece of equipment needed by bowlers during their bowling tournaments, and knowing about them would help make an informed choice so you get exactly what you need.

Why Do Bowlers Wear Bowling Arm Sleeves?

Bowling arm sleeves offer stabilization and extra elbow protection. The main aim of these compression sleeves is to help your muscles recover from strenuous activity. They also provide muscle support, skin protection, and arm warmth as they boost recovery and relief.

Benefits of Bowling Arm Sleeves

A surprisingly large number of people seem to believe that bowling arm sleeves are a style statement. While there is no denying that these sleeves do add a bit of flair to a bowler’s outfit, to think of them as merely a design element is no less than blasphemy. Compression sleeves do so much more, and not just for bowlers. Some of their more prominent benefits include:

Muscle Support

The first and most compelling reason to wear a bowling arm sleeve is to get muscle support. The sleeve is designed to tightly fit around the arm; this creates compression, which increases the blood flow to the arm and ensures that the cells there remain oxygenated. This increased blood flow allows the muscle to remain active and also prevents injury. The compression also supports the muscle in that it holds the muscle in place and helps maintain a good bowling action.

Muscle Relief

Yet another benefit offered by bowling arm sleeves is muscle relief for bowlers. Arm muscles tend to tire up quickly. If you don’t believe us, simply hold your arm above your head and keep it there. Only after a few seconds, you will notice your arm starting to get heavy, and soon after, you will need to put it down.

Bowlers go through the same, and unlike you and I, they cannot immediately rest their arms since they have some bowling to do. However, with a bowling arm sleeve compressing down on the muscle, tired arms get immediate relief. This makes bowling less tiring and far more fun.

Tape Support

Professional and serious bowlers who tend to wear kinesiology tape on their arms also opt to wear arm sleeves over it. They do so primarily to keep the tape in place, and also to cover the tape in the interest of aesthetics. The compression from the sleeves holds the tape together and encourages it to remain sticky for longer even if the bowler is sweating. This can be very helpful if the kinesiology tape is applied lengthwise over your elbow area and covers the lower and upper arm muscles.


Apart from taking care of your muscle needs and relief, bowling arm sleeves have an added fashion function. They come in an unlimited variety of designs and colors, and there is something to suit every taste. Some companies even allow you to design a personalized arm sleeve for yourself and your entire bowling team. These custom arm sleeves can be added to your team’s uniform for the bowling season, and can even be used as team merchandise! You can add different graphics, text, and more to them and sport your style on your arm even when you are not bowling. Talk about literally wearing your heart on your sleeve!


Bowling alleys can introduce you to the sweatiest version of yourself. Bowlers, like other athletes, often sweat a lot, and while most of it can be ignored, it is the forehead sweat that irritates bowlers the most. This is why you will often see players taking their hands to their foreheads and wiping the sweat off.

However, not only is this unhygienic, but it is also totally ineffective. A piece of fabric can do a much better job of removing moisture off the skin than another stretch of skin. Wearing a bowling arm sleeve will help you effectively and hygienically wipe the sweat off your forehead. This way, you can also keep playing without having to rush for a tissue every other minute.

Protecting the Skin

Arm sleeves can protect your skin against scratches and nicks, and can be a haven for people with skin conditions. In case of open wounds, burns, or cuts on the skin, wearing an arm sleeve can keep microbes from the surroundings from coming in contact with the skin. Given how many people use bowling alleys and how many hugs, hand shakes, and fist bumps go on during a game, it could really help to cover up an exposed area to keep it safe. Similarly, if you have an allergy or a skin rash, the use of arm sleeves can keep the irritated part protected from getting further exposed to risky conditions.


Apart from learning about the benefits mentioned above, you must know when to wear these sleeves, how to maintain them and whether you should even buy them so you can get the most out of your purchase.

What is the Point of Bowling Arm Sleeves?

Bowling sleeves look incredibly cool to wear, and if this doesn’t make you want to buy them, then the benefits discussed here might. Bowling arm sleeves provide you with skin protection, muscle relief, muscle recovery, muscle support, arm warmth, tape support, and help wipe of sweat, among other functions. The main aim of bowling arm sleeves is to provide pain relief to bowlers who love to bowl but then suffer from soreness, muscle fatigue, or other ailments.

When Should You Wear a Bowling Arm Sleeve?

The compression that these sleeves provide can be suitable for day-to-day use as well as occasional use. For example, you can put these sleeves on during a workout, while straightening your hair, or before lugging heavy objects around. In short, the sleeves can be used during any activity that involves the use of arm muscles and is likely to tire out the arm. Although these arm sleeves are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of reasons, their primary intended use is still that of bowling.

Bowlers can use arm sleeves during and following a bowling session to help relieve soreness, have better muscle control, offer support to the elbow, and as a piece of fabric to easily wipe off sweat from the forehead.

Apart from being used to aid with physical activity, arm sleeves can also be used for their compression quality to offer support to a weak arm or elbow. If you tend to feel cold, have your elbow recovering from an injury, or just have weak arm muscles that could use some support, then putting these sleeves on can be a good idea. It will keep extra pressure off the arm and also prevent unnecessary movement. Similarly, a compression sleeve can be used to help alleviate elbow pain or to prevent it from aggravating due to excessive motion.

How Should You Care for a Bowling Arm Sleeve?

To care properly for your bowling arm sleeve, you must follow the packaging directions when you buy it. Make sure you wash it exactly as instructed on the packaging; if the manufacturer says to wash it in a machine, you can machine-wash it, and if hand-washing is recommended, then you are advised to refrain from machine-washing the sleeves. Washing directions will vary from type to type, but following them regardless will allow you to increase the life expectancy of the product.

To get the maximum use out of your bowling sleeves, we suggest storing them in a pouch that goes into your bowling bag so that you are sure to have the sleeves at hand during a bowling game. This can be quite a handy practice, especially if the sleeves are something you would rather not bowl without. If you are buying compression sleeves for use at home as well as for bowling, we recommend bulk buying as a multi-pack. Doing so will help reduce the cost per piece. Then, you can also place one set at home and one in your bowling bag to make sure you never go without your sleeve.

Closing Thoughts

Bowling arm sleeves provide a bowler with plenty of benefits to make bowling as smooth and fun as possible. The best part about them is that they are versatile in use and are not just limited to bowling, making them an excellent investment.

Photo of author
Written by Shannon Cothran