What exercise & rehab should you really be doing help your Shoulder?

What exercise & rehab should you really be doing help your Shoulder?

Frustrated or unsure what you need to be doing to help your shoulder?

First of all the shoulder is a complicated joint and also relies on its surrounding ‘friends’ – the neck, thoracic spine and scapula (shoulder blade), so don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel you aren’t progressing.  This blog aims to facilitate your exercises and rehab, to increase your range of motion, function and therefore reduce pain.

So who are these exercises for?

Part one is aimed at those at the early/mid stages of rehab, but is also useful for anyone wanting to improve posture, performance and quality of movement, whether it be in the gym or whilst doing your sport.  If you can activate or ‘wake up’ your shoulder girdle prior to exercise, you are more likely to get better movement and control – also very important and may be the part you are missing in your gym programme if certain movements give you pain.

So if you are getting pain at the gym – it is not going to help your shoulder to lift heavy weights, if your stability or your ‘scaffold’ muscles, aka the rotator cuff can’t maintain a good position.  Makes sense right?  These exercise are also ideal for those who have had a shoulder dislocation, A/C joint injury, fracture or muscle strain.  Also perfect for those who sit bent over in front of  computer who are prone to postural related injuries (which are VERY common).


So what is it you need to include to maximise your shoulder rehab programme?

Don’t worry to much about the why, but trust me on these few things helping with the overall picture of getting your shoulder functioning better.  In some way or another exercises should include compression, or weight bearing, thoracic (mid spine) movement and some facilitation into external rotation to help engage the cuff .  What this means to you is weight bearing through the hands or elbow, moving and loosening off your spine and sometimes using a theraband, or turning your hands slightly outwards, engaging the posterior cuff to enhance firing up the cuff muscles.  Because the cuff are relatively small muscles that continually  provide the stability & good positioning to your shoulder, they benefit from low weight controlled movements – not your bigger compound movements – so don’t just jump straight into bench press or push ups to get strong ok?


Other Tips to help your shoulder

Making a fist or holding a light weight is a great, simple way for your brain to automatically connect to your shoulder muscles, telling them to switch on – clever hey? So that is a great start to get things engaging.

The other is to start combining lower body movement with your shoulder movement – research suggests that in a movement such as an overhead through, at least 50% – 80% of overall shoulder strength comes from the lower limb and trunk.  The body is also tuned to work as a ‘whole’ unit, so combining movements is key to the overall outcome of your shoulder.



Starting off with mobilisation, then more into activation and strength.  If you have not got a gym ball, a table with a cloth works well!



EXERCISE 1: Use either a gym ball or a cloth on a table.  Start with activation and good positioning of the shoulder joint and scapula.  You can use your fingers to facilitate the shoulder going slightly back and being ‘central’ in the socket.  Think to pull the shoulder blade down and in.  Maintain this while sliding the ball back and forth.  Progress by adding some spinal movement forwards and back, trying to maintain a neutral spine. Repeat x 12



EXERCISE 2: Abduction.  Typically one of the more difficult movements to get back.  As above ‘set’ your shoulder into a good position.  Start small range then build up to include spinal movement. Repeat x12



EXERCISE 3: Again a high table & cloth works well if you haven’t got a gym ball.  Try push the ball away from you.  Make sure to engage your core and allowing some thoracic (mid spine) extension, but try and keep a relatively neutral lumbar spine. Repeat x6-12.



EXERCISE 4: Shoulder flexion and bridge.  If you have a theraband (TB) then wrap it around your outer wrists- keep thumbs towards you and fingers up to the ceiling.  If not you can use a broom stick or similar, failing that use your good arm to help the ‘bad’ arm.  As you squeeze through your gluts to a bridge, simultaneously take the arms over head.  Repeat x 8-15 reps.



EXERCISE 6: Thoracic rotation & lateral flexion.  You can use anything for this- even clasp your hands together.  Try and keep your core engaged so that your pelvis faces forward.  Twist side-side and then rotate x 1 min.  Repeat x2-3 .



EXERCISE 7:  kneeling walk outs: A TB really optimises this exercise – wrap it around outsides of wrists – try maintain hands at ’10 to 2′ position on a ‘clock’.  Maintain your core and neutral spine, walk hands in and out.  30secs x3-5.



EXERCISE 8: Push step backs.  Push the ball away from your (shoulder protraction)  as you drive and step one leg backwards.  Try and feel that your shoulder blades are swimming around the outsides of your rib cage.  Alternate legs & repeat x20



EXERCISE 9:  Roll outs.  This is quite a challenge, especially for the core.  Start with very small range and build up.  If you can keep the TB around the outer wrists this is going to help engage the posterior cuff.  Try 5-10reps.



EXERCISE 10: Wall walks.  Again better if you have got the TB – you guessed it, to wrap around the outside of your wrists.  Hands at ’10 to 2′.  Try keep shoulder blades down the back and engaged as you walk the hands up and down.  Try 30-60 secs x3


DISCLAIMER: These exercises are not prescriptive and its always best to get advice specific to you.  This is just a snippet of a complete shoulder rehab program.  If you want more advice on your shoulder or any other injuries, please get in touch 🙂

ACL injury……ski season over??


ACL injury………ski season over??




There are two main ligament structures inside of the knee which provide crucial stability and support.  The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and the more commonly injured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which is the focus of this brief blog, and most commonly injured in skiing.  With a torn ACL your knee is likely to give way and lead to further knee damage and pain.




Image result for mechanism of ACL injury

Certain factors arise to the ACL being injured:

  • planted foot
  • knee valgus (knee dropping in)
  • often combined with tibia (the lower leg bone) externally rotating (turning out)
  • over extension of the knee
  • ‘back seating’ on your skis so the lower bone moves forward/combined with quads over activation
  • landing awkwardly off a jump
  • sudden stopping or change of direction
  • a blow to the knee

Any or a combination of the above can cause trauma and damage.  Most of us have felt that sensation of our ski drifting out (externally rotating) and knee rotating in.  Add significant force or speed or force to this and you have a problem.  This can also occur in beginners in snowplough, or getting off a chair lift.

Phantom Foot is the term used to describe a skier who falls backwards, so their hips drop below their knees, with most weight through the downhill ski, and the uphill shoulder/arm twisted.

Finally if you land a jump leant back with the knee extended (and weight in the back of your boots), the force can not be adequately absorbed, and the tibia (lower leg bone) is driven forwards, stressing the ACL.




Image result for knee diagram

This blog won’t go into detail, but there are a few other structures that can be injured and cause pain.  The MCL (medial collateral ligament) on the inside of the knee, the LCL (the lateral collateral ligament) on the outside of the knee, then the meniscus; the cartilage inside the knee.  A good history of the accident combined with certain physio assessment tests can help decipher which structures are most likely damaged and the appropriate timescales for recovery and rehab.



First thing is don’t stress and no your season isn’t over.  In the past I have seen several seasonnaires who have been told its time to go home.  This isn’t necessarily true.  If you get straight on with optimising recovery you can often return to work relatively quickly.  The more tricky question is can you ski again?  Maybe not straight away, but there have been a lot of people who choose rehab alone, over surgery.  If you can get your muscle strength and neuromuscular control improved through physio and a lot of commitment you can get back.

These are the first stages advised if you think you have had knee trauma:

  • get a check X-ray (often the tibia bone can have a fracture, which complicates things and should be ruled out early on)
  • See a physio to advise on specific movement and strength exercises related to YOU
  • PRICER: protect (Potentially reduce weight-bearing and wearing a brace), Rest (relative to let inflammation do its thing), Ice (10 mins frequently throughout the day), Compression (light tubi grip or bandage), Elevation (get the leg up above your heart level), Rehab (early rehab specific to you and your injury) – generally you need to get it moving!


A final note on prevention.  Do your pre-season strength and conditioning.  See my other blogs on my website for more on this, but in brief you want to develop all muscles of your core, gluts, quads and don’t forget your hamstrings – these are vital in helping to ‘put on the brakes’.  Many people only work on the quads for skiing but hamstrings are just as important.  Also you want to include some landing control, change of direction exercises with good alignment and bio-mechanics to improve neuromuscular control and decrease the chances of injury.


Get in touch if you have a pre-existing injury and want to avoid further re-injury, or have  a ‘new’ injury and want more advice 🙂


6 Balance & Body awareness exercises that may help save your skiing & snowboarding!

Recently I’ve been doing some fun activities, particularly gymnastics.  Even though I surprised myself what I could still do, I was also shocked that when taken out of my comfort zone, or away from ‘normal’ activities how my balance wasn’t so good!  I’ve really noticed how our bodies become good at normal/regular movement patterns, but as soon as we for example spin / move our heads / try and do more than one task we falter.  This is hugely applicable to skiing and snowboarding – the terrain is constantly changing, so learnt movement patterns need to adapt, our body needs to respond and this all requires good balance to do so!  We’re also frequently faced with more than one task; not only remaining in control while skiing/snowboarding, but also dealing with other people on the slopes (distractions) or having to deal with poor visibility.


Either way improving your balance is going to help you improve your body awareness, control and performance – and may just help you save that fall!  Below are some examples of exercises that you could incorporate into a balance programme, or just add one or two exercises a day prior to your ski holiday to get these balance mechanisms switched on and ready for action!  Similarly a couple of these exercise before heading out in the morning to hit the ski slopes, will help activate and wake up those balance systems and muscles!



  1. Balancing with eyes closed: this is a great way to help improve your proprioception – or your bodies ability to tell your brain what is going on in the muscles and joints.  This is of huge value in skiing and snowboarding, as continual feedback from your joints and muscles is important, but is hugely significant when it comes to riding in poor visibility.  Now that your eye sight can not be relied on in the white out conditions, its down to your proprioceptive system to help and keep you riding strong and stay in control.




2. Single leg reaches – you do not have to have a partner for this – you can just reach out or place some cotton buds, coins etc on the floor to aim for.  You want to focus on ankle, knee and hip control as well as your core.  Think to keep the pelvis facing forwards (or down the fall line in skiing)- think to keep activated those lower abs and core muscles will help.  Next try not to let the knee drop in and keep it roughly in line with your 2nd/3rd toes.  Also try not to let the pelvis, or hip drop down too much.  This is also a great way to strengthen the hamstrings and gluts, as well as the calf and feet muscles.  All good stuff in preparation and/or activation for getting on the slopes right?



3. Single leg balance and stick.  Here it helps to have a buddy to push you!  Start on two feet, then progress to one, then finally one foot with eyes closed.  Having someone nudge you from different angles and different points on your body will activate your saving reactions – which come in handy on tricky snow terrain, or when we are up against those powerful external forces while skiing and snowboarding, especially at speed.  The other option here when without a partner is to throw and catch a ball against a wall.



4. Rotational separation.  In skiing you need good control to maintain your shoulders and torso down the fall line, but allow the hips and lower body to rotate and move with control.  Devloping your core will help with these movements.  Even though the exercise above gets your rotating differently (with your upper, which we don’t tend to  want in skiing), it is still a great exercise to work in flexibility and control, separating upper body form pelvis and lower body.

Here you want to maintain a neutral pelvis and keep the core on so it stays facing forwards, and doesn’t drop on one side.  Watch that the knee stays in line and doesn’t collapse in.  Try and think to activate your core and obliques to point your upper body and arms over to one side, without too much twist at the pelvis.  Repeat 10 each side, then swap legs.  Again this is great for strengthening the hip, knee and feet muscles.



5.  Heel raise balance control.  Start by lifting your arms above your head while simultaneously raising your heels off the ground with your knees straight.  Maintaining your heels off the floor slowly bend the knees – watch your knees do not collapse in.  Maintain this position for approx 5 seconds, then keeping the knees bent lower your heels down (also achieving a good stretch in the soleus muscle of the calf complex).  Finish by straightening up the knees to standing.  Repeat with control x 10



6. Spinning.  This may sound a little bizarre, but moving your body away from its normal boundaries is a great way of testing yourself.  Let go and have fun!!  Try spinning just 180 degrees then build from there.  This will wake up your vestibular system ( a balance organ within the ears).  It is the sensory system that provides the leading contribution to the sense of balance and spatial orientation for the purpose of coordinating movement with balance.  Sounds pretty pertinent to skiing and snowboarding right?  Give it a go, getting spinning!!


Other good exercise are doing multiple tasks at one time – so give any of the above a go, while trying to throw/catch a ball with a friend, or doing mental challenges such as counting down in odd numbers whilst performing the exercises.





Get tired calves and feet while skiing & snowboarding? Here’s why & ways to help prevent it

When it comes to ski and snowboard training we often to tend to focus on the juicy exercises involving the quads, gluts and hamstrings.  However when hitting the slopes, most of us feel that our calves ache, and feet get tired, right?  Any pre-ski training should involve exercises to work the muscles below our knees, not only our calves, but our peroneals, posterior and anterior tibilais muscles.  All these muscles stabilise the foot and consequently the knee.  These muscles, if not strong or able to cope with the demand whilst skiing and snowboarding, can cause uncomfortable cramps, or worse become pulled or strained.

Specifically snowboarders – do you ever feel like your calves and feet are on fire while on your toe edge snowboarding? Definitely give these exercises a go to give you more stamina and hold those edges longer! – no gym equipment or excuses needed!


** If you think you have an injury or weakness it is always best to have a consultation and a specific exercise plan – get in touch for more info.  Be particularly aware if you have history of Achilles tendinitis



Start this exercise with your foot flat on the floor.  No trainers, or only minimalist shoes are good to encourage more stability in your foot.  This differs slightly from off the step calf raises – your ankle and foot must work hard to maintain alignment and balance.  This exercise can be done in sets such as x12 reps x 3sets and/or static holds to build endurance – i.e try holding the position 1 min at a time x3

Off a step is good for adding weight to increase calf complex strength and also achieving a mechanical stretch.  Allow yourself to be balanced with heels off  step  -raise all the way up and then drop the heels all the way down.  Unlike the variation above, I advise you hold on so that you can work on strength and add weight (no gym needed – using a back pack full of books is just as good.  Start with free body weight.  When you can complete x12 x3 easily, then start to add weight).



This is exactly the same as the exercise above, but with the knees bent.  Why?  Because there is another very important muscle lying under the calf, called the soleus, which also needs to be exercised.  It works hard constantly to maintain even just you standing upright – but particularly hard so that you don’t fall over skiing.  Its also going to allow snowboarders to stay more balanced and strong on their snowboarding toe edge.  Exercising this muscles will help to prevent that toe edge burn kicking in as quickly!




Following on from the exercises above, this exercise is designed to add a bit more instability and challenge – just like you would be faced with when out on the ski slopes.  Try and maintain balance with knees bent, while throwing and catching.  This is best done with a partner so you can challenge your throws!  However on your own, a wall is good enough!




As the exercise above – but with the knee straight to focus more on the calf muscle




While skiers need strength in this muscle, this one is focused more for the snowboarders.  It targets the muscle at front of your shin, known as your tibialis anterior. At any stage of snowboarding, if this muscle is strong it will certainly help.  While you are learning this muscle is constantly battling to try and maintain your balance on those tricky edges!  As you ride more, those challenging traverses often need stability and endurance from this muscle to maintain your heel edge.  Most snowboarders will be familiar with the burn and dreaded fear of  a heel edge traverse!  These exercises will certainly help:

  1. toe taps: keep the foot flat and try and tap your toes up and down as quickly and as many times as you can in 30secs (you will find this harder than you may think) – repeat 3-5 times.  You can then add a flat (disc) weight if at the gym and try and lift the weight up.  At home a bag of sugar or similar can work.
  2. pogos: imagine you are skipping with a rope – but you are going to keep you feet flat – i.e. not jump on your toes as normal.  Perform these flat footed bounces as fast as you can – again aim 30 secs x3 – 5 (think to focus on weight through the heels, and keep the toes lifted up)



PLYOMETRICS: peroneals

The aim of this exercise is to work on plyometrics and eccentric load for the muscles on the outside your lower leg.  These muscles again are vital in stabilising the foot in skiing and snowboarding – but particularly in snowboarding.  Often these muscles have to work in a slightly lengthened position, or have to fight mixed terrain within the snowpack, so need this ‘reactive’ type of strength and stability.

Start standing on a step (or your stairs).  Start from two feet and hop down onto one foot.  As soon as your foot makes contact with the floor, immediately hop up and think to flick your toes inwards (like tapping a ball inwards with your big toe), before your foot comes back down to land neutral.

This can be slightly progressed by starting single leg on the step and jumping off, landing, then hoping straight off that same side.


There are many exercises that can help –  here are just a selection.  Any single leg reaching with the foot or arm, or balance cushions and wobble boards are all great ways to do this.  You do not have to do this as a complete workout-  you may prefer to add one or two of these exercises at the end of your normal workout.

Future blogs I will look at some more balance focused exercises which will also help the endurance and stability of these muscles, which will hopefully allow you to ride better for longer!




5 Top Tips what to look for when looking for a Physio


Sounds simple, but you may be surprised the number of people working without the proper qualifications and registration with the relevant legal governing bodies.  In France, where you ever you are, you can perform a search on the  http://www.ordremk.fr/ – follow the trouver mon kinésithérapeute, to find registered physios.  The UK has the hcpc with a similar register of physios in the Uk:  https://www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register/



Any physio that is fully registered will also be fully insured.  Having completed 9 seasons in Val, I have dealt with many insurance companies and can fully support anyone going through the process.  I am also the only British physio within resort who is able to accept people who are on the french system (with carte vitales), and can claim treatment costs back.  Shoot me a line if you want to know more (physio@jopollardphysio.com or 0033669776112)



While all physios undergo a degree in physiotherapy, time and exposure to certain injuries helps build in-depth knowledge in that area.  Having qualified in 2007 I have been lucky enough to work in all ‘core’ areas of physio, but have chosen to follow my passion in skiing and snowboarding and been fortunate to work with international teams.  My experience from many ski seasons and international work, I am confident I can help with all injuries, and fitness queries to get you back on the slopes as quickly and safely as possible.



You may have had a certain treatment in the past that works well for you.  Or you may never had physio before.  Either way, finding someone with experience and an array of ‘tools’ can benefit you and your treatment.  Over the years I have had added many qualifications to my physio skills -here are a few of the main ones: spinal manipulation techniques, dry needling, sports massage diploma, myofascial K taping, pilates, yoga for physiotherapists, strength and conditioning.  I often use a combination of treatments (including compex) to and strength and conditioning advice to optimise rehab.


This is a pretty obvious one, but it is much better to touch base with a physio as soon as possible – even if it is just to enquire how they can help.  I will always endeavour to see anyone as soon as possible, especially if it means they can get an extra few hours on the slopes.  My cabinet is located easily within Val (see contact for directions), and I can also make visits out to chalets – especially if any injury means you are immobile.


DRY NEEDLING…..What it is & how it could help your injury & pain


A thin filiform needle is inserted into a trigger point , connective tissue or fascia and is used alongside other forms of physiotherapy to promote pain relief, reduce stiffness and facilitate range of movement and function. It’s has been use since the 1980’s but recently become very popular.

ACUPUNTURE is a similar concept of needling but can be seen as more holistic, looking at the body’s state of energy flow and meridians.  Acupuncture focuses on fixed points where as DN targets more specific muscle pain points. The therpapist will palate and find these pain / tight spots.

The areas of muscle pain are known as myofascial trigger points. Muscles can have one or several points.  They are seen as hyper irritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with hypersensitive palpable nodules in taut bands…. That knot you feel in your upper shoulders most of you will be familiar with?!

Often these trigger points will REFER PAIN , so we may put needles in quite far away from where you will be perceiveing your pain.  BACK & SCIATIC pain would be a good example of this…… Often needling would be used around the back for pain that is felt down into the leg.

Studies have shown 30-85% of people presenting to a clinic are found to have myofascial trigger points to be the cause of their pain!



By inserting a needle into these taut bands / trigger points we are aiming to re set the muscle and help reduce the referred pain. A local response of redness , swelling , heat and pain such as seen in an inflammatory reaction will be elicited – briefly this will stimulate the good chemicals to be released and  begin to reverse the ischemic (or toxic like) effects which commonly occur with injury. This may help REDUCE PAIN, INCREASE ROM, MOBILITY and FUNCTION



For all the reasons listed above!  It is another modality that can be used alone or in conjunction with other physio techniques which may help facilitate your healing, or better allow you to access a movement pattern/range of movement you have been struggling with.  Also the many ways needling can act on the body in terms of pain relief, it may benefit you where perhaps other treatments no longer have such a desired effect.  It can also be a very quick procedure so ideal in sports settings.



there are various sizes of needles and the therapist will choose one depending on the muscle and each individual . Treatment is often pain free but it is common to feel a ‘twitch response’ . The needle can be manipulated to further stimulate the fascia and muscle tissue to produce a local stretch response. Keeping it brief needling works on pain at different levels within the body ( locally, within the spinal cord and the higher ‘brain centers’ ) but overall has been seen to facilitate opioid release and pain modulate.

Everybody’s experience is different but often when needling the lower limb patients report a feeling of lightness.  It’s also quite common to feel a dull ache following treatment

Below is a nice example of how fine the needles are – nothing to be afraid of!:

Image result for dry needling
example of how small the needles are in DN & acupuncture


DEEP (trigger points) VERSUS SUPERFICIAL (pain relief)NEEDLING:

superficial needling uses needles that are much smaller and don’t penetrate more than 1cm, but are often left in for up to 15 mins.  Where as deep needling uses needles up to 125mm treatment normally lasts for a couple of mins.

superficial DN:

– reduced local & referred pain ( activates mechanorecptors coupled to C fibers)

– increased ROM ( stretching in fibroblasts within connective tissue/ fascia)

– if stimulating skin according to hiltons law you the same nerve will innervate the muscle directly below, so potentially have an overall greater effect

deep DN:

– local twitch response ( targeted at specific muscle )

– reduction of noxious inflammatory immune related chemicals

– resetting and reduction of pain within a muscle

– overall increased ROM, decreased pain and increased function


If you would like to know if needling can help you with an injury be sure to get in touch!

BACK CARE for skiers and snowboarders

This is not in any way prescriptive but something to help you look after your back, and hopefully avoid flare ups.  I’ve summarised some of the key things which I think will be helpful, after seeing a huge number of high level skiers and ski instructors this year with back pain.  I think the main problem arises from:

  1. being in a slightly forward flexed position, which isn’t great for your posture, and also jeopardises the discs if they are prone to irritation and compression
  2. carrying a ABS/back pack adds more load to that position
  3. varying conditions, race training or travelling at high speeds, often winding the body into deep positions where the body has huge forces to deal with
  4. park – something has to absorb those landings, there is no doubt that this over time will take its toll, but being in balance and having your core to support your spine will significantly help


I’ve split this into 3 key things to work at – even if you can just pick one thing from each of 1) stretches 2) self massage release 3) core to do every day that would be a awesome start!  A lot of the stretches you will have seen before, but it’s the small micro adjustments you can make to really target a muscle group and benefit from the stretch.  Without a one to one session it’s hard to explain, but I’ve tried to give some key pointers.

STRETCHES: hold each for a good 30secs, repeated x3


GLUT STRETCH 1: cross ankle over knee & push knee away from you. The more you lift up through your chest the more you will feel the stretch. Making small left to right movements with the legs will target the different gluts


GLUT STRETCH 2: cross 1 leg over the outside of the opposite knee.  Try anchor your hip to the ground & twist/bind into the pose



HIP FLEXOR : square off your pelvis so its facing forwards. Tuck your tail bone under (posterior pelvic tilt) then slightly arch your back and lean away from your back leg


DOWNWARD DOG: be especially careful in this pose if your disc is irritated. Aim to push shoulders back and heels down – good stretch for the hams and calves


Q/L STRETCH 1: this muscle is needed a lot for lateral separation in skiing and good mobility/stability in snowboarding. Slide one foot over to the side & then look to that foot.


Q/L STRETCH 2: hands planted twist & drop one hip bone down towards the floor. Repeat other side


Q/L & HAMSTRINGS: make an ‘L’ shape with your legs (this will also open up that hip), then reach forwards & to the outside of your foot – the stretch should be in the hams & your side.  Think to look under your armpit



HAMSTRING WALL SIT: Try sit here for a longer duration (i.e 5mins) while reading a book/watching TV etc. Try and get your butt right up against the wall and keep the knees straight. Progress to leaning forwards


SELF MASSAGE RELEASE: spikey massage ball & foam roller


HIP FLEXOR BALL RELEASE: place ball just below & down form the front of the pelvis. Allow your body weight to pressure the ball. Hold for at least 30secs & move down the top 1/3rd of the thigh


HIP FLEXOR BALL RELEASE OPTION 2: as above, but allow the knee to slowly bend up & down



GLUT RELEASE: start with the ball on the outside of the hip. Make small rotations in/out with the knee. Repeat with the ball more in the centre of the butt & your back against the wall!



PARAVERTEBRAL & Q/L RLEASE: Place the ball in near to the spine in the muscles either side. Pressure & wriggle the ball side-side, or flex the spine up &down


FOAM ROLLER QUADS: a) roll from top of hip to knee & back b)hold roller still then straighten/bed knees up & down


CORE:  This is a very brief intro into getting your deep core muscles activating.  This is hugely important in stabilising your spine – no matter how strong or ‘ripped’ you are, you need your deep core to ‘have your back’!!!  Often the more traditional sit up actions can be counterproductive if not done correctly, and you will 100% benefit more from an ABs workout if you deep core is working


TRANSVERSUS ABDOMINUS (Trans abs): tilt & tuck your pelvis several times until you find a neutral spine. Keep the shoulders relaxed. think to draw the LOWER stomach in (as though tightening to tuck your shirt into your jeans), or think of stopping mid pee. Placing your fingers 2 cm in from your pelvis you should feel a discreet tightening of this muscle. Hold between 5-30secs. You know you are cheating you are holding your breath!


SCISSORS: activate your trans abs as above. Keep the rib cage pressed against the mat, then lift one hip & knee to 90 degrees. Breathe out as you slowly lower & repeat. To progress take arms over head as raising a leg.


This is designed only to be an aid to helping your back.  It is always best to get a tailored programme from a professional to suit your needs.  Get in touch if any questions or comments 🙂

HITT cardio ski/snowboard workout

This can be done  in the suggested format: 4 minutes work, followed by 1 minute rest.  Repeated 3 -5 times.  8 exercises consisting on 30secs high intensity/30 secs of ‘active recovery’.  This is designed to mimic the intensity of an average ski run.

Alternately this cardio set can replace the previous cardio set in the last 3 phase workout.  Preparation is key!

Post-holiday, pre-ski Cardio HIIT workout

Feeling a bit sluggish after too much turkey and Christmas cheer over the holidays? Need to get in shape for skiing? Well, you're in luck amigos – our friend and your favourite Jo Pollard – Physio is back with a high-intensity cardio workout designed to put the pep back in your step. This workout can be done on it's own, or as the cardio section of a three-phase mountain workout by adding core and balance sections as seen in Jo's last workout video.Once your HIIT game is on point, head over to SkiBro to find your ideal ski instructor, school or guide and book online in just a few clicks.

Gepostet von SkiBro am Montag, 7. Januar 2019

3 PHASE MOUNTAIN WORKOUT- fully body preparation


Want to be in best shape as you can be this winter? Try this sequence of CARDIO FITNESS, BALANCE/PROPRIOCEPTION and CORE to not only prepare you for winter, but keep you on top of your game 💪👊

This is sequence works on the fundamental elements to get you in shape and keep you on form for this winters riding.  The cardio section is designed to mimic the intensity of an average ski run, where your heart can pick up, followed by active recovery phase.  Next is a core section, which well help your stability and overall performance.  Saved until the last, is the balance and proprioception section – this is ideally done at the end when your fatigued, challenging your neuromuscular system, helping you develop balance reactions and better movement control when you start to fatigue, and may help with injury prevention.

Nov 27, 2018

Want to reduce falling over and risk of knee injuries while skiing and snowboarding?

Then take a look at these 5 exercises and reasons why to add hamstring strengthening to your fitness programme

#ski fit #injury prevention #biomechanics #stronger #train smart


Many of us (and rightly so) focus on exercises to our quads, as this is where we feel the burn when riding, especially in the pow right?  While this is correct and it is important to train these muscles, it’s also important to exercise the counteracting muscles; the hamstrings.  If our quads are too strong, or our hamstrings too weak, there is an imbalance.  This combined with fact that the hamy’s act like a brake system which means that if we fall, twist or land awkwardly, we are more likely to cause injury to our knee if the hamstrings can’t counteract this quad contraction or adequately play it’s stability role.  This is of huge importance in avoiding ACL injury and important to include in any programme post *ACL surgery/injury (*always seek physio advice for a specific plan)


Our hamstrings contribute to stability, shock absorption and
better movement patterns. Connecting our hips and knee joints, they provide efficient
load absorption and power to be transmitted in our sports.  Our hamstrings and gluts work together to
provide strength and explosive movements, but also support what is known as our
posterior chain.  In skiing and
snowboarding this would relate to us being able to maintain good posture,
resist falling over and keeping up right in bumpy or unpredictable terrain.


Our hamstrings often work eccentrically, meaning they are
lengthening whilst also contracting. 
This is especially important whilst running or kicking, or in the skiing
environment to help control our movements, especially if we feel we are going
over the ‘handle bars’ – are hamstrings act like decelerators.


As well as being strong, our hamstrings need good length in
them to optimally provide the qualities discussed.  If the hamstrings are tight, they can pull on
your pelvis and cause biomechanical imbalances. 
You are at risk of this if you ski or snowboard for long periods, as you
are nearly always working with a bent knee and therefore at risk of the hamstrings
tightening and potentially straining.


Sorry ladies but this is aimed at us!  Women are more likely to have valgus collapse in their knees -meaning our physiology generally means our knee drops into adduction and internal rotation more easily (i.e. collapses in).  While skiing or snowboarding with our knees in a bent position our inside knee ligament (MCL) is not so effective at supporting our knees – our hamstrings (as well as other muscles of the knee), play a huge support and protection role to the knee ligaments.

There are of course many exercises, but give these 5 a go to get your hamstrings and gluts firing up…..

BRIDGE; start – spine neutral, core activated

BRIDGE; finish:  squeeze through your gluts to form a stable platform.  Rest on the heels for increased hamstring bias

ADVANCED OPTIONS; single leg +/- weight

RUSSIAN DEADLIFT; keep the knees relatively straight, but soft.  Hinge from the hips with chosen weight (barbell, kettle bell or a backpack filled up!).  Squeeze through the gluts and core to stand back upright

GYM BALL HAMSTRING CURLS; start-core engaged, hips off the floor maintaining a neutral pelvis, feet resting on the ball 

GYM BALL HAMSTRING CURLS; finish – maintaining the neutral pelvis use your feet to slide the ball away.  Repeat

REVERSE GLIDERS; start – find a slidy surface and place a tissue or towel under 1 foot

REVERSE GLIDERS; finish – slide the tissue backwards into a lunge.  Keep hips forwards and ensure front knee doesn’t go over front ankle (NB focus on feeling the hamstrings firing in the front stable leg)

RUNNERS REACH; start – core engaged standing tall on one foot, the other leg at 90 edgrees

RUNNERS REACH; finish – reach forwards and out, keeping front knee soft and pelvis aligned towards the floor.  Drive through the gluts and hamstrings back to the start position

LANDING CONTROL; start on a step (stairs or the yellow pages)!

LANDING CONTROL; finish – drop and stick.  Try and land soft.  The aim is to control your knee – do not let it track inwards!
For power this exercise it can be progressed by landing and exploding straight up into a single leg hop

Start with low reps and sets i.e 4-6 reps x 3 sets, and build up as you gain strength and confidence.  As with any exercise it is important to fully warm up and seek further advice if you are unsure of any of the exercises.  Feel free to get in touch for advice and more ways you can prepare yourself for your sport or post injury programmes 🙂