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Improve Your Form to Maximize Performance

Emily Tamberino

This article was first published in VVMC's Vail Health Magazine spring 2016 edition. Free copies are available at newsstands throughout Eagle County.

Howard Head Sports Medicine's physical therapists Zack Dicristino MSPT OCS and Ana Robinson PT DPT OCS demonstrate tips to maximize performance in some of your favorite sports.

BY Shauna Nelson MS OTR/L Inpatient Occupational Therapist

Straight Arm Pull Downs

• Using a cable machine with straight bar in the overhead position stand two feet back with a slight  end in the knees.

• Pull the weight down slowly towards your thighs rotating only the shoulders.

• Now raise the bar back up to shoulder height and repeat.

• Remember to engage your core and pull your shoulder blades together during the exercise.

• Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Plank Row

• With a dumbbell in each hand lower into a plank position.

• Keeping feet hip-width apart for balance and stability lean your body weight onto the left arm and lift  the right dumbbell off the floor to the side of your body. Do not rotate your torso and keep your chest facing the floor.

• Slowly lower dumbbell transfer body weight and repeat with the left arm.

• Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each arm.

Streamline Flutter Kicks

• Lie on your back with your lower back against the floor and core engaged.

• Place your arms overhead in a tight streamlined position squeezing biceps to ears.

• Lift head slightly off the ground and flutter kick your legs about 6 inches off the ground for 30-45 seconds.

• Complete 3 sets holding for 30-45 seconds each.


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By Todd Ward PT CSCS Physical Therapist

Kneeling Chops

• Kneel on both knees in a tall posture with knees hips and shoulders aligned. Activate the glutes and core to maintain stability and control.

• With a band or cable attached above shoulder level grab the band with both hands looking at the band with your shoulders turned toward the band.

• Pull the band downward and past the opposite hip keeping your arms extended and your eyes on your hand. The rotation should come from your mid-back and neck with your low back and hips remaining stable.

• Perform on each side for 10-15 repetitions.

Book Openings

• With your head on a pillow lay down on one side with your top knee bent up towards your chest.

• Extend both arms in front on your chest one on top of the other and open up the top arm and reach back until you feel a stretch following your arm with your eyes and head throughout.

• Repeat on the opposite side feeling the motion in your mid-back.

Golf Exercises

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By Jake Bagley PT DPT Physical Therapist

Resisted External Rotation

• Hold one end of an elastic band the other being fixed to a door or pole in front of you at shoulder height.

• Start by positioning your arm slightly away from body (approximately 45 degrees) with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle palm facing down.

• Maintaining the angle at your elbow slowly rotate your arm out away from your body against the resistance of the band.

• Repeat 2-3 times for 15-20 repetitions.

Internal Rotation

• Position yourself the same way you did for the external rotation exercise. Begin with your arm away from your body.

• Maintaining the 90 degree angle at your elbow slowly rotate your arm inward towards your body.

• Repeat 2-3 times for 15-20 repetitions.

Full Can

• Start by standing upright with hands by your side thumbs pointed forward with 2-5 lbs. dumbbells in both hands.

• Gently squeeze your shoulder blades back and slowly bring your arms up and slightly out to the side until your hands are level with your shoulders. Thumbs should be pointing up towards the ceiling.

• Slowly lower weights in the same plane to starting position.

• Repeat 2-3 times for 15-20 repetitions.

Posterior Cuff Stretch

• Resting your left arm into the right arm's elbow pull the left arm across your chest until a gentle stretch is felt in the back of the shoulder.

• Hold 30-45 seconds repeat 3-4 times on each side.

• Slowly lower weights in starting position.

• Repeat 2-3 times for 15-20 


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For more information contact Howard Head Sports Medicine at (970) 476-1225.