Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tips To Improve Your Form For Winter Sports

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 winter sports.


By Zack DiCristino, MSPT, OCS

Physical Therapist and official medical provider to the USA Climbing teams

High Step (Knee to Chest Pull)

  • In a standing position, raise one knee towards your chest.
  • Pull your knee closer to your chest with your hands.
  • Repeat on the other side. Perform 8-10 repetitions on each side.

Squats with Overhead Reach into Heel Raise

  • With feet shoulder-width apart, perform a squat while simultaneously raising both arms overhead.
  • Keep your knees in line and behind your toes.
  • Return to standing position, bring both arms down by your side, then go into a heel raise. Perform 15-20 repetitions.

Shoulder Diagonals with Theraband

  • Stand while grasping a light resistive band with both arms outstretched in front of your chest.
  • Simultaneously raise one arm diagonally overhead while pulling down with the other arm towards your hip.
  • Repeat in the opposite fashion, switching arms. Perform 15-20 repetitions.



By Ana Robinson PT, DPT, OCS

Physical Therapist and official medical provider to the US Nordic Ski Team

Single Leg Dead Lifts

  • Engaging your core and glutes, stand on one leg with hands on your hips.
  • Lift your other leg straight behind you while simultaneously lowering your upper body parallel to the ground.

Overhead Medicine Ball Press

  • Place one foot on a step with the other foot on the floor.
  • With a medicine ball between your hands, stretch your arms overhead and lift your back knee to meet the medicine ball. Keep your core engaged and focus your weight on the standing leg.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side, working on balance and hip control.


  • Standing on one leg, maintain balance and push your opposite leg out to the side in a skating motion. You can use a frisbee or paper plate under the moving foot for better glide.
  • Repeat 10 times on each leg.



By Jesse Horton, DPT, Physical Therapist

Bear Crawl

  • In a low quadruped stance (mid push-up position) keep your head extended to look in front of you.
  • Crawl with one arm and opposite leg while keeping hips low and level.
  • When you reach the end of the room, go in reverse. Perform two repetitions (forward and back).

Hip Hinge

  • Stand erect holding a straight rod along the spine, maintaining contact points at buttocks, mid back and back of head.
  • Advance your hips back as you keep a flat spine, bend your knees and lower your trunk forward towards the ground, making sure not to let the knees come forward as they bend.
  • Once you feel this tension, engage the hamstrings as you return to an erect position, squeezing the glutes and finishing with fully extended hips.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.

Single Leg Squat

  • In an open doorway, position yourself into a split stance with the front foot flat and toes touching the door jam while the trail foot rests flat against the jam.
  • Weight should be evenly distributed through the front foot as you lower your body straight down to the ground with engagement of the quadricep and glute musculature. Utilize your arms on the wall to maintain balance as needed.
  • Return to starting position with force generated through the front leg.
  • Perform two sets of 10-15 repetitions with each leg forward.


Howard Head Sports Medicine | | (970) 476-1225