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PT Rebels Podcast | Dr. Gina Fick, PT, ScD

Winter Body Care Tips

Are you getting ready to start enjoying the winter wonderland and ski trails? How do you keep your body functioning well during the winter months? Do you want to be able to ski without injuries throughout the season and then return to running and hiking safely again in the spring? The shoulders, upper and lower back and the feet/Achilles tendon are areas that take a beating throughout the winter. Maintaining mobility is important for optimal function and athletic performance.

Here are some tips how to address common areas of overload and tightness during the winter months. Remember – these are just tips. If any of these exercises are painful, stop! Contact your physical therapist who can assess the situation and suggest modifications.

Thoracic rotation while laying on site
  1. Thoracic rotation while lying on side
    • Press your ‘top’ knee down on a foam roller or a pillow
    • Reach with your opposite hand towards the ceiling
    • Hold for 3 breaths

Shoulders and thoracic mobility - modified child’s pose
  1. Shoulders and thoracic mobility – modified child’s pose
    • Each side, hold 20 seconds

Quadriceps stretch - focus on rectus femoris
  1. Quadriceps stretch – focus on rectus femoris
    • ‘Bottom’ knee should be past your body line (use a towel around your foot if it is too difficult)
    • Hold 20 seconds on each side

  1. Piriformis stretch
    • Perform either one – you will find one that works for your body
    • Hold 20 seconds on each side
Piriformis stretch
Second piriformis stretch

  1. Calf stretch
    • Knee straight (gastrocnemius), and knee flexed (soleus)
    • Feet pointing forward
    • Hold 20 seconds each
stretch 2

Shuffle walk
  1. Foot strength – shuffle walk
    • 3 parts:  lift toes, ‘shuffle’ your foot forward, put toes down
    • Forward and backwards, 20 steps

Plantar fascia stretch
  1. Plantar fascia stretch
    • Hold 10 seconds
    • Modify with a foam roll or a pillow as needed

*Several things to remember when you are performing these:

  1. If it is painful, don’t do it!
    1. If it is difficult to do, ease into it slowly throughout a period of 2 weeks.
    1. Stretch AFTER your hard workout or race (it can decrease performance).

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Gina Fick

Fick PT & Performance

"We Empower You To Recover From Injury As Quickly And Safely As Possible In Order To Optimize Your Function And Maximize Your Athletic Potential."


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