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Ned Dowling

Ned lives in Salt Lake City, UT where his motto has become, “Came for the powder skiing, stayed for the Nordic.” He is a Physical Therapist at the University of Utah and a member of the US Ski Team medical pool. He can be contacted at ned.dowling@hsc.utah.edu.
From the PT: a look at Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

US Ski & Snowboard recently hosted a course titled “Medical Emergencies in Skiing and Snowboarding”, which is required training for all physical therapists and athletic trainers working with the team during competitions. As the name would imply, we learned about emergency management of acute injuries: application of cervical collars, tourniquets, back boards, distraction splints, and plenty of other nasty scenarios we hope to never see.  Thankfully, cross country skiing tends to be lower risk when...

How to Go Easy (and Why): An Introduction to the Polarized Training Model

I grew up playing soccer. Every practice was hard. “No pain, no gain,” and all of that. By tenth grade, I was burned out and quit.  I started rock climbing. Every day at the crag was about pushing your limits. This was before indoor gyms or any concept of training other than doing as many pull ups as possible. I plateaued, got frustrated, and quit.  Then I had a go at running. I read some...

SkiErg Training: Training Considerations and Technique

I hate rollerskiing. As much as I try to be a good Nordie, I just can’t get over my fear of hitting the pavement. Between a history of bike racing and the rollerski learning curve, I’ve already lost enough skin. I know it’s good for me and might make me faster on snow, but I’m too old to put up with my heart rate being affected more by fear-induced adrenaline than by quality training. My...

A PT in Sweden: Pandemic, War, or Plague of Locusts?

Click here to read an account of physical therapist Ned Dowling’s first stint overseas with the US Ski Team in March, 2020. Holmenkollen, Norway. March 8, 2020 – Men’s 50k Classic World Cup. 33 degrees and raining. The ski jump was engulfed in clouds. Spectators were forbidden from attending the Super Bowl of cross country skiing due to the impending COVID pandemic. My first stint as a physical therapist traveling with the US Ski Team...

Ask the PT: Managing Achilles tendon soreness, which is aggravated by skating

We’re excited to share our first edition of the “Ask the PT” series, where Ned Dowling does his best to support our readers in staying healthy and strong to get the most out of the ski season, and beyond. To submit a question, email: askthept@fasterskier.com. *** Hi Ned, I have been dealing with bilateral Achilles tendon soreness (midsubstance, several cm proximal to insertion) since an over-zealous hill bounding session in October.  When ski season arrived...

Quantifying Recovery: An Intro to Heart Rate Variability by Ned Dowling, PT

As endurance athletes, and especially as cross country skiers, we like to suffer. We enjoy a sport that takes place in the coldest months of the year and requires both strength and endurance to climb big hills and descend on skinny skis with no edges. We like to breathe hard. Most of us are in it for the suffering and the healthy dose of chemicals that our bodies release when the heart rate goes up...

Adding Power to the Push Off: Understanding the Rate of Force Development

This article builds upon the four-part “Building a Better Skier” series, which explores how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. Please feel free to email the author with any questions: ned.dowling@hsc.utah.edu. Recently, I overheard one of my Physical Therapy colleagues tell a patient, “We’ve got to get you jumping. If you want to get back to running, you’ll need to do...

Building a Better Skier Part 4: The Shoulder

This is Part 4 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility, and Part 3 on single limb stability. ——————————————– Upper body power is a major contributor and perhaps even a determinant of cross country skiing performance. Poling accounts for up to 60%...

Building a Better Skier Part 3: Single Limb Stability

This is Part 3 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, and Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility. The ability to balance and be stable on one leg is where the rubber meets the road (or ski hits the snow). True, we generate propulsion with strength and endurance,...

Building a Better Skier Part 2: The Spine, When to Move it, and When to Keep it Still

This is Part 2 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction and Part 1, which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture. There are many ways to conceptualize biomechanics, but they all need a starting place. If we think about ski technique, where do we want to start? On the glide leg? With the poles? At the hips? For this...

Building a Better Skier Part 1: Posture

Building a Better Skier is a multi-part series born from the inquisitive mind of a physical therapist and late-blooming Nordic skier. (You can find the intro to the series here.) The objective is to explore how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. To cover this topic thoroughly would likely require a hefty book, so apologies in advance if these articles lack depth or...

An Intro to Building a Better Skier

Building a Better Skier is a multi-part series born from the inquisitive mind of a physical therapist and late-blooming Nordic skier. The objective is to explore how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. To cover this topic thoroughly would likely require a hefty book, so apologies in advance if these articles lack depth or specificity. Please feel free to email the...

In the Event of Road Rash – Here’s Some Advice

Whether cycling, rollerskiing, or apparently spring skate skiing, road rash is almost inevitable. Maybe more annoying than painful, but definitely damaging to the ego, road rash is not necessarily difficult to treat. Contrary to popular belief, it acts much more like a burn than an abrasion. Also, contrary to popular belief, treatment should not attempt to dry it out. Step 1. Cleaning Make sure your hands are clean or gloved. Clean the area with water. If...