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Petter Eliassen Opens His Physiotherapy Clinic And Shares Some Tips

Petter Eliassen is known for being one of the best long-distance skiers of our time. After retiring from professional sports, the Ski Classics Legend opens his physiotherapy clinic. 

Photo: Private

Petter Eliassen is running his own physiotherapy clinic.

With so many years of experience – and prestige – under his belt, Eliassen is one of the most qualified people to advise long-distance and traditional cross-country skiers. So, ProXCskiing.com talked to him and asked for some tips to deal with pain and improve performance.

Petter Eliassen was a familiar name on the top 10 skiers in almost every race on the Ski Classics calendar. From 2015 until 2021, the Norwegian skier was present in nearly every race, having conquered many victories, and competed as a Pro Tour skier for some of the best Pro Teams in Ski Classics – Team Leaseplan Go, Team BN Bank, and Team Ragde Charge.

After 2021, Petter Eliassen felt it was time to put his skis on the shelf and fight for a new dream. He spent some time working as a physiotherapist, but now he decided to go further in his career. 

“When I was studying to become a physiotherapist, I had the dream of having my own clinic,” says Eliassen, while also sharing that “these are exciting times for me.”

Located at the Spenst Alta Fitness Center in his hometown of Alta, Norway, Petter is now advising various people. From cross-country skiers to people who suffer from pain, the former long-distance skier and now business owner is helping his clients by “devoting time to understand the client’s problems, doing some massages for pain relief, advising and follow up with exercises.”

The most common injuries for long-distance and traditional cross-country skiers

As endurance athletes – it doesn’t matter if you are recreational or elite level – we are used to feeling some pain in specific parts of our bodies from time to time. Repeating a movement during so many training hours may cause some injury. 

In long-distance skiing, where the double-poling technique is used during all races, it is common to feel some pain in the neck, the back, or even in other parts of the body. Even when we use different training methods during summer – like running, cycling, or even kayaking – it may cause some injury that will hurt skiing performance.

“The most common problems during summer are often running-related injuries, like problems with the tendons around the knees and ankles. But it can often also be a pain in the elbows from too much double poling on rollerskis,” says Petter Eliassen.

“I believe that many athletes are having a little bit of pain somewhere, quite often, but they manage to get around, doing alternative training in certain periods, and trying not to be too worried about it. But many athletes also frequently use a physiotherapist, manual therapist, chiropractor, or other health care, for massage or other preventing treatments. And sometimes, it is smart to get help/advice at an early stage of an injury,” shares Petter.

Strengthening skiers’ bodies to avoid pain

To improve performance and avoid pain, cross-country skiers, and most specifically long-distance skiers, can strengthen their bodies. Petter Eliassen shares some advice to keep healthy during both summer and Winter.

“Three good exercises for double poling are “pull-ups” (for the latissimus, biceps, and abs), “pullover” (for triceps), and “toes to bar” (for the abs and hip flexors). Sometimes, the neck and upper back can be quite affected from much double poling, and maybe also “office work.” 

“You should contact a physiotherapist or other health care service if you have severe pain. But for self-managing, you can try doing light exercises to shoulders, exercises that increase flexibility in the upper back and have small breaks during the day, for moving the head from side to side and rotate it”, shares Petter Eliassen, while also concluding “and in some cases, if you feel a lot of stress, find time to relax.”

Running his own business but still active during Winter

After so many years devoted to training and racing, Petter Eliassen shares that it feels good to slow down and focus on the other good side of life. 

“It has been nice to relax more with the family during weekends. It also feels good not to train for performance. I still follow Ski Classics and think it’s exciting to watch the races on TV,” says Petter before leaving his final remark: 

“I am looking forward to the upcoming Winter.”

Petter Eliassen has had some of the most impressive performances of long-distance skiing history, like the first time he won Birkebeinerrennet just by double-poling. So, using the advice of such authority in our sport may be valuable for all. Pull-ups, pullovers, and toes to bar may help you perform better while avoiding some irritating pain.

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