Thumbs, EMG, dead lifts and box jumps at REVO

Last fall my orthopedist said he will eventually replace my flesh shoulder with a metal one. In the meantime, some brilliant physiotherapists and trainers have helped me function better and ride stronger.

The three sharpest people from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine have recently opened their own facility: REVO Physiotherapy & Sports Performance in Boulder, CO (on 29th St. next to Panera).

REVO is the official “Keep Your Shoulder For A While and Kick Some Ass While You’re At It” sponsor of Lee Likes Bikes. See what they do:

About REVO

REVO sets a new expectation for injury prevention, injury recovery and athletic performance: One place where athletes can get the kind of care they need, when they need it, with an absolute focus on the patient. REVO was founded by three smart, educated shredders:

• Dr. Brian Briggs, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS

• Dr. Dane DeLozier, PT, DPT, ATC, NASM-PES

• Dr. Matthew Smith, DPT, DPT, CSCS, USAW

These guys keep Kevin and me running, and they do wonders for our clients. We refer lots of injured and not-yet injured riders to REVO, and the guys provide recovery services at LLB destination camps (check out LLB Moab Camp October 2015). If you want to prevent or manage injuries — while getting as strong as functional as possible — REVO is the place.

Dane and Brian help riders recover from a long day at the LLB Spring 2015 Moab Camp.

Why is REVO so good?

1) Smart, stoked people.

2) The latest methods and equipment, including motion capture and EMG.

3) A flexible, non-hospital environment where Brian, Dane and Matt can switch modalities (and caregivers) based on what you need in the moment. I often get dry needling with Brian, then I see Dane for soft tissue work.

Every trip to REVO is different. Here’s what we did today:

Soft tissue work

Since my riding/coaching season has gotten crazy, I’ve slacked on in-person physical therapy in favor of corrective exercises, dynamic warmups and lots of bike time. Over the past few months, the shoulder has gotten more frozen and less functional.

So back to basics.

Dane did whatever he does, which seems to involve pressing his thumbs on pressure points, moving the unmovable and generally exploring and expanding the range of my left shoulder. By the time he’s done, it feels warm and pretty loose. I’ll be sore tomorrow.

Once the shoulder was ready to work …


In electromyography, electrodes are stuck onto your skin, then they measure the electrical activity in specific muscles.

Today the guys put electrodes on my upper and lower trapezius muscles, both right and left.

My upper traps are doing too much, and my lower traps aren’t doing enough. This makes my shoulder creep upward, which leads to bad posture, impinged muscles and all that pain I’ve been having lately.

With the EMG, you can clearly see which muscles are working, and you can train yourself to move better.

Dane shows me — clearly! — how an overactive upper trap turns off the lower trap. Blue and pink are lower traps and should be big. Red and green are upper traps and should be little.

I’m playing with different muscles, trying to learn a new way of being. Blue and pink good. Red and green bad.

You can guess all you want. The EMG never lies.

Dead lifts!

Most athletes — and especially mountain bikers — should learn to generate beautiful violence between their hands and feet. Everyone who’s taken a class with me knows I believe dead lifts are a great way to train good movement. I do various dead lift variations all the time, but I haven’t lifted heavy in over a decade. With the help of REVO, I want to get as strong as I can (safely).

So today we started the buildup from 100 pounds, focusing on perfect technique with the goal of growing methodically and reaching 2-2.5X body weight.

Ha! Even though I perform and preach dead lifts every day, Matt noticed my knees were moving too far forward! That’s why we all need smart eyes on us. Check out this nerdism:

Once the form got perfect, we worked up to 210 pounds then stopped for today. I look forward to 300 … and beyond.

Box jumps!

If you’re a mountain biker, you might have noticed that we have to pump, hop and jump over things. The dead lift trains this kind of strength. The box jump trains this kind of power.

The goal, in all things, is smooth, elastic power and a soft landing. After a few sets of dead lifts, the system was firing pretty nicely.

So that was today at REVO. I’ll work on new shoulder patterns and return in a week.

Check out REVO Physiotherapy & Sports Performance in Boulder, CO. Tell ’em Lee Likes Bikes sent you, and get 10% off.


Know more. Have more fun!

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