sports injury

Exercise Physiologist Matt McDonagh joins The Pedaler. Another solid recruit for our Team.

Matthew is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Sport Scientist who completed a bachelor of Exercise Science at the University of Tasmania. Since graduation Matthew has gained experience working with both clinical populations and elite sport. Matthew has a keen interest in musculoskeletal injuries, particularly the shoulder and lower back as well as endurance cycling performance.

Matthew is a keen cyclist having raced with the Lawson Homes cycling team, competing in road and track racing in Tasmania as well as the National Road Series. Matthew enjoys riding a range of bikes including road, MTB, Track, Fixies and bike polo.

Matthew has experience in a broad range of areas including, exercise rehabilitation for complex injuries, physiological performance testing including lactate and Vo2 Max, improving recovery by maximising sleep quality and guidance for everyday athletes with medical issues such as high blood pressure.

Matthew is excited to offer services, often only available to elite levels athletes to all cyclist of Brisbane to maximise their training and performance as well as reduce risk of injury or overtraining.

The Pedaler Exercise Physiology offers many services including:

-Physiological performance Testing (Lactate Threshold Testing

-Strength and Conditioning for Cycling Performance

-Injury Assessment and Rehabilitation

-Sport Performance Advice

-Recovery and Injury Prevention Advice

Fees (All Claimable under HICAPS)

Lactate Test and Report (Code 102) $170

Lactate Test Results Consultation (Code 202) No Gap (Conditional to Private Health Insurance Rebate)

Initial Consultation (Code 102) $80

Standard Consultation (Code 202) $74

Improving your Hamstring's flexibility.

Many amongst us know that they need to work on their hamstring flexibility. When I bring it up with my patients they aren't unduly surprised.

Aside from stretching, I also ask patients if they perform myofascial release with their hamstrings (Eg. Foam Rolling) and often the answer is yes.

The difficulty is that foam rollers are too large and cumbersome to properly address this particular muscle group. With this approach, you will generally find that the relief is temporary and minimal.

I have a two step approach for addressing hamstring muscle stiffness based on the anatomy. 

Step 1. Addressing muscle stiffness at the hamstring origin point.

Step 2. Addressing hamstring muscle stiffness in the belly of the muscle.

Step 1: Addressing muscle stiffness at the hamstring origin point. Hamstrings originate from your ischial tuberosity, aka your 'sit-bones' and from the femur. There is a degree of irony here as our hamstrings weren't actually designed to be sat on. 

  • Sit on a hard surface, preferably a chair.
  • Take a tennis sized ball and place it just past your 'sit-bone'. (This is one of the few times I would recommend using a harder ball like a cricket or lacrosse ball.)
  • Move you body weight onto the ball and proceed to roll from side to side. (If you feel as though you are rolling over steel cables then you are doing it correctly.)
  • Do this for 2-4 minutes or until you feel a change or until you stop making change.


Step 2: Addressing hamstring muscle stiffness at the belly of the muscle. We have three hamstrings; semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris. The first two are located closer to the inside of your leg and the other is closer to the outside near your Iliotibial band (ITB).  Remember to roll on the center of the hamstrings but also on the inside and outside.

  • Sit on a hard surface, preferably a table or bench top.
  • Hard balls don't work for this, I only use the ALPHA ball from yoga tune up. These balls have some give and their large grippy surface is ideal.
  • Place the ball in the center of your hamstring and then move your body weight atop of the ball.
  • Once you have found a tender spot or knot then sit on that spot with your weight and begin to flex and extend your knee. You will feel you hamstrings moving past the ball as you move your leg.


Re-test your flexibility!

Try to touch your toes and see the difference.


NB. If the spot is not tender make a mental note of relaxing and if that location is still not tender move to a new spot.

NB. If you start feeling numbness or tingling down your leg or foot move to a new site. The sciatic nerve does pass down the back of the leg and can become trapped by the ball.

David Gruhl