Episode 69 – Senior Sports Physiotherapist at Front Runner Physiotherapy and Coaching

Steve Gravina's Physio Journey

A Journey through Sports Physiotherapy with Steve Gravina

Sports physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping athletes recover from injuries, improve performance, and maintain optimal physical condition. One individual who has dedicated his career to this field is Steve Gravina, a senior sports physiotherapist. In this blog post, we will delve into Steve Gravina’s Physiotherapy Journey, from his early aspirations to his experiences working with professional athletes. We will also explore his expertise in managing low back pain and chronic pain, as well as his insights into optimizing training efficiency. Join us as we unravel the world of sports physiotherapy through the eyes of Steve Gravina.

Highlights from the episode:

  • How he made his connection as a physio and move up the ranks
  • Mentors who shaped Steve’s career
  • How he handles guys with shoulder and wrist issues
  • Advice to working with big groups trying to get the best bang for their buck
  • Key equipment Steve recommends including in the gym for teams with minimal budget
  • Light recovery protocols Steve recommends for post-game or post-training

A Passion for Sports Physiotherapy

From an early age, Gravina’s passion for sports and a desire to make a difference in athletes’ lives led him to pursue a career in sports physiotherapy. His unwavering dedication and enthusiasm have propelled him forward on this rewarding path. Gravina’s commitment to his craft has driven him to constantly seek new opportunities for growth and learning.

The Journey Begins: Securing Opportunities

During his studies in Perth, Gravina realized that he wanted to return to his hometown of Melbourne. Determined to make his dream a reality, he reached out to various AFL clubs, emailing every club in search of a job opportunity. Although many clubs were reluctant to take on a new graduate, Gravina’s persistence paid off. Bruce, a physiotherapist who had his own clinic, extended a helping hand and offered him a position. Gravina seized the opportunity and spent a valuable year working alongside Bruce, gaining practical experience and building his skills.

Influences along the Way: Peter O’Sullivan and Expertise in Managing Pain

In any profession, mentors and influences play a crucial role in shaping one’s journey. For Gravina, his encounter with Peter O’Sullivan, the owner of Body Logic physiotherapy, proved to be a turning point. O’Sullivan’s expertise in managing low back pain and chronic pain resonated with Gravina, inspiring him to deepen his understanding in these areas. O’Sullivan’s research-backed approach and well-regarded reputation in the field motivated Gravina to excel and provide the best possible care for his patients.

Techniques for Athletes: Addressing Shoulder and Wrist Issues

Gravina’s experience working with athletes has exposed him to various challenges, particularly when it comes to shoulder and wrist issues. In his practice, he emphasizes floor-based work, mobility drills, rolling, and tackle techniques. By incorporating these exercises into athletes’ routines, Gravina aims to achieve a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. This approach allows athletes to improve their range of motion, enhance proprioception, and prevent further injuries.

Maximizing Training Efficiency: Advice from a Sports Physiotherapist

Training efficiency is of utmost importance for athletes, especially when balancing work, training, and other commitments. Gravina offers valuable advice on optimizing training sessions for individuals working with limited time and resources. He suggests incorporating pre-training activation work, such as crawl mobility drills, to prepare the body for exercise. Post-training, bodyweight conditioning exercises, including hamstring strength and partner Nordics, can help improve overall strength and prevent injuries. Gravina also emphasizes the significance of creating a culture of gym and strength conditioning outside of on-field training, fostering a holistic approach to athletes’ development.


Steve Gravina’s journey in sports physiotherapy serves as a testament to the power of passion, persistence, and the pursuit of excellence. His experiences working with professional athletes, combined with his mentorship under influential figures like Peter O’Sullivan, have shaped his expertise in managing pain and optimizing training efficiency

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