Last month, the student became the teacher when I had an opportunity to return to my alma mater, Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom, and instruct an instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) workshop for third-year students.

Leeds Beckett University HawkGrips IASTM introductory workshop Physiquipe instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization

Dominic Smith (center), the author of this blog post, demonstrates a HawkGrips instrument to the class as part of an IASTM introductory workshop at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom. (photo/courtesy Physiquipe)

Physiquipe, the official United Kingdom distributor for HawkGrips, collaborates with universities to offer students the ability to gain continuing professional development (CPD) hours on IASTM. This experience not only improves their curriculum vitae, but also exposes the students to different treatment and rehabilitation modalities.

For the Leeds Beckett University course, Physiquipe coordinated with Ashley Jones, senior lecturer, and Helen Llewellyn, leader of the “Sports and Exercise Therapy” course, to provide two different three-hour IASTM workshops. These tutorials provided significant background information on the treatment while also focusing heavily on practical applications.

As the students are very competent with hands-on therapy, they took to the instruments like ducks to water and really seemed to enjoy using them. It was great to see the lecturers taking part too and exploring the different capabilities of HawkGrips. To be noted, the workshop is also for the staff!

We delved into possible applications for each HawkGrips instrument, and practiced these techniques on the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and back. We also discussed appropriate times to utilize the instruments in relation to the healing process and how IASTM can be integrated with other treatment and management methods.

Overall, it was a great day running these workshops at Leeds Beckett University. We had a total of 32 students go through the program and are proud that Physiquipe Academy can help upcoming therapists as well as experienced clinicians!

Leeds Beckett University Physiquipe HawkGrips IASTM introductory workshop instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization

Smith assesses a patient during the workshop, which was coordinated by Physiquipe, the official United Kingdom distributor of HawkGrips. (photo/courtesy Physiquipe)

Student Insight

Among the attendees was Emma Rodaway, who offered some very positive feedback about the HawkGrips workshop:

“As a current sport and exercise therapy student, I’m aware that continuing my professional development within the field of therapy is a requirement of the Society of Sports Therapists. While at university, I was fortunate enough to participate in an IASTM taster session held by Physiquipe.

The session covered the theoretical evidence justifying the use of this equipment within soft tissue management, and provided a thorough and comprehensive practical session allowing us to gain hands-on experience with the instruments.

This in-depth session enabled me to understand the evidence-based reasoning for HawkGrips IASTM instruments and showed me the multiple benefits these modalities can produce, such as reduction of contractures and myofascial pain, and the breakdown of scar tissue. This great opportunity has allowed me to become more confident when interacting with patients, as well as broaden my soft-tissue and pain-management skills.

Overall, the session was of great purpose towards my development as a sport therapist and I fully recommend the courses to anybody wanting to enhance their skills in soft- tissue management.”

* If you are interested in running an introductory workshop or “HawkGrips Level I: IASTM Fundamentals” course at a university in the United Kingdom, please contact

Dominic Smith is the clinical applications specialist for Physiquipe in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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