Robert Forster, PT has been treating athletes in Santa Monica for over 31 years and his extensive work with recreational and elite athletes has set his clinic apart from the rest. His staff is experienced in solving difficult sports injuries and developing rehabilitation programs that are exercise based and makes you an active participant in your rehabilitation process.

Forster Physical Therapy Offers:

  • Physical Therapy programs specializing in sports injury, conditions of the spine, and post-surgical cases
  • Voted "Best Place to go for a Sports Injury" by the readers of Competitor Magazine in 2002, 2004, and 2007
  • Exercise based Physical Therapy programs utilizing the latest modalities and techniques
  • Individualized AQUA THERAPY for a wide spectrum of orthopedic and medical diagnoses
  • Over thirty year history of practice in Santa Monica
  • Voted "Best Place to Go for a Sports Massage" by the readers of Competitor Magazine in 2002, 2004, and 2007.
  • Professional staff including seven licensed Physical Therapists with over 100 years of combined experience
  • Hours of operation: Monday thru Friday 7am-8pm and Saturday 8am-12pm
  • Free secure parking

Treatment Rationale

Our physical therapy program borrows equally from the rheumatologic and orthopedic philosophies of physical medicine. We emphasize the patient's role as an active participant in the four phases of their rehabilitation. Patients are taught to protect the injured area as the first step toward healing. A basic premise is to use physical therapy modalities to treat symptoms as we progress the patient through a therapeutic exercise program.

Exercise and manual therapies are the mainstay of our rehabilitation programs because it is our belief that the body, being a mechanical device, requires mechanical treatment (i.e. stretching, strengthening and manual therapy techniques). Modalities alone do not constitute a physical therapy program.

What to Expect

After the initial consultation your therapist will devise a treatment program based on the injury/problem you presented. Our professional goal to our patients is to help them significantly improve, develop or restore physical functions lost or impaired as a result of a disease, injury, or surgical procedure. Our Physical Therapy programs emphasize the patient's role in their own rehabilitation.

We will be recruiting you as an active participant in your care and not relegate you to a passive recipient of our treatments. Through our education, you will learn to manage your injury / problem while facing activities that affect your daily living. Home exercises are given to compliment those exercises given in the clinic so that you can continue to work on your problem at home between therapy sessions.

Each visit will begin with a dialogue between you and your therapist regarding how you responded to the previous treatment, any new exercises and your home exercise and icing program.

The therapist may perform testing and will palpate to decide where to focus that day's treatment. Your therapist or physical therapy aide may then deliver the treatment modalities followed by a careful observation of all your exercises. The exercise program and physical therapy modalities may be augmented by manual therapy techniques including soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques, myofascial release, therapeutic massage, x-fiber massage. These "hands-on" therapies are designed to further increase function and decrease pain and will only be carried out by a licensed therapist.


It is our desire to maintain therapist/patient continuity. As there are several therapists in our organization, please be sure when scheduling to request your therapist by name. You should book your appointment as far ahead as possible to ensure you get the times you desire. Appointments can always be changed or cancelled with a 48-hour advance notice to avoid being billed.

Occasionally it may be necessary, due to scheduling restraints, to see another therapist. Please rest assured that all therapists here treat basically the same and your progression toward full recovery will not be delayed.
If you have a gender specific choice for therapists, please do not hesitate to make your request known at the time of scheduling.

Home Exercises

Our Physical Therapy programs are exercise based. The body is a mechanical device and Rehabilitation requires treatment that will improve mechanical function to be successful. Stretching and strengthening exercises that can be done at home are the mainstay of our programs.

Clinical Treatment


Although exercise is the focus of our treatments, physical therapy modalities are utilized to suppress symptoms so we can move faster through the exercise progressions. These modalities are physical agents such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice and sometimes heat. The role of these treatments is to create changes in the local tissues, which are then exploited to achieve our desired therapeutic results. These are an important part of the early phases of treatment.

Manual Therapy

"Hands-on" procedures are utilized to accelerate the rehabilitative process. These techniques, delivered only by a licensed therapist, include therapeutic massage, x-fiber friction massage and joint mobilization. As adjuncts to the exercise program, these techniques facilitate quicker improvements in function than exercise alone.

Your Role

As an active participant in your care, we will require you to do three things:

  • Perform your home exercises and icing two to three times per day.
  • Observe proper body mechanics and posture to protect your injured area and allow healing.
  • Make regular appointments. To gain control of your symptoms and maintain progression of your exercise program, your therapist needs to see you regularly. Lapse in treatment may result in setbacks. At first, three visits per week are necessary and as your symptoms recede, less frequent visits will be required.

Remember, to improve your condition, you must do all items above concurrently.

In addition, each visit you will be expected to supply a brief history of your symptoms since the last treatment. Specifically, you will be asked how the treatment affected your symptoms. If you had pain since your last treatment you will be asked to recall what posture or activity caused the increase in symptoms and how these symptoms reacted to your home treatment. If you feel that you have not improved, we expect you to notify your therapist. Your therapist must be kept abreast not only on your progression but also on your regression.



Are you looking to increase your metabolism and strength while getting lean and toned? You need to weight train! If you want to decrease body fat, perform better, train for an event, look great for summer or just feel good, this class is for you!! Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:45 PM; starting March 4th. Each class is a total body workout designed to speed up your metabolism. The class follows our Phase IV Fitness Progression developed by Robert Forster, PT, with more than 30 years of experience working with women of all abilities (including 30 Olympic Medalists) and instructed by Exercise Physiologists.

Phase IV Summer Fitness Academy

Intense training schedules. Pressure to win and be the best. Painful injuries. Given all these factors, it’s not surprising so many student athletes burn out on their sport. More than 3.5 million sports-related injuries were treated in kids under age 15.

Are you giving your student athlete every opportunity to reach their personal goals?

A Message from Phase IV Founder & CEO, Robert Forster, P.T.

Dear Parents and Coaches,

Phase IV Student Fitness Academy was created to bring 30 years of experience in training elite Olympic and Professional athletes to the children of our community. As the parent of a Santa Monica High School student athlete I found a great need to implement the scientific approach to student fitness and athletic preparation that we have used successfully to win 38 Olympic Medals, several High School State Championships and dozens of US and World Records spanning a variety of sports. Adolescent training programs must be anchored in science, have a long-term perspective, and require patience and guidance.

Puberty is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the most dramatic bodily changes to occur with the right exercise program. The hormones provide the physiology for improved strength, leaner bodies, increased balance, agility and speed, but only proper training provides the stimuli. Our trademarked approach to adolescent fitness training has been honed over 30 years in the results driven world of elite athletics where injury prevention and performance must go hand in hand. We have distilled all the hype in the fitness world to include only safe exercises with a proven track record of getting results! Typical private training approaches are not at all appropriate for the adolescent, and in fact most kids’ training facilities are not scientific at all in their approach to fitness. The Phase IV Student Fitness Academy is economical, safe and effective.

I am so confident that you will agree we offer the first class free! -Robert Forster, P.T.


Phase IV is the leader in scientific health and fitness training programs for adolescents. All programs are overseen by Physical Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Credentialed Coaches & Registered Dietitians.

Utilizing the most advanced scientific training concepts to gain an ethical performance edge, for more than 30 years our programs have provided students the critical foundation for all Jr. High School, High School and College sports programs. Phase IV Fitness Academy Offers:

  • For 13-18 and 8-12 year-olds
  • Open to all skill levels & boys and girls
  • Builds strong bodies protected from injury
  • Age-appropriate strength, flexibility, nutrition and cardio program
  • Program proven to protect against injury, improves posture and performance
  • 90-minute classes on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons from 3:30 – 5:00 PM
  • To sign up or find out more, call 310-582-8212 or email

Proven effective in the development of hundreds of local students, as well as the world’s best athletes, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Pete Sampras, Maria Sharapova, Allyson Felix, NFL, NBA & Ironman World Champions.


For the student athlete looking to gain an even greater edge, Phase IV also offers:

  • Individual training programs at our state-of-art scientific training facility in Santa Monica
  • Programs designed and overseen by Physical Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Credentialed Coaches & Registered Dietitians
  • Sports-specific Periodization training programs for all ages and skill levels
  • Nutrition programs available

At Phase IV we understand how serious athletes are always looking for ways to peak to achieve their greatest potential, whether it is to play recreational, high school, college or even professional sports. Based in Santa Monica, Phase IV has a state-of-the-art facility, utilizing the latest scientific training concepts.

Every student athlete is evaluated by a Physical Therapist before being instructed in exercises build the necessary foundation in core strength, joint stability, flexibility, power and speed applicable to all sports. A Registered Dietitian will guide each athlete on how to properly fuel for their training and competitions. Our Exercise Physiologists will do a variety of assessments to examine each athlete’s strength and weaknesses. Then with our Credentialed Coaches we will teach each individual athlete to improve these areas.

To find out more please call us at 310-582-8212 or email us at