Today we're going to talk about "Knees Over Toes Guy." Should you listen to his advice? Is he legit? I first saw this guy I think in an Instagram ad that popped up on my feed a few months ago, and now he's taken to YouTube and his channel has blown up seemingly overnight. His stuff pops up in my recommended feed about 10 times a day and I've gotten a bunch of requests for this one in the last couple weeks so I figured we should take a deeper look and see what he's all about. So let's jump right in!
Before we get into his actual advice, I do have to preface the article by saying that he's trying to get you to buy his training system, which is perfectly fine! But I'm not going to do so. But so a lot of his information is essentially hidden behind a paywall, so basically I'm working with what's available here for free on his YouTube channel. Personally, I think that the snapshot that he provides us is enough to make a sound judgment of what you would be getting if you purchased his services, but others might not necessarily agree with that so I feel that I'm obligated to mention this fact.
Who Is KneesOverToesGuy?
The "Knees Over Toes Guy" advertises himself as an athlete, a basketball player, who once had chronic and debilitating knee pain that severely limited his playing ability in his early 20's, and now in his early 30's he's much faster, much more explosive, a much better athlete, and can jump way higher than he could a decade ago. And most importantly of all, he now has bulletproof, pain free knees, AND he has the secret sauce that can give anyone the same exact results as him for the low price of 49.50 a month!
This is going to be a 2 part series. I hate making multi-part article series, but I didn't want to shortchange the info and I could tell this one was going to be way way too long to hold onto your squirrel-like attention spans so I'm cutting it in half. We're going to break the series down into 2 main categories. Firstly, in Part 1 today we're going to look at KneesOverToesGuy's advice from a rehabilitative and injury prevention perspective. Is the advice that he's claiming cured his knee pain actually any good for resolving knee pain or possibly preventing it in the first place?
And then secondly, in Part 2 next week we'll look at his advice from the perspective of building power and explosiveness: developing the raw horsepower of the athlete. Is KneesOverToesGuy's advice actually any good for taking a good athlete and making them great? Will it take an elite athlete and make them world class? Does he actually provide you with the tools to develop your raw physical capacities and enhance your overall raw athleticism?
So let's get started today with rehab, injury prevention, and longevity.
Part 1: Rehab and Injury Prevention (Longevity)
Let's look first at his video called "How To Bulletproof Your Hamstrings." His basic plan here is to work on ankle mobility and hip mobility while building some strength in the hamstrings both in terms of their function as knee flexors, using the Nordic leg curl and its variations, as well in terms of their function as hip extensors, using the Romanian deadlift as your gauge there. And over the course of time he wants you to progress from bilateral RDL's to single leg RDL's, which I don't really think is a step up, to be honest. You would be moving from focusing on a primary movement to focusing on an ancillary movement if you did that, so I don't really think that's the best course of action, personally, but the general sentiment here is certainly a good one that I agree with. Strong glutes, a strong lower back, strong hamstrings (both as hip extensors and as knee flexors), as well as adequate levels of hip mobility. You're certainly less likely to suffer a hamstring injury as an athlete if you have taken these measures and built up these capacities, so that's very good.
How To Bulletproof Your Hamstrings
Next, let's analyze his video called "How To Bulletproof Your Knees." The main exercise he advocates for here is what he calls the "ATG Split Squat." This is basically a lunge where he encourages you to allow maximal forward knee travel and get those knee tendons and ligaments into a nice fully stretched position under load while moving through a maximal range of motion. And there's a lot of good here! If you're able to achieve this position adequately - and he claims with his system he can get literally ANYONE to be able to achieve this position pain free - if you're able to achieve it then there's a lot of good stuff here.
You're working on unilateral strength and hip stability, you've got the knee on the front leg moving through much greater range of motion than you'd be able to achieve with most other exercises, and then on the trailing leg you're basically working on hip flexor mobility with every rep. The kneeling hip flexor stretch is a great way to limber up the hip flexors and this is essentially that same thing but being done under load and also building strength at the same time so kind of killing two birds with one stone.
And I agree with KneesOverToesGuy's overall philosophy here that progressively working those non-muscular soft tissue structures in the knees through a full range of motion is the path to strong, resilient, and pain free knees. Tendons and ligaments can be thickened and strengthened just as muscles can.
I read an Instagram post yesterday from this girl talking about how she had to give up dancing, which was her favorite physical activity, because she had developed plantar fasciitis and she couldn't handle the activity anymore, and all I'm thinking to myself is why? Just rehab your damn foot and then get back to dancing. Ya know, we encounter volumes and intensities of loading, that's part of life, and sometimes they're too much at once or too much too soon, and something starts to hurt. And you learn from that and amend the error the second time around, but the way past the pain isn't to hide from it, it's to face it head on with a progressive, logical, and intelligent plan.
ATG Split Squat: How To Bulletproof Your Knees
As an inverse example, this is why steroid users suffer such a disproportionate number of tendon ruptures as compared to non-steroid users. The tendons and ligaments take much longer to develop than the muscles do and a steroid user's muscular strength will literally outpace their tendon development to such a large degree that outright ruptures, which are actually pretty rare, simply become commonplace. So these tissues are slower to develop in general, but there are things we can do to enhance that process. Moving deliberately through a full range of motion under load and pumping plenty of blood into these avascular tissues is one of them. Targeted eccentric only work is another.
And KneesOverToesGuy does also seem to be a pretty big fan of eccentric only work where knee health and longevity and resilience are concerned, and that's a good thing! He has his own standards and exercises for how to go about doing that properly, and I'm not going to dissect those specifics today, but the concept itself that he espouses here is very sound. Where resolving tendinopathies is concerned, eccentric only work has been shown in numerous pieces of research to be incredibly beneficial for expediting and enhancing the tendon remodeling process - encouraging collagen re-alignment and cross-linking - as well as just increasing the overall load tolerance of the tendons.
Personally, I've had great success in the past using these same concepts on both myself and others in terms of resolving chronic, nagging tendon and joint issues.
Eccentric Focused Step-Ups
So that's another positive aspect here, as it would stand to reason that if these concepts can be used to resolve pre-existing joint issues they can also be extrapolated to work for you from a longevity perspective as well simply by making progressively building up those capacities to a certain degree a focal point of your training, thereby consistently building stronger tendons and ligaments over time.
Another aspect he emphasizes that you don't really see anywhere else is direct tibialis training. And this aspect has kind of piqued my interest a bit because he makes some pretty good points regarding the function of the tibialis and it's role in deceleration. Now, I will say that he has certainly made some pretty bold claims regarding the effectiveness of his tibialis exercises, but regardless of that he has currently got me considering incorporating some of his training tips here just for the sake of seeing what happens - seeing if someone at my level can eke out some more speed and power improvements with something novel and untapped like this.
I'm not going to say anything conclusively right now in terms of the effect that training this muscle directly could potentially have on performance because I honestly have no idea and I don't really want to speculate. I think that would largely be dependent upon the individual because just because you haven't trained the muscle directly like he advocates doesn't mean that you haven't been training it for many years as an athlete because you have been...every time you run and jump! BUT this sort of progressive loading in a more controlled environment could have a different sort of training effect and that training effect could be particularly useful for elite athletes who have already built their base and tapped out resources elsewhere and are just looking to take performance to its absolute peak.
Tibialis Raise using the "Tib Bar."
What really interests me with these exercises though would be the potential role in a rehab setting because shin splints are motherfucking prolific among athletes, even just weekend warriors, and they can be a frickin' career killer if they aren't able to be reeled in. This is kind of where the individual difference aspects comes into play because many athletes will never experience shin splints in their lives even without training the tibialis muscle directly at all, but others will potentially experience them to a debilitating and chronic degree and a piece of equipment like this that allows you to attack that potentially weak function directly and strengthen it in a controlled and progressive environment could be a lifesaver for rehabbing that type of injury.
So I do think it's cool that he's introduced unique equipment like this "Tib Bar" that you see him using in some of his videos, as it not only standardizes the exercise but makes the execution much smoother and easier as well which makes progression more reliable. Now, from what I've seen I do think he may be hyping this exercise up just a little bit too much in certain instances, but that's not to say that it doesn't have value. I obviously think that it does, I just think it has a highly specific usage, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in this case I think that it is actually that specificity and uniqueness that really lends this exercise its value in the first place.
All told, from the perspective of athletic longevity and durability, and even knee and potentially ankle rehabilitation, I have to give KneesOverToesGuy pretty high marks overall. There are a lot of good things here, a lot of good tidbits that you can potentially take away to use in your own training, and a lot of solid ideas and theories where building strong, resilient, supple, and pain free knees, hips, and ankles are concerned. And that wraps up Part 1 of the series!
This one was by popular demand and it took a damn lot of research and a lot of time to watch all of his stuff and compile all of this information so if you requested this one or you just enjoyed reading it please remember to share it around! And if you really liked it then be sure to pick up one of my training programs! I've got programs for beginner trainees, intermediate trainees, advanced trainees, performance minded trainees, and dudes who want to maximize their jumping ability, running speed, and overall athleticism! So if you like this kind of information (like in today's article) you'll definitely like my training programs as well, and that support is what helps me to keep releasing free content like this so be sure to grab one!
See you next week in Part 2!
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