Building A Bulletproof Body | Knees Over Toes Guy on Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson

Check out the Modern Wisdom episode page

Key Takeaways

  • “I deliver an incredible workout that also happens to be rehabbing your body…physical therapy and exercise don’t have to be two different things.” – Ben Patrick
  • Removing pressure from your knee is actually a counterintuitive action
    • You’re communicating to your body that you don’t need that area to be robust with circulation and strength
  • Improving your mobility allows you to access new muscle tissue that you couldn’t hit before
    • Be willing to go backward before you go forwards
    • ATG (ass to grass) split squat is Ben’s favorite mobility exercise
    • Full range of motion exercises improve flexibility and strength
  • You have to be just as strong moving in reverse as you are going forward
    • “Get stronger in reverse of what hurts” – Ben Patrick
  • It’s really hard to be the person in the gym not doing the status quo exercise routine
    • But doing so is not only physically rewarding but also mentally. You’re building the resiliency to do what’s best for you.
  • Continue reading for Ben’s essential knee exercises

Intro

  • Ben Patrick AKA “Knees Over Toes Guy” (@kneesovertoesguy) is the coach and owner of Athletic Truth Group (ATG) Online Coaching, an online personal training program for strengthening knees and developing full-body fitness—also check out his book, ATG for Life.
  • Ben and Chris discuss his knees over toes technique and why working out and rehabbing shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
  • Check out the Podcast Notes from his appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Host: Chris Williamson (@ChrisWillx)

How Ben Got Started

  • Since he was 9 years old, Ben’s knees would constantly pop out of place. By 12, he had chronic pain. And by 14, doctors started to have concerns about his development.
    • Everyone was telling him “don’t let your knees over your toes” because it caused him pain
    • But later, an Olympic trainer inspired him to believe otherwise
    • Set out on his career mission: “what clues could I gather from athletes who do have healthy knees, and how do I turn that into a system for the average person with fragile knees” – Ben Patrick

Knees Over Toes

  • Removing pressure from your knee is actually a counterintuitive action
    • You’re communicating to your body that you don’t need that area to be robust with circulation and strength
  • Without knees over toes movement, you prevent the soleus muscle from working
    • This is a death wish for your Achilles tendon
  • “Fully bending a joint signals to your body that you’re maximally using the joint, so you get more of the synovial fluid which carries the nutrients to the joint” – Ben Patrick
    • Pain doesn’t mean it’s not constructive action, but you need to know the levels of pressure that you can recover from
  • Learn more about Ben’s Knees Over Toes Program here

Favorite Knee Exercises with Sample Routine

  • Dragging a sled backward – forces your knees over your toes
    • Ten minutes straight of backward sled pulls
  • ATG (ass to grass) split squat – focuses on mobility
    • 5 sets of 10 reps at the lowest level you’re capable of
  • Tibialis Raises – strengthens the muscle underneath your kneecap
    • 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Hamstring work – curls or Nordic Bench
    • 3 sets of 10 reps

The Benefits Of Sled Pulls

  • We (the humans) should be doing the work, not machines
  • Everyone can push a sled forward and backward – the risk of injury is less, great for cardio, you exercise your feet, you work your back without loading spine, it’s safe to do every day
  • “Your exercises have 100% made my knees better.” – Joe Rogan
  • Turf is ideal for the sled because you want smooth friction
  • The waist belt is the safest starting point because the coordination and balance are most supportive that way
  • Start backward: we want to safely get pressure to make the area stronger to get synovial fluid to carry nutrients to the joint
  • Backward sled pulls are a great entry point for people who think their knees are shot and a very safe way to build strength when you can’t handle the knee pain that comes with some traditional exercises
  • Find the right weight that will slow you down but you can move and control

New Ways To Approach Core Strengthening

  • Tip 1: reverse sit up, add weight as you feel ready by adding weight to feet
  • Strengthen core from the ground up
  • Tip 2: get on a back extension machine sideways to train muscle between the lower back and abs called quadratus lumborum
  • By overlooking quadratus lumborum, you’re missing rotational strength on sides

Tips For Shoulder Health

  • Dumbbell press: start palms down in full extension and rotate back through a full range of motion
  • Shoulders: do external rotations with dumbbells and cable to get full stimulus

Top 3 Exercises to Improve Your Vertical

  • Backwards sled: This allows you to get stronger in the most pain-free way. Jumping is very forceful, you don’t make progress when you’re in pain all the time.
  • ATG split squat: Addresses weak lower body issues. Gives mobility and strength.
  • Nordic hamstring curl: This is your primary power producer. The hamstring harnesses the power of your hips. Unlock your full potential.

Flexibility & Strength

  • “I deliver an incredible workout that also happens to be rehabbing your body…physical therapy and exercise don’t have to be two different things.” – Ben Patrick
    • Not referring to rehab directly after an injury or surgery. Ben is referring to the person who wants to actively improve their resiliency and longevity.
    • “What I do to stay healthy is no different than what I did to get healthy” – Ben Patrick
  • Full range of motion exercises not only increase flexibility, but also strength
  • Improving your mobility allows you to access new muscle tissue that you couldn’t hit before
    • Be willing to go backwards before you go forwards
  • You have to be just as strong moving in reverse as you are going forward
    • Get stronger in reverse of what hurts
    • Restore and train full range of motion at the level that doesn’t hurt you

Fitness Mindset

  • It’s really hard to be the person in the gym not doing the status quo exercise routine
    • But doing so is not only physically rewarding, but also mentally. You’re building the resiliency to do what’s best for you.
  • Attaching your physique to your self-worth is a dangerous proposition
    • Many people over attach their identity to the gym, it becomes their only sense of mastery in their lives
    • “Fitness is just one area of life. I don’t take fitness too seriously. You might think I’m all-in on fitness because that’s my job, but it’s only one part of my life.” – Ben Patrick
  • “Fitness Menopause” – The point in your fitness career, maybe in your late 20s or early 30s, where you shift your focus from physique to longevity (Chris’ theory)
  • Be grateful that you can work out, not how much you lift
    • Chris has a friend who, every month, lays in bed for five minutes imaging he doesn’t have legs. This helps ground his gratitude.

Andrew Huberman

  • Ben and Andrew Huberman have spent some time together lately; here are Ben’s takeaways:
    • Take a walk outside before your morning coffee
    • Have passions, or things that you’re looking forward to, are keys to happiness—you make your own happiness

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