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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Knees over toes guy inspires workout add-ons for latest podcast




 Ben Patrick, the Knees Over Toes Guy http://kneesovertoesguy.com is a force to be reckoned with!  

I have found, lo over these many years of seeking and discovering fitness and health, that certain pivotal figures tend to pop up as you go.  Frank Zane, body builder of the 60’s and 70’s along with Arnold Swarzzenegger inspired me early on.  Loren Cordain of early paleo, then Robb Wolf helped to guide me after that, along with others, into a focus on true health and nutrition.  Chris Kresser  is always a guiding light of health, and Mark Sisson has some points of light he has pointed out over the years.  And John Peterson was a revelation in terms of exercise, although he is now retired from the scene somewhere…


But young Ben Patrick comes along, and appears to have done everything wrong in his youth, trying to play basketball only to ruin his knees and athletic aspirations young, by following conventional medical advice advocating always keeping your knees over your toes when exercising!  This, as has been said for decades upon decades, is the only way to protect your knees, shins, hips, and feet from damage.


Au contraire mon fr√®re!  Sounds like Bart Simpson, doesn’t it?  As young Ben followed this prescription, he progressively destroyed his knees, and got surgery after surgery for his pains.

Finally, since he is the type of young guy who does not give up, he started experimenting on his own body, consciously and deliberately figuring out on his own (with the help of strength coach Charles Polinquin who I remember reading back in the day) how to strengthen all the muscles around the knee, and down through the hips to the feet!  It worked!


Following his own methods, Ben added over 2 feet to his vertical jump (his passion is basketball), but more importantly totally bulletproofed his knees, hips, shins and feet to absorb all the shocks of athletics and the stress of aging as well.

He rebuilt his 66 year old mother’s legs as well, and he documents her on videos too!  And the best part of all is that, watching him on youtube, he reveals all of his exercises and progressions online, showing how you too can duplicate his results.


Given all of his information, I have been inspired to add in his exercises within my own daily workouts.  I have no knee pain, or indeed any pains at all, but I want to make sure that I never do- besides which, his exercises cover areas of the body in ways that are sure to avoid injury as opposed to big compound exercises like squats and deadlifts that, while strengthening overall, do not specialize safely on some muscle groups that are crucial.

You can go to failure on things like weighted leg raises (he uses a monkey foot device that holds a dumbbell to your foot) and curls, and won’t be injured as you would doing exercise to failure on squats or deadlifts.  Completely safe!


Also, his split squat progressions and his very crucial tibialis exercise can totally protect, strengthen, and bullet proof you from foot to hip.  And so, I have revamped my weekly workouts to include them all, in one form or another.


In my early morning, I make coffee (pour over in a simple Miata coffee maker), and then go barefoot in shorts into my living room.  I stretch, and do virtual resistance exercises, manually resisted ones, and isometrics.  I spend about an hour, as I watch a movie or news on television, and wind up pleasantly exhausted and all stretched out!  I often finish then with high volume pushups and straight legged situps.  I have thus stimulated my entire body from feet to neck.


But, usually 3 times per week, sometimes only 2, I go down to my basement dungeon and do gymnastic rings work for my upper body, and knees over toes types of exercises for my lower body:

Split squats, with poles to stretch my upper body as I work my legs in my power rack.  (Power racks are the best overall gym equipment you can get)!

Rings are also great, since you can do pushups, dips, pull-ups, pistol squats with arms to steady you as you go, and of course rows.  

I don’t own monkey feet to attach dumbbells to my feet for hip flexor leg raises, but I have figured out a way to attack dumbbells to my feet with an old wrist band with hooks on it.  There is always a way, and you do need to start doing this exercise!  You can alternate with doing hamstring curls.  Also, I have a manual way to resist raising my toes and thus exercise the tibialis-  this is crucial to protect against plantar fasciitis, as I learned many years ago.

I also do very slow times hack bar deadlifts with raised toes, followed by stiff legged deadlifts with a bar on a platform to really stretch out and strengthen the lower back.

This second workout lasts about 1/2 hour, but it is intense!


This is my prescription for you as well.  Do a slow, more relaxing workout each and ever morning if you can.  Only watch tv when you do your workout- this will be a great incentive for you to not miss your morning ‘wake up’ workout!  

If you miss a day, it’s no big deal.  But strive for every day.


And then, 2 or three times per week, do rings/weights workouts in the afternoon.  And walk in the woods barefoot or wearing barefoot shoes whenever you can.  Get out in the sunshine, and move- don’t just sit or lie there.  And bounce on your rebounder as a finisher sometimes on your morning TV workouts- it feels great, and gets your lymph system working as well.


OH- one thing more.  Look up the Nordic Curl on Ben Patrick’s site.  A killer hamstring exercise, that actually gets your whole lower body working, and will do more for your overall athleticism than anything else you can do!  You have to see it, so look it up on youtube.

I only do it one day per week, usually Friday for me- with my feet anchored underneath my couch.  I resist as I go down onto a pile of mats, and then manually raise myself to do it again..

Eventually, I will be able to raise myself up using only my hamstrings for reps…


At that point, although I am now 69 years of age, I should be able to join the NBA.  Or at least never have to get any type of ‘replacement’ surgery for the rest of my life!  That is well worth it to me.

And to you too, I’ll bet!











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