Are Knees Over Toes Workouts Recommended? Here's What an Expert Sports PT Says

Are Knees Over Toes Workouts Recommended? Here's What an Expert Sports PT Says

Wondering if ‘knees over toes workouts’ can actually strengthen your knees? Skeptical about letting your knees travel past your toes during your fitness routine? This article dives straight into the heart of ‘knees over toes workouts’—a concept popularized by Ben Patrick, also known as ‘kneesovertoesguy’, which challenges traditional exercise warnings. We’ll uncover the science behind this approach, share foundational movements that promise to reduce pain and enhance mobility and offer practical steps to safely integrate these exercises into your regimen.

Key Takeaways

  • Knees over toes workouts, popularized by Ben Patrick, can strengthen knees and enhance mobility when done with proper form, such as ensuring adequate ankle dorsiflexion, progressing slowly, and reducing support over time.

  • The foundational exercises for the Knees Over Toes program include reverse sled pulls, tibialis raises, and heel-elevated squats, targeting knee strength, shin support, and full-range mobility for better joint health.

  • While knees-over-toes workouts offer numerous benefits for knee health and athletic performance, safety should be a priority. Individuals must progress gradually and listen to their bodies to prevent injury.

The Truth Behind Knees Over Toes

There is a wealth of information to unravel about knees over toes workouts. These exercises involve knee movement beyond the toes, aiming to improve knee health, reduce pain, and enhance mobility. But wait a minute, aren’t we always told not to let our knees pass our toes when doing squats and lunges?

Here’s the deal: embracing the knees over toes position, when completed correctly, can strengthen and fortify the knees, supporting everyday movements and athletic activities without being inherently harmful.

The inception of knees-over-toes workouts traces back to a dialogue with Ben Patrick, famously known as ‘kneesovertoesguy.’ He made a strong case for the workouts, emphasizing the importance of:

  • adequate ankle dorsiflexion before starting these exercises

  • steady progression in knees over toes exercises

  • slowing down the movements

  • enhancing the range

  • progressively reducing reliance on support

By following these guidelines, you can slowly bend your way to steady progress in your toes workout, focusing on knees over toes exercises.

The Philosophy of Knees Over Toes Workouts

Ben Patrick, the brains behind the knees over toes philosophy, defies traditional exercise norms, taking a holistic view of the body, which includes tendons, glutes, and abs, to boost athletic prowess and well-being. Patrick’s methodology is designed to improve knee strength, relieve shin pain, integrate athletic abilities with conventional exercises, and ultimately optimize knee function and athletic performance.

A key component of the Knees Over Toes training is the emphasis on perfect exercise form and dedicating sufficient time to achieve optimal results in knee and joint health.

Foundational Movements for Knee Ability

Let’s move on to the crux of the matter - the actual exercises. The Knees Over Toes program is designed around foundational movements such as backward walking, and tibialis raises as part of a comprehensive 12-week regimen.

We will examine three pivotal exercises in detail: reverse sled pulls, tibialis raises, and heels-elevated squats.

Reverse Sled Pulls for Resilience

First on the list is the Reverse Sled Pull. This powerful exercise:

  • Strengthens the patellar tendon

  • Improves blood flow to the knees

  • Targets knee strength

  • Enhances athletic performance

  • Increases mobility, which in turn mitigates the risk of ankle sprains.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Attach a harness to your Zero Sled, wear it around your torso, and perform a backward sled pull by walking backward, pulling the sled.

  2. Begin with slow, short steps, and gradually increase step length and speed.

  3. For effective training, the Reverse Sled Pull should be performed for five straight minutes, three times a week.

Tibialis Raises for Shin and Knee Support

Next up, we have the Tibialis Raises. This exercise targets the tibialis anterior muscle in your left leg, serving as a key decelerator in the body and being essential for knee health.

Performing a tibialis raise is pretty straightforward, and it’s a great alternative to the traditional calf raise. Stand with your back against a wall, legs straight and extended, then lift your toes while keeping your heels grounded and aim to complete 25 reps. Beginners in the Knees Over Toes program are advised to do two sets of 25 tibialis raises, with assistance if necessary, until they can be executed without pain.

Tibialis raises also have a broader impact as they support lower back health, alleviate shin pain near the shin bone, and promote overall joint well-being.

Heels-Elevated Squats for Full Range Mobility

Lastly, we have the Heels-Elevated Squats. These exercises are beneficial for enhancing knee strength and joint health. Performing squats with the heels elevated contributes to increased mobility and decreases pressure on the knees. Additionally, transitioning from a seated position to these squats can further improve knee strength.

These types of squats target specific muscle groups and help in recuperation from lower body issues such as ankle sprains. They combine traditional weight exercise techniques, applying them in a way that supports overall athletic performance. With the Slant Board, you can do this kind of squats at home.

Integrating Strength and Flexibility into Your Routine

Having discussed some important exercises, we now explore how to incorporate strength and flexibility into your regimen. Incorporating compound exercises like squats and lunges, which target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, can lead to more efficient knee-strengthening workouts. Strengthening supporting muscles like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes is vital for knee stability and alignment, offering protection against injuries.

To improve flexibility, the program incorporates a series of stretches including hip flexion and:

  • calf stretches

  • hamstring stretches

  • outer glute stretches

  • groin stretches

  • inner hamstring stretches

Performing the tibialis raise while sitting and facing an anchor point with an Omniband around the foot can enhance ankle stability. By combining full-range leg exercises with other movements, you can increase ankle strength, mobility, and stability.

Progressive Training for Long-Term Knee Health

Let’s now discuss progression. Gradually increasing the intensity of knee exercises by adding more weight, repetitions, or reducing rest time is essential for effective strength progression and knee resilience. The ATG split squat is a great example of an exercise that increases knee mobility and knee flexion by allowing an extended range of motion and can be modified for beginners by starting with the front leg on an elevated platform, gradually lowering the height with mastery.

Implementing techniques such as slow eccentric phases in slant board front squats can significantly strengthen the quadriceps and consequently promote better knee health. Beginners are encouraged to commit to a 12-week lower body focused program when starting knees over toes workouts to ensure the proper adaptation and minimization of injury risk.

Addressing Potential Risks: Safety First

Despite the significant benefits of knees over toes workouts, acknowledging potential risks and prioritizing safety is necessary. As the knees move over the toes during certain exercises, the knee torque around the joint increases. Front squats involve a greater knee-over-toes distance compared to low-bar back squats, leading to higher quadriceps torque and potential increased stress on the knee.

Undue stress from knees over toes movements can result in discomfort or injury if the knees are not properly conditioned, especially when these movements are performed under load. Limiting knees over toes movements or opting for less demanding exercises may be necessary when experiencing discomfort after high-stress activities. Beginners or individuals with knee pain should start with non-weighted exercises, such as bodyweight squats, to build tolerance before progressing.

Success Stories: Real Results from Knees Over Toes Workouts

As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The KneesOverToesGuy methodology, also known as the toes guy approach, is endorsed by professional athletes, coaches, and notable figures, including Joe Rogan and the late Charles Poliquin, for its positive impact on knee strength, joint health, and athletic performance.

Individuals who followed the Knees Over Toes program for four months saw substantial improvements, especially in knees passing through a greater range of motion. Success stories and testimonials highlight enhanced athletic performance, joint health, and improved knee ability, as well as reducing knee pain. The incorporation of the knee ability zero program into their training regimen has been a game-changer for many.

Aspiring athletes and individuals focused on improving athletic performance, knee health, and joint strength have experienced benefits from the Knees Over Toes training.

Expert Tips for Maximizing Benefits

To maximize the benefits from knees over toes workouts, consider these expert suggestions. Utilizing equipment like the Omniband for the tibialis raise can enhance the effectiveness of the exercise. Increased resistance can be progressively introduced to knees over toes exercises to induce muscle growth and strength improvements.

Routine execution of the tibialis raise, with progressive overload, contributes to a stronger anterior kinetic chain supporting knee health. Monitoring the muscle pump achieved by repeating the tibialis raise with an Omniband highlights the quantifiable progress in knee strength and durability.


In a nutshell, knees over toes workouts offer a transformative approach to enhancing knee health, mobility, and athletic performance. They challenge conventional exercise norms, focusing on a holistic body approach that integrates strength and flexibility. While there are potential risks, these can be mitigated with proper form, gradual progression, and adherence to safety protocols. Remember, it’s not about being fast or strong overnight. It’s about making sustainable, long-term changes to improve your knee health and overall fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Ben Patrick?

Ben Patrick, also known as KneesOverToesGuy, is known for his focus on building knee strength and mobility to enhance athletic performance and alleviate pain.

What exercises are part of the KneesOverToesGuy training?

In the KneesOverToesGuy training, recommended exercises include the Reverse Sled Pull, Tibia Raise, and Heels-Elevated Goblet Squat. These exercises target strength and flexibility in the lower body.

What are the benefits of the Reverse Sled Pull exercise?

The Reverse Sled Pull exercise is beneficial for targeting knee strength, improving athletic performance, and enhancing mobility. It also helps strengthen the knee joint and reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Try incorporating it into your workout routine for these benefits.

What are the benefits of the Tibia Raise exercise?

The Tibia Raise exercise is beneficial for strengthening knee muscles, improving mobility, and supporting overall joint and lower back health. It can also help with shin pain and enhance full body engagement. Try incorporating it into your workout routine for these benefits.

What are the benefits of the Heels-Elevated Goblet Squat exercise?

The Heels-Elevated Goblet Squat exercise can improve knee strength, joint health, and athletic performance, while also targeting ankle sprains for a holistic workout experience. Try incorporating this exercise into your routine for these benefits.

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