Is it true that putting your knees over toes puts more stress on the knee? What if you could develop knee strength so that when your knees go over your toes, your knees have the strength training to withstand it? Even better, what if there was a program that could bring you relief from knee pain and increase your knee health? Have we piqued your interest with all of our questions? Read on to find the much-needed answers you require for knee pain.
Meet Ben Patrick
Known as the “knees over toes guy,” thirty-year-old Ben Patrick created a program called the Athletic Truth Group to overcome his chronic knee pain and increase his athletic performance after multiple knee surgeries before age 18.
Ben Patrick grew up being obsessed with athletic performance and development. At nine years old, he woke up at 5:30 am to strap on ankle weights and bounce two basketballs for two miles. Ben admired John Stockton, one of the most significant point guards of all time. Therefore, he pushed himself to achieve a high level of sports performance, leading to knee pain and multiple knee surgeries.
His teammates nicknamed him the “old man” because his knee pain took him over 30 minutes to warm up. He couldn’t jump to touch the rim or the backboard because of his knee health. Without any leads or recruitment, he continued to drive himself to play basketball at 18 despite continued knee pain.
At 21, he began the knees over toes training methods and saw profound results in his knee strength and athletic performance. After playing basketball at junior college but being denied by the NCAA because of his age to play division two, he decided to start the knees over toes training out of his garage.
The training allowed for knee flexion over the toes in a gradual program and strengthened his knees. He was able to play basketball again and found relief from his chronic knee pain. He credits his mentor, Charles Poliquin, one of the most famous Canadian strength coaches, for encouraging him to stick with his knees over toes training.
After realizing how much knees over toes was helping his progress, he developed ATG, Athletic Truth Group, and was interviewed on the Joe Rogan podcast. His YouTube channel now features over 800,000 followers for this ground-breaking program.
Philosophy Behind ATG Training
ATG, or Athletics Truth Group, is a training program that Ben Patrick began to help others build strength in their knees. It builds muscles, ligaments, and tendons with a progressive training strategy to reduce/eliminate knee pain and increase athletic performance. It’s based on ten main principles.
- Building strength from the ankles to the hips in increments helps to ensure better overall power throughout the human body.
- Having equal strength on both sides of the body means you won’t create an excess force on one side, leading to injury.
- Developing muscles on the front and back of the body helps with overall health and well-being.
- It’s essential to work on long-range and short-range exercises. An example of a long-range activity is the ATG squat, while a short-range movement is a dumbbell hamstring curl.
- Weights aren’t used at first to build strength through bodyweight training and perfecting form. Once weights are introduced, it’s at a gradual pace without moving up until specific strength criteria are met.
- Focuses on building durations of exercises from long to short.
- Exercises begin slow and work up to fast.
- Heavy focus on the negative movement in addition to the positive. It’s not just the jump but also the landing that is vital. A bicep curl-up is just as essential as controlling the muscle on the downward motion.
- Numbers never lie.
- Being able to perform exercises without pain is vital. When things are painful, people naturally don’t want to do it. That leads to more significant problems down the road. Practicing movements without pain are the results with knees over toes.
Ben Patrick offers five programs to help people whose knees hurt or simply want better protection for their kneecap, tendons, and ligaments. The most common route people take is performing Zero, followed by Dense Strength, and finally, Standards.
Starting at zero means, you need zero equipment to perform this program. Ben Patrick’s original program focuses on building strength from your ankles all the way up your body. While this program is not a requirement, it’s the best place to start if you are experiencing knee or ankle pain.
There is zero equipment, weights, or prior ability needed for this program. Ben Patrick shows you everything you need to know with his YouTube videos to have you successfully eliminate pain.
The Dense Strength program focuses on building strength gradually with weights without rushing into heavier loads before someone is ready. Twelve weeks of this program feature bodyweight training only without weights. Once weights are added, Ben works with his customers to master ten sets at a particular weight in ten minutes. It’s only after that goal is achieved that additional load is added. Strength coach Ben Patrick is adamant that there is no pressure to make gains quickly. Gradual improvements are better for long-term benefits for knee ability, hip flexion, and overall athletic performance.
The Standards program is all about measuring your abilities with 20 different tests to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are. By utilizing conditioning coaches and practicing with the ATG system, people can achieve the goal of building strength in the knees.
As Ben states, “Each Standard is unorthodox compared to traditional exercise, but each Standard follows simple, evidential clues for greater longevity.”
Women of ATG
The ATG system has coached men and women through upper and lower body workouts like calf raises, step-ups, and ATG squats. Feedback from women allowed Ben to create an ATG workout specific to the gender. Led by Ben’s wife, Alissa, this program consists of lower body workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the upper body, focusing on Tuesday and Thursday for a full body workout.
This program for women incorporates workouts for the lower legs from the other ATG programs. Ultimately, it focuses on the ability to perform exercises without pain.
ATG for Longevity
Ben describes ATG for Longevity as his favorite program because it’s something you can do forever to keep up your strength. The program’s schedule is below.
- Monday – ankles
- Tuesday – knees
- Wednesday – hips
- Thursday – lower back
- Friday – upper back
- Saturday – shoulders
- Sunday – optional elbows
Currently, Ben is working out using several workouts. The first is a form of PHA, peripheral heart action training, with an ATG style. PHA is a circuit training that alternates between the upper and lower body without breaks.
Ben is also doing ATG for Speed, which helps athletes make gains in speed no matter how slow they are.
Finally, Advanced Zero is a combination of weight training and bodyweight exercises. Ben uses this program when he travels to continue the gains he has made for his knee ability.
Knees Over Toes Equipment
While the Zero program requires no equipment, other ATG programs use equipment to build strength. Some of the standard equipment used are:
- Sled and sled straps
- Slant boards
- Back extensions
Specific stretching and leg stretching machines help with the ATG program if you have access to them. Exercises like the hanging leg raise, ATG chin up, reverse sled pull, ATG split squat, and more are all part of the ATG program. Some of the equipment listed is essential for making these exercises successful.
Knees over toes is an excellent program for those seeking relief from knee pain. The entire system promotes the gradual increase of extending your knees over your toes to enhance muscle, tendon, and ligament strength. This program has seen many success stories, like Ben himself gaining strength and increasing knee ability for those with many years of knee pain. Perhaps never extending your knees over your toes may be a thing of the past. When done in a proper, gradual time frame, it may just be the answer you are looking for to fend off chronic knee pain and lead you to a better lifestyle.
Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.