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Thoughts on Kneesovertoesguy?

I have listened to a few podcasts and watched some YouTube videos on this guy.

For thos that don’t know, he has created a training program that focuses on ankle and knee flexibility and end range strength. Has claims of bulletproofing knees, increasing verticals and a range of other benefits.

Anybody else looked into this guys work? Thoughts and opinions?


I came across him before listening to the Just Fly Performance Podcast. A lot of what he is espousing are things I’ve seen recommended before, such as Jefferson Curls, and leaving exercise selection aside the general principles are things I’ve encountered in works of others. In a sense there’s plenty of weighted stretching going on that reminds me of Tom Kurz.

Overall, I decided that it wouldn’t be a bad aim to aspire to meet the “standards” he presents in one of his videos and re-evaluate thereafter. I include stuff like Jefferson Curls after deadlifts and the abs stuff on lower body days. The goals don’t seem lofty, or far out of reach.

I resent that most of his info is on Instagram or YouTube. I prefer digesting written text so I have a very superficial acquaintance to his work.

@j4gga2 might be more familiar.

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Progressively loading into extreme end-ranges is an excellent way to “protect” joints (if protecting joints were to be possible in the first place). I am not familiar with Ben Patrick’s standards, but I am familiar with the exercises he recommends and I do believe they are effective exercises. In particular, I like his emphasis on training tibialis anterior and training deep knee flexion with his split squat and sissy squat exercises.

My biggest issue with Ben Patrick’s work is that it treats/turns everyone into knee-dominant athletes. In general, (real) athletes - not powerlifters etc - are either “muscle-driven”, knee-dominant athletes or “fascia-driven”, hip-dominant athletes. If you were to take a hip-dominant, fascial athlete and teach them to overly-rely on their musculature, you’ll likely rob them of their natural elasticity that made them exceptional. Of course, that’s not guaranteed to happen, but it’s likely to happen if you were to spend too much time “knees over toe-ing” and not enough time being an athlete.

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Is there a way to self-screen for being muscle- or fascia driven? Is it possible that a person with leverages that favour hip-dominance is still muscle-driven?

And on the topic of progressive overload in extreme ends of motion I can intuitively map Ben’s stuff to the elbow. Imagining the triceps as quads, extensor muscles as the tibialis, and a decent exercise selection to target the triceps in end range ROM. I know what Tom Kurz specifies for the hips. But, I’m stymied about how the principles apply, if at all, to the shoulders. Any thoughts on that?

Interesting conversation gentlemen.

Ben also advocates Nordic hamstring curls. Is there much difference between these and GHRs?

I’m looking into getting some equipment to do the tibias raises and hip flexor movements. Do you guys have any of these?


Yes and yes.

Muscle-driven athletes are typically good accelerators, exhibit longer ground contact times in plyometric movements, are disproportionately good at squat jumps in comparison to countermovement jumps and typically opt for a two-footed jump off an approach.

Fascia-driven athletes are typically better at maintaining maximum speeds (and will often reach higher maximum speeds), exhibit shorter ground contact times in plyometric movements, are disproportionately good at countermovement jumps compared to squat jumps and typically opt for a one-footed jump off an approach.

Marshawn Lynch, Shaquille O’Neil and Ben Johnson are classic muscle-driven athletes. Odell Beckham Jnr, Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt are classic fascia-driven athletes.

Fascia-driven athletes are usually quicker and thus gravitate to track and low-no contact sports. Muscle-driven athletes are usually stronger and thus gravitate to power and high-contact sports.


Supramaximal eccentric exercises like Nordics are strongly associated with an increased muscle fascicle length and increased stress to collagen structures. This isn’t present on an exercise such as a GHR, if you can perform full concentric-eccentric cycles.

Once you can perform concentric-eccentric nordics, there is no difference.

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Don’t try to find analagous structures between shoulders and knees, just remember that “loading at end range” is still a useful thing to do for shoulders.

You can use exercises like dips for end-range shoulder extension and chin-ups and/or hangs (especially single-arm or grip-switching) for end-range shoulder flexion/abduction/scaption. I also encourage loading deep into shoulder internal rotation to get that “strength at length” through the posterior shoulder musculature as well.


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Any value in doing nordics that I wouldn’t get from like RDLs or deadlifts?

In other words…do I really need to do them lol

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Depends, are you asking as an athlete, a gym-rat or both?

I wouldn’t consider deadlifts an effective hamstring stimulus from the get-go, but RDL’s certainly are.

You’ll find that RDLs will preferentially train proximal/mid hamstrings and particularly stress the biceps femoris. In contrast, Nordics preferentially train distal hamstrings and particularly stress semitendinosis. However, this has more of a functional implication for injury management than it does for simply looking sexy.

As I mentioned earlier, Nordics have very specific benefits because they are a supramaximal exercise, but these benefits can be gained from RDLs as well, just to a smaller extent.

As a whole though, I do think including some form of knee flexion training into a strength training program is a good idea, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be Nordics

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I guess asking as both.

General strength as gym rat, injury prevention as an athlete.

My hams are probably weak that’s why they feel so sucky for me

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Do you have access to a leg curl machine? I got something for you that’ll humble your hamstring(s)

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That’s a really great clip, thank you for sharing that. When I do shoulder external rotations with a dumbbell I try and emulate Mike Robertson to ensure that the external rotators are doing the work


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I think most athletes should directly train their hamstrings in some capacity. For athletes who regularly need to hit maximum/near-maximum velocity running, then I think that Nordics in particular are a great idea to minimise injury risk.

That said, regular max-velocity sprinting and Nordics will both impose very similar architectural changes to the hamstrings themselves, as both apply extremely high eccentric stress onto the hamstrings. This is why most very fast people are able to do up-down Nordics.

So, if you are an athlete who needs to sprint at near-max speeds for your sport, but don’t regularly attain near-max sprint speeds in training, Nordics are beneficial to you. If you do regularly sprint at near max speeds, they may be unnecessary.

Of course, Nordics rarely made an athlete worse. Sprinting has never made an athlete worse. My conclusion is that it’s probably best to do both


Love Mike Robertson’s work, and I love that way of performing rotations (you’ll notice that’s one of the two I filmed).

I like that variation (elbow on knee) to load the mid position of the rotation arc, and because it tends not to stress out supraspinatus. I like the other version (sleeper rotation) to load the fully-lengthened position of the rotation arc, and to give athletes some resiliency in what would typically be described as the “impingement position”

I did, I shared the image to highlight the difference in execution. I should have made that explicit, sorry. Compare your elbow position to his.

If impingement is already present, is the sleeper version contraindicated?

Given the nature of the article, I presume that with a hunchback there may already be impingement and since the seated version is prescribed it is not contraindicated.

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Interestingly, recent studies suggest that “shoulder impingement” doesn’t exist as a mechanical cause of pain. Impingement is best considered a cluster of symptoms, rather than a diagnosis. Even then, it is not necessarily a contraindication to anything.

If my client has high levels of pain with the sleeper position, I won’t prescribe it, but otherwise it doesn’t really have any contraindications other than a history of posterior dislocation of the shoulder

That’d be interesting, how conclusive are the results? Do the studies consider all symptoms to be muscular, and as a corollary as the consequence of muscular imbalance?

If true it’d mean that people could continue training movements that hurt — conceivably decreasing their frequency/volume/intensity while counterbalancing it out with antagonist motions.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses spanning 2-3 decades of research.

So “impingement” has been used to describe anterosuperior shoulder pain caused by a mechanical “impingement” of the subacromial tissues (subacromial bursa, supraspinatus and long head of biceps in particular) against the subacromial arch. What research has shown is that:

  • This mechanical encroachment occurs with an equal frequency between symptomatic and asymptomatic shoulders
  • The size of subacromial space does not correlate to the occurrence or magnitude of pain associated with “impingement”
  • Surgically increasing the size of the subacromial space via subacromial decompression surgery is no more efficacious than placebo surgery for improving shoulder pain that would typically be described as “impingement”

Contributing factors to “impingement” may include poor external rotation strength, but stronger contributing factors are listed below.

As an aside, “muscular imbalance” is a nebulous term at best. Any standards for “muscular balance” are arbitrary. In addition, “muscular balance” in itself is extremely difficult to assess due to issues with reliability and validity of muscle testing techniques, and due to differences in muscle output across ROM

This is exactly the way people should manage and train with pain.

  1. Reduce the volume of painful activity
  2. Do stuff that doesn’t hurt as much
  3. Return to painful activity
  4. Improve at painful activity over baseline

Pain itself is not an indicator of tissue damage whatsoever. Some of the strongest contributors to long-lasting pain include subconcious hypersensitivity to movement, fear-avoidance of movement, stress, anxiety, poor sleep quality and “maladaptive beliefs” (aka a fragility mindset). Additionally, when discussing long-lasting musculoskeletal shoulder pain, no imaging or clinical tests can accurately assess the cause of shoulder pain. Therefore, the best we can do is develop a stronger, more resilient shoulder complex and manage the volume of (formerly) painful activity you do.

What does this mean? Improve, without having the pain increase?

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