Knees Over Toes: Does The Program Work?
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Whether or not you listen to Joe Rogan’s podcast or you regularly browse fitness pages and accounts on social media, you may have run across something called Knees Over Toes.
It may sound like a child’s nursery rhyme but it’s actually a workout program that, as the name suggests, puts emphasis on movement with knees over toes and other unorthodox or unusual methods of movement to help strengthen knees, joints, leg muscles, calves, etc.
Before I reveal too much about it, we’ll jump right into the article where I’ll give you some context about what knees over toes is, who’s behind the program, and why it could be beneficial to add to your workout routine.
Who’s Behind the Program
Giving context to the workouts and programs we engage with is helpful for understanding why we do them.
Most people might think of the Yates Row as just another name for a barbell row, but it’s helpful to get that context as to why Dorian Yates emphasizes using his form of barbell rows.
The same idea applies to understanding the face(s) behind the Knees Over Toes program.
Ben Patrick is the mastermind behind Knees Over Toes, which is also called ATG, meaning Athletic Truth Group, also founded by Ben. Along with his wife Alissa and son Onyx, and his cavalcade of friends, athletes, and supporters, Knees Over Toes/ATG has a strong core team.
A former basketball player that gave up the sports dream to pursue the dream of training and helping people, he eventually founded his ATG gym and from there, developed the Knees Over Toes doctrine that forms the basis of his training philosophy.
The reasoning behind creating this program is that he wants to help people of all athletic and genetic backgrounds unlock their potential and help them recover from injuries.
Knee injuries are some of the most common in sports competition and training which also happen to be some of the most debilitating for movement and development so he set out to create a new type of program that is aimed at unlocking the potential of your movement in knees and lower body to help overcome injury, prevent it, and strengthen knees.
Of course, it’s not just about the knees as I’ve alluded to already. He focuses on heels, ankles, shins, calves, quads, hips, back, etc. but his focus is easily summed up as overwhelmingly lower body-centric.
What Knees Over Toes Offers
You’re probably wondering what the actual program offers and it’s quite interesting to note that it’s split up amongst a few different programs.
Knee Ability Zero
The first two programs offered are both what is considered the core pillars of the entire Knees Over Toes philosophy and the ones that are consistently mentioned when asking what the Knees Over Toes program is.
Knee Ability Zero is a beginner way to get into the rehabilitation and training process for knees, lower body, and overall training.
It is a simple routine that can be done with just bodyweight (meaning no weights), making it excellent for those on a budget, not to mention it’s the free option on the ATG site.
It consists of 3 lower-body days (Mon., Wed., Fri.) and 2 upper-body days (Tues., Thurs.) so it’s a full weekday regiment.
The ATG Program
The second program that is most referenced when it comes to Knees Over Toes is the ATG Program.
The ATG Program is more advanced and Ben urges trainees to begin with Knee Ability Zero before progressing to the ATG Program, but it’s not a requirement.
Where the ATG Program differs is the schedule, it operates like:
So it maintains the same weekday regiment, but it uses more dynamic splits like a bodybuilding or weightlifting routine.
This program lasts for 12 sessions which means a change every 2 weeks. Ben updates and uploads videos explaining the workouts and sessions on his YouTube channel every week, so it’s easy to keep up with the program as it is ever-evolving.
Each video is easy to follow and helps visualize the workouts for those that need some extra guidance.
In addition to the other programs, Dense Strength is simply attempting to help increase workout load to help improve upon existing sets and progress from Knee Ability Zero, ATG Program, Advanced Zero, etc.
From the name alone, the Standards program is meant for finding the strengths and weaknesses of each trainee and helping reach a standard to help bulletproof your body, as Ben likes to proclaim.
It aims at finding a trainees ability level in 20 different areas to assess those strengths and weaknesses and is one of the cornerstone programs he has cultivated in his time training and teaching.
Combining bodyweight and weights, Advanced Zero is a good segway after Knee Ability Zero to help mix the best of both worlds for his training programs.
Advanced Zero’s schedule looks like this:
It represents another dynamic split similar to the ATG Program but is easily doable for those moving up from Knee Ability Zero yet it introduces more resistance and weighted work to strengthen without pushing too hard on trainees.
How it Differs From Traditional Stretching and Mobility Programs
It’s a perfectly reasonable expectation for many of you to read this and still think, “How does this differ from any other program?” while it might seem like it, the Knees Over Toes program has major appeal for a few definitive reasons.
Finding a more passionate founder of a fitness or rehabilitation program than Ben Patrick may be harder than you think.
He’s been doing this for over 10 years after a personal quest to improve his body following a college career in basketball.
With a consistently helpful attitude with plenty of online resources and outreach to his program supporters and users, Ben has created the bedrock for what I referred to as a philosophy, not just a program.
Knees Over Toes and his work behind helping others stretches beyond monetary desire and he appears to be as genuine as they come which should instill plenty of confidence.
Many programs for mobility, stretching, or fitness focus solely on results and performance at the behest of often more important goals: rehabilitation.
Going to personal trainers, physiotherapists, and athletic trainers can cost a handsome chunk of change to get the rehabilitation work you need, but the ATG and Knees Over Toes programs are designed to alleviate that and your pain.
Focusing on knee rehabilitation (as well as the rest of the lower and upper body), means this program isn’t just for athletes, it’s for anyone aged 18-80 to help themselves bulletproof their body for sport or simply for everyday comfortable living.
That being said, the athletic performance benefits are still second to none as Knees Over Toes can help those everyday people become more athletic.
Plenty of stretching and mobility routines offer this benefit, but combining it with the rehabilitation efforts in such a simple program makes it an all-around benefit that some stretching routines miss out on.
Incorporating plenty of the unorthodox movements (backwards walking for knee strength) help give it an edge on the oversimplified mobility programs that only focus on specific movements and body parts.
Keep in mind that Knees Over Toes is also highly effective for hip mobility, another crucial and often overlooked part of lower body strength development and rehab.
Similarly, it helps develop a stronger core and lower back for further support.
Lastly, the testimonials are impossible to ignore.
It can be easy enough in the age of the internet to disregard praise, reviews, and personal testimonials as paid shilling or promotion, but the overwhelming stream of thank you’s and success stories from users of the Knees Over Toes programs and philosophy caught my eye right away.
Tore 2 ligaments in my knee...
Found @kneesovertoesguy on Instagram and immediately saw results since DAY 1. It works!
The confidence I get in both Ben’s passion for helping people achieve maximum performance and the range of users from pro athletes to collegiate athletes, to the every day person, definitely has built a sense of urgency to get in on the program.
How You Can Add It Into Your Routine
Reading Ben’s articles on his ATG site and watching his videos, he makes it abundantly clear that incorporating any or all of the programs into your personal routine is a breeze.
Most of the sessions you’ll be working last 20-30 minutes, which is a perfect pre or post-workout accessory. Mind you, these routines are not accessory work as they are fully realized workouts in of themselves, but it goes to show how even a 5-day schedule like the ATG Program or Knee Ability Zero can be comfortably managed even for a busy work week.
The Knees Over Toes workout works well for anyone, especially those rehabbing knee and leg injuries, or those trying to build stronger legs, but it doesn't end there.
Ben's wife, Alissa, is also a major part of ATG, and she shows how to perform the workouts even for women during pregnancy which is helpful for any mothers out there looking to stay active safely while expecting.
Knee Ability Zero and ATG For Life
Knee Ability Zero
The original Knee Ability Zero Program book is available on Amazon to help you get started with the Knees Over Toes programming.
Knee Ability Zero costs $19.71 for paperback and includes excellent information on knee muscles/joints, knee rehab, exercises to help strengthen the knee, and everything that Ben Patrick teaches to help improve your athletic performance and health.
ATG For Life
ATG, or Athletic Truth Group, is also Ben Patrick's brainchild that involves a more fundamental description and programming for Knees Over Toes and Knee Ability Zero users.
ATG For Life is available on Amazon for $19.82 in paperback book form.
ATG For Life includes more detailed examples of exercises, routines, and plenty more to continue your journey of knee and body health.
How Much Does It Cost
Before we wrap things up, you want to know how much it costs to join the ATG programs.
Knee Ability Zero is free online (for the basic/starter program) while the other programs (The ATG Program, Dense Strength, Standards, Advanced Zero) are a monthly cost of $49.50 on his site.
This might seem like a lot to some, but as I mentioned, when you consider the costs for rehabilitation, mobility, and physiotherapy work from PT’s and the like, it can end up costing you much more than that.
The most important thing to remember when to comes to paying for fitness related expenses like training books or programs, is to understand that it’s an investment in your health and wellbeing, which should be priceless.
Dismissing Knees Over Toes as some fad or trend from social media that found life as a topic on Joe Rogan might seem like the correct way to assess its validity, but that’s a shortsighted way to view it.
After doing my own research and diving into the world and philosophy of Knees Over Toes and viewing Ben Patrick’s social media presence, it’s nothing short of passionate.
A complex yet simple collection of programs to help strengthen, rehabilitate and rejuvenate the body for everyday goals or athletic progress, he’s created a system that is more than just ticking off boxes in your daily workout schedule.
If you haven’t heard of Knees Over Toes and ATG yet, it'll be hard to ignore soon enough.