posted on April 20, 2022
I wanted to talk to yinz about the importance of adding knees over toes exercises into your workouts. The main point about training knees over toes (KOT) exercises is that our bodies were made to move in triplanar movement, or movement in all three planes of the body. Incorporating these types of movements in your everyday workouts will increase your mobility and reduce your risk of injury. With KOT, specifically, we are looking to improve knee health by strengthening the tendons. To begin your KOT journey, I would recommend starting with increasing your ankle mobility. This can be done by rolling out the ankles, working on knee to wall exercises, and banded ankle mobility exercises. The knee to wall stretch would be the best way to get familiar with the idea of KOT: start facing a wall, with toes 2-3 inches from the wall, making a conscious effort to keep your foot flat, and begin to push your knee to the wall. If it’s too easy, slide your foot back, too hard slide your foot forward. I believe in a longer warm up prior to exercising, so I always include large amounts of mobility into my training. For KOT, I would add the ankle mobility into any warm up for any leg day, and depending on your familiarity with the gym, add some of the listed exercises in the next paragraph to your warm ups.
Once you have the basics of mobility, you can begin incorporating some KOT exercises into your workouts. These exercises can include: step downs, heels elevated squats, reverse nordic curl progression, and backwards sled drags. The main thing to remember during these workouts is that slow and controlled will give you the best results. Majority of these workouts can be used as either a warm up or as the workout by itself. Main points I would like to highlight are: be sure to keep your foot firmly plants for the stepdowns, the reverse nordic curl progression has a long list of progressions/ regressions so finding the perfect spot for your level is easy to find, and during backward sled drags make sure you’re holding a squat and being purposeful with your feet placement (placing toes first and rolling onto heels). Since we want to strengthen our knees and prevent any future injuries, the heavier and slower these exercises are the better!
If you’re interested in improving and maintaining your knee health, or possibly get rid of your knee pain, feel free to ask me any questions!