Dear friends, Let’s talk about knee pain. For the past five years or so I’d say my knees felt uncomfortable. But last winter, I started experiencing acute pain in my right knee…in the patellar tendon directly below the knee cap. It got to the point where the first thought I would have upon waking would be worrisome… Because I knew the first squat up out of bed… And then the first step down the stairs in the morning would be excruciating. I didn’t enjoy that as my very first thought! What a way to start the day.
I figured that this is just something that happens for those of us that play a sport, and begin aging. I see many of my friends and family members dealing with joint pain so I accepted that this is just something that comes with getting older.
When I found Kneesovertoesguy and the ATG system at the beginning of 2022 I was intrigued and caught off-guard. Here was a guy proving that training with our ‘knees over our toes’ was actually beneficial, and perhaps the route to recovery. I’ve been around sports and gyms all my life… And one of the phrases I heard ad nauseam was “don’t let your knees go over your toes”…meaning don’t allow your knee to go forward in exercises like squats, lunges, etc. so the ATG system was radical, different, and against many of the accepted literature. I love that.
The mainstream caution stems from a research study done in 1978 at Duke University concluding that when the knees go over the toes it creates more pressure in the knee. And then word was exaggerated over time to just avoid that position. Ok, that movement DOES create more pressure, but the conclusion COULD have been that we should carefully and strategically strengthen that area…not fricken avoid it!
Look at how we move in life. Look at how athletes move in sport. Start the first movement down a stair, and look at how far your back knee goes over your toes. Look at how far my right knee is over my toes in the picture (also see my dad and family worried about my knees going over my toes). We are in this position all the time! Doesn’t it make sense that we should strengthen our bodies in that position? Throughout my entire basketball career, I never strengthened myself in that position. However, within my sport I consistently drove my body into that position and put the harshest of demands on it. It’s no wonder my knees suffered!
The more ancestral cultures, look at China in particular, inherently use the deep squatting position often whereas most of us in the West stop at 90 degrees after a certain age. Range of motion then suffers for us. And 1 knee surgery in China for every 19 here!
When we don’t express a joint throughout its full range, our body stops sending synovial fluid to the area. Consequently, we miss out on the nourishment and lubrication there. Then the pain sets in! After all of my knee surgeries, I used a ton of painkillers and anti-inflammatories (which actually break down cartilage!), and of course I limited the range of motion of my knee, compounding the issue. Anything at or past 90° felt too tight and too painful.
One of the great things about the ATG system is that it meets you wherever you are. Instead of trying to work through pain or avoiding an area (we see how that works!), we can be grateful for whatever pain-free ability you have now and slowly and consistently build on that. Remember though… I’ve been strengthening muscles WITHOUT full range of motion… And WITHOUT letting my knees go over my toes for about 27 years (since I was 15). I can’t expect to achieve structural balance and undo all of that within a couple of workouts. As I’ve said, I am making good progress and I feel like I’m on the right track. It’s just good for us to understand that this is going to take time.
Since making my first Facebook post on this and asking for feedback… I’ve already received so many stories that make me more passionate about wanting to help. Some of us have to move in a particular way throughout our day to avoid pain on one side… Then when that used side gets too painful, we have to find other ways to navigate. Some of us have knee replacements, hip replacements, multiple surgeries attempting to repair the same issue… Then further surgeries recommended, then replacements. It’s just not a path that looks promising. ATG at least provides another option to consider.
I want to close in saying how grateful for, and how much I respect the doctors that are doing this work. A lot of my current feelings will sound like I’m anti-surgery. But actually, doctors and surgery are what stitched me up and put me back together to get back out there and live my life. These folks are way more educated than me, and they have the courage and skill to look at pictures, then actually open up a knee and correct the issue they see. I am certainly not an expert, and by no means want to put these people down. I’ve just been introduced to another method… A different option… And I want to share that with anyone who may be interested.
Do me a favor and share your story with me! I’ve heard a bunch but I haven’t heard yours yet… And I want to connect. This is completely free for now…And simply want to learn and help as much as I can rolling into 2023 with knees a little better than 2022. ‘When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.’ You can start adding tiny webs and fibers to your knees tonight.
Please message me!