ROKP (Reverse Out Knee Pain)

The lightest form of knees over toes training is walking backwards. If you have knee problems, this is the special sauce to start down the path of recovery. At least 5 minutes per day is what I do and recommend. We call this ROKP (reverse out knee pain).

But walking backwards ALONE, even though good for light recovery, won’t cause the pressure and adaptation that we want. At some point, we need to add some load or resistance. AND, walking backwards outside can be dangerous with obstacles, potholes, uneven terrain, etc. especially for older folks.

At that point, pulling a fitness sled on turf is the best method. Smooth, predictable surface and measurable load. The late, great Louie Simmons (RIP) popularized the sled, with some of the strongest folks in the world. I learned it from Ben Hartford and Brian Christopher. Ben is still coaching Anchor Athletics in Concord, NH. This is a great gym… with great turf for sledding!

If we don’t belong to a gym with this setup. There are many DIY sled options to make at home, but you need a good driveway, yard, or street to pull it on.

Don’t want to do that? Another fine ROKP option is the reverse deadmill. Stand on a treadmill, but turn backwards and push away with your feet. It’s good to have padding between your back and the control panel area for comfort. You can probably find a free treadmill out there. It doesn’t even need to work! Just make sure you can spin the belt and that it provides resistance. Some spin fast and gain momentum. No bueno.

Ok lastly…it’s too cold and uneven out there for backward walking, no sled, and no treadmill? You can do 5 minutes of ‘knee drops’ seen in my video, standing in place. With your hands holding something for stability, and keeping your torso vertical, let your knees go forward out and slightly over your toes. Your heels should slightly come off of the floor. While returning to starting position(straight legs) engage the tibialis and lift with the toes. Keep pulsing down and up. When knees lockout, toes should lift off of ground slightly. It’s NOT the same if you don’t lift the toes! This helps get into a slightly hyperextended position, but engaging the tibialis causes even more blood flow and good vibes. 5 minutes of this for less pain, and incredible pump around the knee.

Please try ROKP in some way, then tell me how the knees feel! It’s done wonders for mine. 5 minutes per day will help get your base back!

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