The Five Exercises To Become A Better Athlete that Most Never Heard Of

Jan 18, 2021

BTB Lax coach Jesse Miller

Since February-2020, I’ve been following the Knees Over Toes vertical jump program.

Ben Patrick is the head coach. 

It’s intense and incorporates lots of weight training with jumping sessions.

I’m making solid gains.

Each week, I try to lift six times (some days I lift twice.)

Depending on my current program, four lifts are from the jumping program.  The other lifts incorporate more supplemental stuff like upper body and core.

Ben programs lots of stretching, so I allocate an extra 30 minutes for that each day.

… combined, the lift and stretch takes about 90 minutes.

I’ve been lifting for a long time, but these programs have introduced me to exercises and stretches that I never knew existed.

Through study, experimentation, and hard work, Ben increased his vertical jump from 19” to over 40”.

You can check out his Instagram to see his dunks.

Ben’s BIG on eliminating knee pain, and he talks about it all the time.

He encourages getting your knees over your toes... with resistance... to build strength.

This works to strengthen your knees and eliminates pain.

It's really effective.

All of Ben's workouts start with Reverse Out Knee Pain.

This can be done several different ways...

You can drag a weighted sled, run backwards up a hill, reverse fast walk on a treadmill, and even stand and hold a single-bent leg for time.

The goal is to add resistance when your knees are over your toes.

I used to have some knee pain.  (I’d notice it when carrying my golf back up a steep hill.)

Since I’ve incorporated Reverse Out Knee Pain, that pain has totally vanished.

My knees have never felt better.

There’s some staple exercises to Ben's programs.  

I guarantee if you do these consistently, you'll become a better athlete.

Nordics are maybe the most difficult exercise I’ve ever done.  They target your hamstrings.

My range of motion was pathetic back in February, signalling that my hamstrings were weak.

I've been doing Nordics twice a week, and I can do a full Nordic now.

Nordics should be programmed in every lacrosse player's training program. 

. . .

The Single Leg Split Squat is a beast.

The goal is to cover your calf with your hamstring, while keeping a flat front foot.

If needed, you can elevate your front foot to make it easier… this helps keep your foot flat.

But over time, you want to be able to perform this exercise without any front foot elevation.

When going down you want to have a big chest and your shoulders pulled back… you don’t want to hunch forward.

The Patrick Step Up is designed to strengthen your VMO.

The VMO is the first of your 4 quadricep muscles to contract when your knee is under load, and it’s the most fast-twitched of your for quadricep muscles.

(This is a picture of a Slant Board Patrick Step Up... it's harder and you can't do as much weight.)

Twice a week, there is a circuit hitting my tibialis, calves, and hip flexors.

I never thought to weight train my hip flexors before.

It showed, as mine are still very weak.

Ben’s standard for a strong hip flexor is to hold an L-sit for 30 seconds.

...on the ground (not using any assistance from an elevated bench or chair.)

I’m not even close.

I’m just getting to the point where I can lift both legs off ground when sitting on floor.

I can hold that position for about two seconds now… and to even get to that point took forever.

(Here's a picture of a modification using a bench...)

The tibialis is responsible for stabilizing the ankle as the foot hits the ground when walking or running.  

Contrary, it pulls your foot off the ground when walking and running.

I never thought to work this muscle before.

But having a strong tibialis helps eliminate knee pain because it helps absorb the force of landing from jumps, running and walking.

Ben’s big on the Seated Good Morning as well.

He states that it's good for squat mobility and first-step explosiveness.

As I stated earlier, the stretching takes about 30 minutes each day.

There’s stretches for:  Calves, Hamstrings, Quad/Hip-Flexor, Piriformis, and the inner hamstring.

I’m getting closer to the standards.

The hip flexor stretch is really hard.

The standard is to get your shoulders back to the wall while keeping your shin and foot flush with the wall.

I've made good progress on this stretch.

Tuesday’s and Friday’s are jump days.

Ben coaches jumping 4 different ways, and he preaches that you practice them all.  

The reason is to balance your body.

Tuesday’s are two foot jumps, and you alternate between a right then left step combination and a left then right step combination.

Friday’s are one foot jumps, and you alternate with right foot and left foot jumps.

I do all my jumping on a basketball court.

I have my best jump days when I play basketball with other people.  

When I’m alone, most of my jumping isn’t good.  I try to get warmed up as much as possible, but it just isn’t the same.

I’ve dunked a tennis ball a couple times, so it's getting better.

Lately, my lifts have been getting better, but my jumps have remained somewhat stagnant.

Ben says that a 3” to 4” increase in vertical leap each year is solid.

I’ve already increased my vertical that amount this year.

No matter what happens, I’ll continue these workouts because my legs feel great.

I’m convinced that improving my vertical jump will help me with golf and tennis.

The same holds true with lacrosse players.

I firmly believe that these leg exercises would help any lacrosse player… by helping players become more explosive and by helping to prevent injuries.

Hit me up if you have questions.

Oh ya, and it you're looking for some free lacrosse training, then check out his link here.