10-Minute Footwork & Knee Workout for Young Athletes, with NFL DB Leonard Johnson

5 min readApr 1, 2024

Leonard was my first pro client.

Despite being undrafted and not naturally fast, he played 8 seasons in the NFL.

When he retired, he was the FASTEST and HEALTHIEST of his career.

Sometimes I look back and I think his best football was still ahead of him. He had contract offers to keep playing.

But he also had three daughters — and he was HEALTHY.

Fast-forward to today, and I know he made the right decision.

I also know that his most impactful days ARE still ahead of him…


So while most of my content is geared for longevity, today’s article starts with young athletes!

These 4 steps have helped make athletes millions of dollars and more importantly: REDUCE PAIN…

1/4. 60-Second Stance

Most athletes never master the actual athletic stance, leaving the knees weak relative to the impact of sports.

3 form points:

1. Knees over toes

2. Knees inside

3. Pressure on inside balls of feet


The greatest successes are often the ones with mastery of the BASICS at HIGHER LEVELS than all opponents.

Michael Jordan was an example.

He had the lowest STANCE of any 6’6”+ athlete I’ve ever studied.

After a 1 minute break…

2/4. 30 1-Inch Step-Replace Per Side

-1 minute break between sides

Now you train to move IN that stance.

Most young athletes are too WEAK to do this. They rely on SHUFFLING or BOBBING up and down, which is not how the best defenders actually move!

You simply step about an inch with the outside foot, then step about an inch with the inside foot.

But you try to keep your body at the same height the whole time!

3/4. MAKE SLANT SQUATS LIKE PUSH-UPS: 50 reps, taking as many breaks as you need

Without a slant, you can balance on your toes.

[FYI this is a $30 slant I’ll start selling soon. Anything I make geared for kids will be THE lowest price on the market because I have zero ad spend.]

In high school, I went to sleep dreaming of dunking.

I didn’t dream of lying on operating tables for knee surgery.

Now I’m a slamming machine.

The #1 reason is that I went from AVOIDING knee over toes and full range of motion, as I was told — to turning them into STRENGTHS.

4/4. MAKE NORDICS LIKE PULL-UPS! 10 reps, fighting down to the best of your ability

This changed my athleticism forever.

Took me 2 1/2 years to do 1 rep on the way up.

Now I can do 10.

Any young athlete can create knees far more protected and athletic than the norm.

And you only need your dad and a pad to start!

Young Athlete Conclusion:

I had the slowest 40 and the lowest vert on my high school team.

Far worse: My sport was pure misery because my knees were so bad.


I get to live the rest of my life as a freak athlete with world-class knee protection.

All because of how I’ve mastered the BASICS.

And before I go, let’s REVERSE engineer this for longevity.

While I start kids with slant squats…

1/3. The slant squat scales to LESS than bodyweight.

2/3. The ATG Split Squat ALSO scales to less than bodyweight.

This was the saving grace for my knees that made squats feel great!

My left knee was a surgical mess. Right knee? Torn up and “needed more surgery.”

I’ve now been practicing this for 10 years.

3/3. Backward sled or resisted treadmill underlies the ATG Split Squat as an even more fundamental knee over toes exercise!

This is what got me off painkillers and improved my results with the ATG Split Squat!

When you understand this article, you become powerful in helping ALL AGES with their knees, mobility, and athleticism.

Here are some wins I’ve been sent this week, spanning vast age ranges:

Yours in Solutions,



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