Knee Ability For Youth vs Longevity

5 min readApr 8, 2024


My son is 3 years old and he already copies me by standing on the slantboard and squatting.

But slantboard squats didn’t feel good for me until I had a steady diet of ATG Split Squats.

And ATG Split Squats felt a lot better when I first pumped my legs with sled or resisted treadmill.

But if I hooked my 3-year-old up to a sled, he would be confused.

In fact, I don’t plan on “making” my kids do any exercise as they grow up.

My theory is to have appropriate implements present, set an example myself, and show them my support when they choose to exercise.

For example, both my 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter hang from a pull-up bar we made which allows me to do pull-ups, then set the bar all the way down for their heights.

I don’t tell them what to do. They just try to copy me.

I also try to set up physical activities they find more interesting than SCREENS.



It finally hit me a few days ago.

If I had to give an overview of the direct knee approach in Knee Ability, it would be:

Sled or Resisted Treadmill helps ATG Split Squat which helps Slant Squat.

But that’s the longevity approach.

For youth it would be the opposite!

If a kid is in a sport known to cause a lot of knee surgeries, I would absolutely make slant squats available!

Given modern surgery stats for young athletes, I don’t feel AT ALL comfortable unless you create greater ability around the knee than the norm. Knee Ability may seem a little scary, but the norm is scarier! Learn how to scale each exercise, and you can safely create more knee ability than the norm.

Note: SPORTS ARE INTENSE. So theoretically it would be nice to say “young athletes don’t need to do a specific exercise.” Well, I think that’s true if they’re living a natural lifestyle of balanced physical activities. But once they start going hard on a specific sport, they enter the startling statistics of surgeries in young athletes.

Bottom line: Sports can go to extremes. Extremes on the knee require greater knee ability.

On that note: I would also add Nordics to make sure the back of the knee is harder to pry apart than an average knee. And you only need a “parent and a pad” to make world-class results.

For families that all want to implement Nordics, the Family Nordic Bench is ideal, because it scales to lower levels.

Nordics are now one of my 70-year-old mother’s favorite exercises!

Once a young athlete has mastered slant squats and Nordics on the level of ease as push-ups and pull-ups, respectively, I would then add in the ATG Split Squat. As I raise my kids, I will have more specifics for you. At present, take these concepts and make them your own.

Mastering the ATG Split Squat from a young age makes it so much easier to have above average mobility for the rest of life.

And eventually, if an athlete is in a hard-driving forward sport like basketball, soccer or football, I would add backward sled or resisted treadmill in order to balance out the extreme forward efforts.


  1. Slant Squat & Nordic
  2. ATG Split Squat
  3. Backward Sled or Tread


  1. Backward Sled or Tread
  2. ATG Split Squat
  3. Slant Squat & Nordic

These are the formulas I have used and will use for life with myself and others.

It just never hit me till now that they’re the same formula in reverse, hence this article.

I hope this helps something “click” for someone else out there.

And I hope you can USE this data to help people find more JOY and less PAIN in life.

On that note, here’s an inspiring message we received this week:

My name is Mary Smith and I use the Patrick method to prepare for running the 400m and the 200m.

I am 83 and just set the American record in the 400m at the USATF 2024 masters nationals in Chicago.

I have Ben’s book and my coach Deb Brown told me to use his suggestions. I do and the results are I’m ranked first in the world in my age group 80–84 and remain unbeaten in this 400m event.

Mary Smith

Mary, you’re one of my new heroes!

Yours in Solutions,



ATG Equipment

Foot-Inspired Shoes

ATG Coaching Certification

Directory of ATG Coaches Worldwide