It’s Thursday 2nd of January 2023, and Michael Knight posts on my Instagram. It’s not the first time he’s posted stirring comments, obviously, there is something that annoys him about me as I never heard about him. The first time he posted I just stopped giving attention to him—don’t feed the trolls.
However, this time he posted while trying to correct me and continue spreading the age-old myth of “no knees over the toes” across the world. I’m always open to debate and stand corrected, however, I remember this person as he’s come over to my Instagram before to simply stir. This time I looked into him, and when you get a question like “why are knees over toes when you load? [skeptical and mocking emoji]” from someone who’s been in the game for over 3 decades my answer will be much shorter (even if you trained Chris Hemsworth).
“You have a lot of catching up to do if you are still following that. It is absolutely incorrect to think that the knees should not go over the toes. I highly recommend doing some research on this area.”Cavemantraining
“type in Google ‘knees past toes squat myth’ that myth is decades old”Cavemantraining
To which Michael Knight replied:
“well when you put a real fucking kettlebell in your hand i will. Ihave 8 years old using that bell . quit stealing money for your bullshit.”Michael Knight
This is all in response to this instructional video that shows how beginners can clean a kettlebell.
At this point, it became clear to me that my assumption of him not being there to learn or debate like an adult was correct. Normally I don’t entertain trolls much, but in this case, I felt like it would be a good opportunity for an article to help dispel the myth of no knees over the toes in the squat, which obviously is still spread, by 2-time world champions (his words).
Before we dive into the rest of his tirade and who can pee the furthest contest, let’s actually dive into the myth of “the knees should not come past the toes in the squat”.
First, I’ll give a few of my thoughts on this, and then I’ll let other experts speak.
Sure, you decrease the load on the knees when you keep the shins as straight as possible. You also keep the stress of the elbow if you don’t curl weights, but that’s why it’s called resistance training, to elicit a response from the load/resistance. You also increase the load on the lower back when you don’t push the knees forward (ankle dorsiflexion), so, this would transfer the problem from the knees to the back, especially with unconditioned people.
To maintain the correct balance of weight, one has to bring the knees forward, and in a correctly executed deep squat the knees even have to come over the toes, especially with loaded squats. If one says or believes in no knees over toes, one is literally saying that everyone in Olympic weightlifting is doing it wrong. Every coach that teaches Olympic weightlifting is doing it wrong.
A common mistake that is inherited by clients who are taught by their trainers not to put their knees over the toes is that they fold at the hips and put their arms out really far. This is all to compensate and keep the weight distributed evenly. However, this is wrong, a squat is a movement that involves three joints, namely the ankles, knees, and hips. The movement pattern is hips down and shoulders high on the eccentric phase. Shoulder rise and hips follow on the concentric phase. Loading the ankles, knees, and hips, not just the knees and hips.
Here’s what others have to say on the matter.
Now, for fun, let’s have a look at what Michael Knight had to say in the rest of our conversation and the reason why I mentioned Pavel Tsatsouline in my title. You’ll also see why I was compelled to invest time into writing more about this as I truly can’t stand steroid plastic face bullies that come all high and mighty talking nonsense and then also wanting to see who can pee the furthest.
“well with two works championships , and the fact i’ll be key note speaker at NFL s counting combine next week, seems you need to educate and catch up. wtt. Put a bigger bell in your hand maybe fill out that tank. btw is was a simple question. Wtf”Michael Knight
“btw my coach Pavel maybe you heard of him, Strong First ? You thoughts on my coach ?”Michael Knight
If Pavel really taught him that the knees should not come over the toes in a squat, dead clean, power clean, etc. then my response is to never blindly believe anything anyone says and always do your own research. I don’t know what Pavel teaches, but if he indeed teaches no knees over the toes in the squat (which I highly doubt) then I’d say there is a lot of catching up to do.
“better yet let go live and have a completion. what goblet squats swings clean presses and i love the serious from frail insecure dad bods. so pickthe completion”Michael Knight
Lots of spelling mistakes, but it’s obvious that at this stage he wants to compete with me, rather than getting to the truth on the subject matter, he wants to battle it out live.
I was done with communication as he obviously was not interested in getting to the actual truth. But he decided to post some more 5 hours later at which stage I decided it was time to get the real battle gear out [the keyboard].
“seriously 5 hours later you post this to get a response. I was done with you. Look steroid dude, if you insist that I make something big out of it, say so, because I am kind of in the mood to show the world that we have old trainers, who think that just because they have been doing things for 2 hundred years, have 2 world championships, and been told by some Russian that it’s the truth.”Cavemantraining
It’s kind of sad, as I had a listen to some of his videos and messages, and I liked them. I almost said to myself, just let it slide, but I truly can’t stand people that think you need steroid-pumped big biceps and a six-pack to be a good trainer/coach. Sadly, that is mostly what the standard is out there. You got steroid pumped trainers who have the image but not the knowledge.
What else is sad, we have a person that comes from an obese background, using steroids and god knows what else, telling someone who is 100% natural that he’s not muscular or strong enough. This is supposed to be a person who holds motivational speeches, someone who gives talks to the public. What he really is is a fake persona focused on the outside and putting others down.
What should you take away from all this?
- Don’t believe anyone blindly and always do your own research.
- Don’t ever stop learning no matter how wise you think you are.
- Even people who have been in the game for 3 decades and have world championships can get it wrong.
- Someone can have a bad day but when they came regularly it’s no longer a mistake but a calculated attack.
- Always do that research again before you’re so confident that you’re right.
- Everyone makes mistakes (including me).
- You should not be scared to correctly squat with your knees over your toes.
PS. even when I’m 60, I will just keep my frail insecure dad bod and focus on functionality, speed, endurance, and strength without steroids.