“No Knees Past Toes” is No Myth

“No Knees Past Toes” is No Myth

March 27, 2023

There is a pretty famous saying for those in the physical therapy and fitness world: There should be “no knees past toes” when you are stretching. This includes squats and lunges and this is for both athletes and for regular folks who are recovering from injury using physical therapy. So this is something that has been pretty well established.

However it was recently brought to my attention that there is quite a bit of argument on the other side stating that there’s no real evidence for no knees past toes. That’s alarming but not all that surprising frankly. For every bit of established wisdom in the world there is a counter-culture argument against. That’s nothing new but for this discussion it’s worth repeating: There should never be a reason to have your knees go past your toes if you are using good form with squats and lunges. Period.

Anyone who has had knee pain may be familiar with this unease. When you push your knee past your toes when you’re stretching you put too much force on ligaments. This is bad as egregious knees past toes causes too much strain on your knee.

You don’t want to put too much strain on your knee for the same reason you don’t want to stack too many valuable dishes on a hutch. Yes the landing spot for your dishes may be fine to put a few plates on. But if you have these plates held perilously close to the table edge, you are just asking for trouble. You don’t want to put too much strain on your knees because you don’t want to snap them off! Even if you just pull a muscle or strain a ligament in your knee it will be a problem for you. Imagine if you were unable to walk and how terrible that would be.

At the end of the day you need to do things for your body which make sense for your well-being. If you go too far in your stretching and you wind up hurting yourself, then all kinds of problems could arise. If this has happened to you and you need to seek relief, the physical therapists at Miccass Physical Therapy are here to help! Our incredible team can identify the problem and help you come up with a solution. No one should have to live with pain; Miccass Physical Therapy are here to help!

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