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9: Advanced Look at Reverse Step Ups

ATG Coaching Insider Series 9: Advanced Look at Reverse Step Ups

Ideally we could load the knees and hips through a full range of motion squat, with childlike mobility.

Childlike squat mobility can be directly enhanced through ATG-style split squat and seated goodmorning. They are the exact components of a squat.

And I prefer doing my squats with a 2:3 ratio of bar weight to total bar + chains or bands weight.

That is my own personal number, not something I am saying is perfect.

Example: 200 pounds at bottom, 300 at top. It is my guess that this approximates how strong the knees and hips naturally are as they approach full bend vs full extension.

With split squat and seated goodmorning as one leg day, I “earn” the ability to enjoy challenging my lower body, pain-free, with full squats w/ chains on my other leg day.

For me this is a sweet spot whereby I can drive up my squat and jump even higher, with elite knee and hip protection as a byproduct.

But what about reverse step ups?

Well, in addition to my two leg days, I’m ensuring I do one dunk or jump day per week - always with jump balance applied either as dunk balance or bounding.

 1. Full squat

 2. Split squat + seated GM

 3. Dunk Balance

I tend to do them each week in that order. Doesn’t really matter which days though.

What does matter is that all 3 are done with intent and full force without pain. Lack of which would prevent signaling the intended adaptation to my body.

Those 3 are my weekly non-negotiables that I believe give me a chance to extend my dunk transformation story even further.

But imagine if I wasn’t jumping pain-free or balanced, or if I wasn’t jumping at all?

Reverse step ups can strengthen and bring balance to that position!

But because I am jumping, I’m already putting force into that exact position.

But basketball and jumping do NOT cause adaptation to the full squat, full split squat, or full seated goodmorning positions.

Those exercises allow me to cause further adaptation than jumping alone.

That being said, here’s what I have for the reverse step up category, in the 4 levels of the ATG “Road to Dunk”

 1. Patrick 3 x 20

 2. Poliquin 3 x 20

 3. Petersen 3 x 20

 4. Rhythm 3 x 50

These are done as superset with tibialis, and before FULL range work.

So, when in doubt, sure, use reverse step ups to assist bounce and balance between sides.

But understand what may make them MAGICAL:

Helping people REGAIN the ability to jump, decelerate, hike downhill, etc!

Because when you lose your activities AND you lose the right to exercise with your knees over your toes, you might as well just book your knee surgery/replacement on the spot!

Goodbye ability.

Hello drugs and surgeries.

Or, hello ABILITY.

Goodbye drugs and surgeries.

But as coaches, we can understand the relative importances.

Because what’s our job?

To bring balance to the body through exercise!

So if you’re already doing jump balance and working each knee’s ability to handle pain-free FORCE, over the toes, through partial range of motion, well then reverse step ups wouldn’t be as essential for jump progress as increasing your strength through a full range of motion, which you don’t experience on the court.

As ATG Coaches we have to get the highest level of RESULTS, and know WHY we are getting them.

Yours in Results,


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