My MonkeyFeet finally arrived a few weeks ago and I wasted absolutely no time integrating this piece of equipment into my workout routine.
My primary objective for the MonkeyFeet was to use them as a hip flexor training aid, since this super important muscle group is notoriously difficult to train without either MonkeyFeet or a reverse squat strap and a cable machine.
My plan was to use the MonkeyFeet every other day to do hip flexor knee raises to start building new tissue and strength in this muscle group that I’ve neglected for years.
This article is going to discuss the MonkeyFeet device itself, what I like and dislike about it, what I think the most effective (and least effective) ways of using it are, and who I’d recommend it for.
10% Discount Available
This is going to be a completely unbiased review of the MonkeyFeet.
I paid full price for the product and this article is in no way sponsored by Animalhouse.
Having said that, I have been given a 10% discount link/code so if you read this review and like what you hear, and want to get your hip flexors like mine, click the button below or enter code “JUMPSTRONGER” at checkout.
Let’s dive right in!
MonkeyFeet Unboxing & Build Quality
The MonkeyFeet come really well packaged in a nicely branded box inside a drawstring carry bag.
You can tell just by handling this thing that it’s a solid, well put together piece of kit.
Animalhouse clearly didn’t cut any corners when it came to the manufacturing process. There’s not a single part of this thing that’s flimsy.
Very heavy duty and feels like it’ll last forever.
MonkeyFeet Initial Impressions
After my first time using the MonkeyFeet, admittedly I wasn’t all that thrilled, which was mainly my own fault…
Initial Concerns Over Comfort & Ratchet Strap
I have fairly big feet and was wearing size 12 shoes when using the MonkeyFeet and it was exceptionally difficult to get the ankle pad to secure to my foot using the ratchet strap.
Eventually I got it secured to my foot and started using it but found it was super uncomfortable as the pads were digging into my lower shin and Achilles at the same time.
Maybe my shoes are too big/thick for it, but they’re just regular size 12 sneakers and Animalhouse claims they should fit up to size 14…
I think I probably need to get the XL Strap Kit to be able to fit my feet into it more easily.
Bit of a shame since I definitely don’t have size 14 feet and don’t exactly want to have to pay the insane shipping fees and to wait for the attachment to arrive.
It took a lot of finessing but eventually I was able to get the MonkeyFeet on in a somewhat comfortable position.
But it definitely takes me way too long messing around with the padding location and the ratchet strap, that it’s probably going to deter me from using them.
I don’t imagine very many people will have the same issue as I did, but I’d strongly recommend getting the XL strap kit if you’ve got size 12 feet or bigger!
Not All Shoes Are Going To Work…
Perhaps the reason I struggled so much with securing the device to my foot was a combination of the shoes I wore and the size of my foot.
If you can, avoid wearing shoes with a caged heel.
I actually found it a lot easier going barefoot in the end!
Not Easy To Move Around In…
This is to be expected, obviously.
Make sure you attach the MonkeyFeet in the location in which you’re going to do your exercise.
Even just hobbling around 4-5 extra feet is really difficult with any amount of weight attached to your foot!
Supine Leg Extensions = Dangerous?
I’d also be cautious about doing the supine leg extension exercise as depicted below.
I did this and had the entire thing somehow slide off my shoe at the top of the movement as I locked out at the top.
This was probably my fault somehow and likely relates to my inability to get the thing strapped to my foot particularly well.
How I Use The MonkeyFeet
Luckily, the MonkeyFeet does exactly what i wanted it to, and does it extremely well.
Using MonkeyFeet For Hip Flexor Training
This single exercise, the knee raise, is 90% of the reason I bought one of these.
Training hip flexors is way harder than it should be, but the MonkeyFeet knee raise solution is by far the best way to target this muscle group.
I’ve been doing 3-4 sets of these til failure every other day for the past couple weeks and I’m quickly becoming a lot stronger, increasing weight rapidly.
Getting super close to the 10% bodyweight by 20 reps ATG standard!
Expect Some Discomfort
One thing you might notice when you first start doing this movement is some cracking or snapping around your hips.
This is to be expected when you’re first starting to hit your hip flexors. It’ll go away over time.
Your body likely isn’t used to this movement pattern and needs time to lay some foundational muscle tissue.
One thing that helped reduce the snapping for me was to do a subtle internal rotation of the hip (toes slightly pointed inwards) which helped quite a bit.
Using MonkeyFeet For Hamstring Curls
Since I’m spending a fair bit of time hammering my VMOs with all the knees over toes training I’ve been doing, I figured it would be a good idea to include some extra knee flexion movements as well.
I’m hoping that by doing a few sets of leg curls every other day, I’ll get stronger on adjacent lifts like the Nordic hamstring curl.
MonkeyFeet Leg Curl Vs Machine?
Is it better to use the MonkeyFeet for the standing leg curl or a machine (supposing your have access to one at the gym)?
Ben Patrick once mentioned that you’re able to get a greater range of motion (particularly at the top of the movement) using the MonkeyFeet as opposed to the leg curl machine.
He claimed this was because there’s no pad sandwiched between your heel and your butt.
Personally, I’m unable to get my heel anywhere near my butt anyway when using the MonkeyFeet, so this isn’t going to limit me.
It’s extremely difficult for me to into deeper knee flexion than what I’m managing in the above clip.
Probably something I need to work on!
I definitely prefer how the MonkeyFeet feels when doing leg curls compared to the machine.
This is because it’s a free weight and you have far more movement control.
When it comes to standing hamstring curls, the MonkeyFeet is like a back squat whereas the leg curl machine is like a smith machine.
Other Ways To Use The MonkeyFeet
Personally I’m more than happy just using this for knee raises and hamstring curls and I’d be pretty happy with it if I never did another exercise using the MonkeyFeet!
But there’s so many more incredible ways to use this device that it feels almost wrong not to explore other movements.
I strongly encourage you to check out my full list of MonkeyFeet exercises for inspiration!
How I Don’t Use The MonkeyFeet
I see a lot of people doing leg extensions with the MonkeyFeet and personally I am not a fan of using it for this movement…
Because of how I’m unable to get the strap to properly secure around my foot, my heel tends to slip out of the MonkeyFeet at the top of the movement, which means I have to stop and attempt to reattach it.
Unless you’re doing knee rehab, you’re probably better off just using heavier weights and doing leg extensions at the gym.
Of course, if you don’t have access to a gym, this is a fantastic option.
Would I Recommend The MonkeyFeet?
The strength gains to my hip flexors alone over the last 2 weeks have been nothing short of incredible.
Although it’s not perfect and didn’t fit my foot particularly well initially, I am able to make it work properly for knee raises and leg curls, and it does those two things fantastically well.
In just 2 weeks I’ve gone from not having trained my hip flexors in 15 years and having yucky sounding cracking and popping at the hip joint, to being inches away from the ATG hip flexor standard of 10% BW for 20 reps on the knee raise.
The MonkeyFeet is undoubtedly the most efficient way to develop strong hip flexors and if you’re an athlete interested in running faster or jumping higher, you will love using this.
10% Discount Available
If you do want to grab yourself some MonkeyFeet, make sure you either click the link below or use code “JUMPSTRONGER” to get your 10% discount!