High Knees

High Knees is a great bodyweight exercise you can use to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Think of High Knees as a form of running on the spot carried out at a high level of intensity.

What makes this a high intensity exercise is the height and speed at which the knees are raised.

All you need to carry out this exercise a little space, running shoes, shorts and t-shirt.


If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, metabolic rate and burn off excess body fat, then the High Knees exercise is for you.

Benefits of High Knees

There are many benefits to doing High Knees.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Used as a form of High Intensity Interval Training, High Knees is a more efficient way to improve your fitness and get you into shape quickly.
  • Strengthens the calves, thighs, hamstrings, glutes, core and abdominals.
  • Improves posture and body alignment.
  • Stretches the hip flexors and gluteal muscles.

Performance Related Benefits:

  • Improves running technique.
  • Develops explosive running technique because High Knees is also a form of Plyometric Training.
  • Improves coordination, balance and control.

How to perform High Knees

  • Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart with your hands by your sides.
  • Push off on the ball of one foot and bring the thigh level with your hips and parallel to the ground, then lower the foot to the ground.
  • Push off the ball of the foot with the other leg and raise your thigh to be parallel to the ground.
  • Alternate actions on each leg.

High Knee Dos

  • Take off and land on the balls of the feet.
  • Bring the thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your pelvis still during the movement to reduce back pain.
  • Stay mentally alert to ensure are using the correct technique.

High Knee Don’ts:

  • Do not arch or round your lower back.
  • Don’t hold your breath during the movement.
  • Avoid doing any kicking motions.
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