High knee exercise is a workout that combines normal running motion with exaggerated knee lifts. The knees are lifted up to the waist height. Professional athletes and runners usually perform high knee exercises to build speed, power, flexibility and endurance. The movement is meant to warm up the joints as well as boost the efficacy of a certain routine.
The Benefits of High Knee Exercises
Apart from improving power, speed, and endurance, high knee exercises help develop the lower body muscles. The movement will tone the abdominal muscles, strengthen the core and engage the legs. It will burn off more calories and build leaner, stronger muscles. Performing high knee exercises will also strengthen the heart thus, improving circulation. Finally, high knee exercises will also correct your posture and ease pressure on the spine!
Because high knee exercises come in different variations, you can merge different variations into your routine!
Types of High Knee Exercises
Basic High Knees
Basic high knees are performed by either moving over a distance or running in place. To perform this exercise, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Now, drive the right knee up towards the chest then quickly bring it down on the ground. Follow up by driving the left knee all the way towards your chest. Continue alternating between right and left knees while gradually increasing the tempo.
You can add this basic high knee exercise to your warm up routine or your main routine. One thing you have to remember is to bring the knees up and down in a controlled motion so you don’t injure yourself. You can designate the length of time it takes to complete a set of basic high knee exercise.
Steam Engine High Knees Exercise
This move is a combination of high knee exercise and upper body movement. The Steam engine high knee exercise is meant to tone the whole body. It an excellent strength builder because it will engage all major muscle groups, including the hip flexors and abdominal muscles!
To perform the steam engine knee high exercise, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Put your hands up on your head and interlock the fingers. With a controlled, deliberate movement, drive the right knee up all the way to the chest. At the same time, twist the torso by touching your lifted elbows to the raised right knee. Pause for a few seconds as the elbow touches the knee then drive the right leg to the ground. Now, alternate to the left knee and continue alternating between both legs until the muscles are burning.
High Knee March
This dynamic exercise will torch calories and tone the legs. Stand up straight with your feet a few inches apart. Shift your weight to the balls of your feet and keep the arms as relaxed as possible on your sides. Now, lift the right leg all the way up to the chest, bringing the heels towards the glutes. Keep the toes up. Drive the left leg back to the ground, then take a small step forward. Repeat the movement using the right leg.