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How To Do High Knees With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_HIGH_KNEES.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do High Knees With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do High Knees With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_HIGH_KNEES.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>When it comes to building a sustainable workout plan, we’re all about helping you find exercises that you can do quickly, easily, and from the comfort of your own home. Here we’re going to teach you a no-fuss move that will stretch and tone your hip flexors, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and more: high knees.</p> <p>High knees are about as simple as they sound. Start by standing with your right leg slightly off the floor and your left leg supporting your full weight. Step your right leg behind you, allowing your foot to tap the floor. Bring the right leg all the way forward and draw it up toward your chest as high as you can. Repeat until you’ve completed a set, then switch to perform on the opposite side. High knees are an incredible move for balance—you’ll really feel the fire in your standing leg with this exercise. </p> <p>If you’re not quite ready to take on high knees, we recommend starting out with an exercise called the drinking bird. Stand up and place your hands on your hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades to activate the muscles of your back. Bend at the hip and drop your torso as far toward the ground as you are able. Then fire the glutes and abs to pull yourself back up to standing. You’ll get an incredible stretch on the back side of your body with this move, plus it will help you build strength to take on more challenging exercises.</p> <p>Once you’ve mastered the drinking bird and high knees, try the one-leg drinking bird. Do exactly as you did for the regular drinking bird, but this time, lift your left leg off the ground and extend it behind you as you drop toward the floor. Come back to standing then repeat with the right leg, alternating back and forth for the allotted number of repetitions. The one-leg drinking bird promotes better balance as well as symmetrical strength in the muscles of the lower body.</p> <p>Now, let’s learn how to do high knees with excellent form!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Stand with your left leg firmly planted into the ground and your right leg hovering a bit off the floor. Allow your left leg to support all your weight.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-1"> </picture> <li>Step your right foot back and allow it to tap the floor. Lean your torso forward slightly as you do this.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-2"> </picture> <li>Bring your right leg forward, pulling the knee up as close to your chest as you can go.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-3"> </picture> <li>Drop the right leg back down and tap it behind you again to start the next repetition.</li> <li>Repeat until you’ve reached the desired repetitions. Switch to perform the move with the left leg.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Keep your standing leg active during this move by following a few simple cues. Place around 70% of your weight on your heels and 30% on the balls of your feet and grip the floor with your toes. Doing this promotes strength in your joints—the ankles, knees, and hips—and can even give you an added workout for your core.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-4"> </picture> <li>Maintain good posture throughout the move. Keep your back straight and stay tall all the way through your head.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-5"> </picture> <li>Don’t allow the hips to come out of place. Your pelvis should be set—imagine it like a bowl of water that you don’t want to spill. Use your hands on your hips to gauge whether you’re in alignment or not.</li> <li>The knees should be firmly set as well, not wobbling in or out. When you look down, your femur will be in a straight line with your feet.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-6.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-6.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-6.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/high-knees-LR-6.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="high-knees-6"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you squeeze the abs to drop down, then exhale as you squeeze the glutes to pull your knee up. </li> <li>Emphasize good posture by opening the chest and imagining that you’re trying to touch your elbows behind your back during the exercise. You’ll feel a nice squeeze in the upper back, traps, and shoulders when you do this.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>High knees may seem simple, but they’re actually a challenging move. When you’re first getting started, focus on your form. Only step back as far as you can comfortably, and draw the knee up only as high as you’re able to without feeling pain. Over time, your flexibility and strength will increase. Start slow, be patient, and only push yourself further when you’re ready.</p> <p>Again, beginners can start with the drinking bird to prepare for more challenging moves. Stand and bend at the hips to drop your torso toward the ground, then pull yourself back up. On the other hand, once you’re a pro at high knees, challenge yourself to try the one-leg drinking bird. It’s a difficult move, but the results for your posture, balance, and strength are well worth the effort!</p> <p>You’ve got all the tips you need to perform perfect high knees, so why not start today? Add a few sets to your next workout or take a few minutes to do high knees when you wake up in the morning.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-one-leg-drinking-bird/">One Leg Drinking Birds</a>. If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-drinking-bird/">Drinking Birds</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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