High knees Exercise: Step-by-step, Variation and More

How to do the High knees Exercise step by step - sharp muscle
6 min read
Updated: April 11, 2023

The high knees exercise is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise performed at high speeds, known as the ultimate fat cutter. For this exercise, you don’t need any gym or equipment to pull it. Also, you can do this anywhere.

It is a total mood killer when you are getting ready for a party and the dress you want to donate is not liked at all! And most of the time, your major cause for concern is your stomach, especially the lower area.

High knees exercise engages your core, strengthens all the muscles in your legs, increases your heart rate and improves speed, coordination, and flexibility.

The lower abdominal area is a difficult place to tone. But with the right workout routine, this problem area can be fixed in no time. You heard, ladies! We have brought you a cardio exercise that will burn belly fat and get you back in shape.

Instructions of High knees Exercise

Learning how high knees will burn the entire leg, strengthen hip flexors, improve coordination and flexibility in the lower body and increase speed in your stride. In other words, if you are sick of squats, try a full body workout or warm-up, a good high knees exercise for a burst of cardio!

  • Start separating the legs with hip-distance.
  • Raise the right knee up as it will go up and lift the opposite hand, then quickly switch so that the left knee is up before the right leg lands.
  • Continue stretching the quirky knees for as long as desired.
  • Minimize four sets of 50 high knees for each leg to burn more calories.
  • You can time yourself using a stopwatch – a minute high makes for a good start.
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Beginner’s Tip

Use core to jog in place, lifting each knee up to belly button height. Remember to keep a good posture and take deep breaths. Beginners can march in place, emphasizing core strength and touching each knee with that same hand.

Muscle worked doing High knees Exercise

High knees is a great cardio (HIIT) exercise that works on your legs and core while giving you a great cardiovascular move that can bring your heart rate up anytime, anywhere.

If you are already incorporating high knees into your workout routine, consider switching them to other high knee counterparts that may target similar muscles, such as steam engines, high knee marches, butt kicks and Power skips!


For prenatal

If you are in your first trimester, ask your instructor if you are able to perform regular high knees. If you are in your second or third trimester, make room for your growing abdomen while slowly raising your knees, stretching your knees.

For beginner

If this is your first time trying to be knee high, then take it slow. As a modification, march in place, slowly raise one knee to your chest and switch to the other knee. This will help you understand the speed without putting too much pressure on your muscles and cardiovascular system.

For advanced

Once you have mastered the basics, proceed in a jogging fashion, when you perform high knees, this ensures that you swing your arms at a 90-degree angle to keep you balanced. Make it sure.

For Tight Ankles

If you have tight ankles, you can perform a version of high knees while lying on the mat. Lie on your back with your back and legs straight out. Drag one leg towards your chest so that it is bent. As soon as that leg is straight, pull the other leg towards your chest. Continue to oscillate for a leg and ab workout.

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How to do High Knees March?

If you have not yet built up your endurance, have knee issues, or are more of a beginner, don’t fret. Neff told us that you can still target similar muscles with this variation of high knee exercises.

  • You will start in a stance similar to high knee exercises, with your palms at the height of the belly button and leaning downward toward the floor.
  • Bring your right knee to join your right palm, then move the same leg down to the floor and repeat with your left knee.
  • Every time bringing the knees up, leave the knees out, keeping your stomach muscles entangled and keep pressing the knees alternately.

How to do High Knees Oblique Twist?

  • Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Make a fist with both hands and bend the elbows to the side where your hands are about the level of your chin.
  • Raise the right knee up, bend your torso to the right, and bring the knee to meet your left elbow.
  • Immediately repeat meeting your right elbow with the left knee and do so in a hopping motion while remaining on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your abdominal muscles above your knees, squeeze the side oblique muscles as you turn.
  • You can incorporate this exercise into your routine or do it as a stand-alone. Try to keep going for at least 20 minutes at a time; If you can’t do regular high-knee exercise the whole time, switch back and forth between that one and high-knee march. You can always do your work for longer.
  • Pay attention to some good music, have fun with it, and get those killer legs and abs.
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Calorie burns in High knees Exercise

People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts, and while we want it to be simple to say that certain exercises burn a specific amount of calories, it usually boils down to how hard you are working.

High knees will typically burn around 100 calories for every 10 minutes that you are working at a moderate to intense fitness level. Just maintain your intensity and make sure that you are breathing through your mouth. Bottom line – The harder you work, the more calories you burn.

Bottom line

According to a study published in the journal Obesity Science and Practice, exercise in HIITs such as burpee and high knees helps burn more calories than normal walking or jumping jacks. 1

Furthermore, it not only helps you target the areas where you need to work, but it helps you develop a better core muscle.

If you misunderstand that it can ruin your knees, then you are very wrong, because according to experts, it is a myth. The mentioned study also confirms this.

Do you know that abdominal fat can cause many other problems like heart diseases and stroke? If you do not want this, then ladies, do your work straight and start your day with high knees without any extra stir.


  1. J Obes. 2011; 2011: 868305. Published: 2010 Nov 24, DOI: 10.1155/2011/868305, PMCID: PMC2991639, PMID: 21113312; High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss[]

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