When you’re primarily working out at home, warm-ups can be tricky. It’s not like you can just hop on the treadmill for a 10-minute jog like you’d normally do at the gym. But when you try kicking off your sweat sesh with high knees and feel just how effective the move is at getting your body ready to go, you might not ever want to go back to your old warm-up ever again.
For a stationary move, high knees are pretty legit. Aside from getting your heart pumping, they also light up your core, open your hips, and improve coordination and balance. Not too shabby for something you can do in very little space.
“Not only do they activate three of the six parts of the kinetic chain, but they also incorporate the elbows and the shoulders. Altogether, that’s a lot of moving parts, which ensures many muscles and joints are getting properly prepared for the workout.” —Andy Coggan, personal trainer
“For full-body workouts, you need a full-body warm-up and high knees are a great addition to your routine,” says Andy Coggan, personal trainer and senior director of fitness at Gold’s Gym. “Not only do they activate three of the six parts of the kinetic chain, but they also incorporate the elbows and the shoulders. Altogether, that’s a lot of moving parts, which ensures many muscles and joints are getting properly prepared for the workout.”
To learn how to do the high knees exercise properly before your next workout, follow Coggan’s instructions below.
How to perform the high knees exercise at home
- Start by jogging in place for 10 seconds, just to get your extremities moving.
- Drive one knee up high and out in front of you so there’s a 90-degree angle at your hip and the top side of your leg is parallel to ground.
- As you’re driving your knee up, your opposite arm should be swinging forward and up, just to where your elbow ends up at your side.
- As your foot goes back toward the ground, drive the opposite knee high and out in front of you.
- Throughout the entire movement, keep your torso straight up and down and land softly on the balls of your feet with a slight bend at the knees.
- Start with five 30-second rounds of high knees with a 10-second rest between each set.
Take things up a notch with bounding jumps into high knees: