Knee lifts, or high knees, are a common drill in many sports, but in athletics we can file them under ‘exercises that will help change my running style’. They’ll help you develop muscular coordination and increase your strength throughout your feet, legs, hips and trunk.
Knee lifts can be interpreted in many different ways, mostly concentrating on the speed and frequency with which you lift your knees. Even football players practice knee lifts, with the variation of remaining in the same place instead of advancing forward.
Small warning: knee lifts are the most difficult drill to do and need a little more energy and concentration. If the prove to be too difficult in the beginning you can start out with Marching (while advancing forward) and then finish out with running knee highs.
Here are a few tips to help you perform them correctly:
- Keep your gaze forward, head, back and trunk straight.
- Use your arms in coordination with your “run”. Keep your elbows at 90° and use them to balance and push you forward.
- land and push off with your forefoot NEVER with your heels.
- If possible, find a soft surface to do these on in order to reduce impact.
I’ll demonstrate the move for you:
Here’s another video: