High Knees Twists

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High Knees Twists Exercise

High Knees Twists is an intensive cardio type standing abs exercise. This exercise is similair to a regular high knees exercise (also known as run in place, sprinting on spot), but there is a twist. Literally. This variation of high knees is designed to put more your abodominal muscles to work. Especially the obliques by twisting your torso side to side.

This exercise will not only attack your abs, but will destroy a crazy amount of calories due to the extremely high intensity and mass of muscles involved in the movement. Furthermore, you’ll develope strength and endurance of your legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves). You can expect improvements in speed, stability, agility and power.

So if you are looking to trim down the waisline without bulking up while developing functional core strength for sports and everyday tasks, high knees twists surely is one of the best choices out of all standing ab exercises. High knees exercise suits as serious athletes as well as new moms and everyone in between.



  • Elevates heart rate and maximizes calorie burn.
  • No equipment needed. You can do it anytime, anywhere.
  • Discreet on lower back and neck.
  • Improves speed, stability, agility and power. As well as strength and cardio vascular endurance.


High Knees Twists Exercise Step 1

High Knees Twists Exercise Step 2

Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart or closer. Make fists and place your arms bent in front of you at about chin height. Engage your abs.

Start running in place. Bring your knees towards your chest as high as possible. Each time you bring the knee up, twist your torso to the corresponding side so your knee comes up directly between your elbows.

Simultaneously crunch your upper body to shorten the distance between the knee and the fists. Exhale rapidly during this part of the movement. Inhale quickly right after while twisting to the other side.

Let your foot touch the ground for only a half a second before switching back to the other leg. Move quickly but smoothly until you have completed all the repetitions or reached the time limit.


  • Before attempting this exercise make sure you are richly warmed up. Don’t start your workout immediately with this exercise.
  • Perform the exercise as fast as you can to maximize calorie burn. Never compromise your form though.
  • Work on a correct breathing pattern. Don’t hold your breath otherwise you’ll fatigue faster or get lightheaded.
  • Push off and land soft on front third of your foot.
  • To increase the resistance use ankle weights.


1. Standing Knee Raises (similair, but less intense).
2. Single Leg Sprint (intense).
3. Standing Cross Crunches.
4. Bodyweight wood chop.

About Matiss Bartulis

Sweets and pizza addict. Online and real-life fitness coach. Author of the "From Fat To Six Pack" E-mail training course. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.