Preventing knee pain on the bike – 5 steps
Don’t forget the warm up!
- Similar to other sports and activities, a brief warm up before you get into the ‘grit’ of the riding is a great way to increase blood flow and prepare the muscles for the ride ahead. Aim for 10-15 minutes of mild to moderate spinning before high intensity flats or climbs.
Spin like a pro
- If you watch the pros, they will often use a higher cadence. Not only is this more effective on performance and endurance, it is also less impact on your joints. Try aiming for 60-80 rotations per minute for beginners, while elite or seasoned riders aim for 80-100 rotations per minute.
Look out when changing
- Your body is well-equipped to adapt to small changes in training or equipment, however you should be wary of significant changes such as a new bike, pedals, shoes, cleats, stem length or seat position. Initially ride easy to allow for appropriate body adaptations before cranking up the training volume and hitting the hills, your knees will thank you for it!
Increase your riding distance gradually
- Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned rider returning to riding after a break, it is important to begin with small distances and increase gradually. Aim for no more than 10 percent increases in your training volume each week. Rapid increases in training volume greatly increase your injury risk and affect your ability to recover.
- If you are dealing with symptomatic knee pain intermittently or constantly, a professional Bike Fit is suggested. Not only will your knee pain be managed, but the underlying physical and bio-mechanical dysfunction causing it will be identified and resolved.
Sean Wickens, Physiotherapist, Evoker