7 ways you’re hurting your knees – Bike Magazine Australia

One big reason people get into cycling is that it’s a low-impact sport, meaning it’s gentle on your joints. However, it’s also extremely repetitive: Your legs rotate to the tune of 5,000-plus revolutions per hour.

Little issues with bike fit or technique compound over time to cause pronounced knee pain, the most common lower-body complaint in our sport. Research shows that more than 40 per cent of recreational riders experience knee pain from overuse at some point or another.

Here’s a look at the most common culprits behind the aches and pains in your hinges – and how to correct them so you can pedal pain-free.

You Go from Zero to 60

SKEEZE/PIXABAY

The number one way cyclists hurt their knees is suddenly riding longer, faster, and/or harder than they have been. Your connective tissues are not conditioned to bear the load you’re putting on them, and your joints get inflamed and pipe up. The solution: Increase your riding mileage or time progressively, by 20 to 25 per cent each week (to a point of course; there are only so many hours).

“Where you need to be most careful is not so much ramping up over a week, but on an individual ride,” says Hunter Allen, founder of the Peaks Coaching Group and co-author of Training & Racing with a Power Meter. “If your longest long ride is 60-70km, don’t go 120 next week. Instead go 70, then 80 the next week, then 90, maybe 100.”

Be similarly prudent when adding intervals, sprints, and hills. Don’t go from nothing to hill repeats and three sets of Tabatas. And always give yourself a proper warm-up, so your muscles and connective tissues are warm and your synovial fluids (your joints’ natural lubrication) are flowing before you toss down the hammer.

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