Is Cycling Good for Knees? An in Depth Look at the Perks of Cycling

From the comfort of a bicycle, you yearn to experience the rush of adrenaline and the cleansing effects of exercise in the open air. Childhood memories of two-wheeled freedom fill your mind.. However, you wonder if cycling is good for your knees at your age. Cycling is a great way to keep your knees strong and healthy. For those with knee problems, it provides a low-impact and fluid motion that keeps knees moving and builds leg and core strength, while also improving mental health.

Is Cycling Good For Knees?

Knee surgery is the scariest thing a person can go through. As a knee replacement patient, you already know which exercises to avoid. In order to see a healthy knee injury recovery, you know what to do.

After a knee injury, you can use cycling to supplement your home physical therapy regimen.

Recumbent bicycles are commonly use by physical therapists to help patients with knee and hip injuries regain some range of motion.

Under the right circumstances, cycling can be beneficial to your knees. Before delving into the benefits of cycling for your knees, it’s important to know what happens to your knees while you’re on the bike.

What Happens To Your Knee When You Cycle?

In the human body, the knee is the link between the thigh bone and the lower leg bone. It is made up of eight fundamental parts:

Bone in front of the knee called patella. The term “knee cap” is use frequently.

You have a thigh bone called the femur, which is the large bone at the top of your knee.

The tibia and femur are the two lower leg bones, or shin bones, respectively. The fibula is the smaller bone, while the tibia is the larger one.

Between the femur and tibia, the meniscus is a spongy piece of cartilage. lateral meniscus refers to the joint’s lateral portion of the meniscus, which is located on the outside of the joint.

Inside the joint, the medial meniscus (cartilage) is located.

The lateral collateral ligament connects the femur to the fibula, or the thigh bone to the shin bone, on the outside of the knee.

It connects the tibia or inside shin bone to the inside of the femur, or the lateral collateral ligament.

Tendons run the length of the knee and attach the bone to the muscles that allow it to move. These tendons and muscles are the only ones responsible for moving the knee joint. What a stunning machine.

A bicycle rider’s knee appears to move in a single, effortless, fluid motion as they pedal. However, there is a lot going on beneath the surface.

It’s a good idea to keep your quadriceps engaged when you’re pedalling downhill.

With each upward pedal stroke, your hamstring, the muscle at the back of your thigh, contracts. If you use cycling shoes that are clipped into your pedals, you’ll feel this pull even more strongly.

Thigh muscle strength is a major factor in the overall health of one’s knee while cycling. Cycling performance improves with thigh strength. “Biking legs” refers to meaty, thick thighs if you’ve ever heard of it.

When cycling, your knee should not be subjected to any unnecessary strain. Pedaling with your leg muscles while keeping your knee in line with the rest of your body is possible with a properly fitted bicycle.

Why Is Cycling Good For Knees?

Seeing how the knee functions on a bicycle helps you to imagine that cycling is not painful for your knees. Your knee’s mobility will be improved thanks to the fluid motion. In addition to being good for your knees, cycling has many other benefits.

Muscle Building

Strengthening the muscles in your knees is a benefit of riding a bike. Cycle-activated muscles include your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Sprinting or taking a spin class are not require to experience this transformation; simply getting on your bike and going for a ride will suffice.

Your knee’s strength increases in direct proportion to the strength of your leg muscles. When the knee joint is out of place, it can cause injury. When the joint is overworked, it shifts from side to side, causing the ligaments that normally hold the joint in place to be stretched or torn.

A meniscus injury can also be caused by pounding on your knee repeatedly.

As a result of cycling, your knee is kept in line and doesn’t pound against the ground. In addition, it strengthens your body.

Weight Loss

Because we eat too much and carry too much weight, our joints are often in pain. It doesn’t take a lot of weight loss to make a difference to our joints.

According to experts, your knees are under the same amount of stress as if you were twice your weight. Consequently, if you weigh 200 pounds, your knees are under 300 pounds of stress.

Your knees may be hurting because you’re carrying too much weight. If you’re looking for a way to lose weight without putting additional strain on your knees, consider cycling.

Cycling intensity and duration are more important than distance when it comes to losing weight. It’s not necessary to cover a large distance to get there. Weight loss can begin with as little as three 30-minute rides a week combined with a healthy diet.

Mental Health

Having a positive attitude is the most important thing you can have after a knee injury or surgery. After surgery, it’s not uncommon for patients to struggle with depression.

Endorphins are released as a result of both physical exertion and exposure to the elements while riding a bicycle. The views you get while riding a bike are ones you wouldn’t see while driving. Cyclists are required to cultivate mindfulness, which is an important tool in the fight against mental illness.

What About Arthritic Knees?

You may wonder if you’re the only one with arthritis. If you have knee arthritis, is cycling beneficial?

Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Moving your arthritic joints as much as possible is good for your health and well-being. Due to its minimal to nonexistent impact on the knee while still maintaining motion, cycling is particularly beneficial for those with osteoarthritis.

The weight of a person is also a major factor in the development of knee arthritis. Arthritis is worse if you’re overweight.. Losing weight by cycling relieves pressure on your knees.

If you’re apprehensive about stepping over the top tube and onto a bicycle saddle, there are other ways to get around this. It’s possible to ride an upright stationary bicycle in the comfort of your own home. Outside of the fact that you don’t have to worry about balance, stationary bikes offer everything an outdoor bike does.

Recumbent stationary bikes can be used if leaning forward on an upright bicycle causes you discomfort in your shoulders, neck and back. It is easier on the lower back and hips to ride these bikes, which have a chair-like seat. You pedal with your feet in front of you while seated back in the frame in a somewhat reclined position.

What About Knees After Surgery?

The knees are affected by cycling.

Cycling does have an impact on your knees. The muscles around the knees can be strengthened by cycling after surgery, such as a knee replacement or meniscus repair.

What are the benefits of cycling for your knees?

The muscles in your knees aren’t actually strengthened in any way. Your knees stay healthy because cycling builds the muscles that support them.

As a result, weak muscles around the knee place additional strain on your ligaments. The stress is borne by those with well-developed muscles.

What Causes Cycling Knee Pain?

You’re not the only one who suffers from cycling knee pain. It has been estimated that between 23 and 33 percent of cyclists will experience knee pain at some point during their career.

Pain is frequently the result of an issue that has been simmering for some time. You’ve had the issue for a long time without realising it. In the end, the pain is the only way to know that something is wrong beneath your skin.

Knee pain is a sure sign that you’ve been riding your bike incorrectly. You’ll be in even more pain if you have a bad bicycle fit.

A professional bike mechanic and bike fitter can help you avoid cycling-related knee pain.

At a local bike shop, you can find a specialist in this field. Unless you are an experienced cyclist, do not attempt to modify this project on your own.

A bike mechanic with experience fitting bikes will be a valuable asset. In order to get a feel for the bicycle, they’ll have you ride it around the parking lot or on a trainer in front of them. They should be able to determine the source of your discomfort and make the necessary adjustments to the bike in a matter of minutes.

You can make a difference with even a few centimetres. A few centimetres of adjustment to your seat or handlebars by a bike mechanic will have an immediate impact on your riding comfort.

Preparing for your visit to the bike fitter, you can do some self-diagnosis. Your knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including your seat position and the position of your cycling shoes’ cleats.

Cause of Pain in the Back of Your Knees

Overextending your leg can cause pain in the back of your knee. An excessively high or rearward position of your seat is to blame. It’s possible that lowering or moving your seat forward in relation to your handlebars will provide you with some relief.

While this symptom is uncommon, it may be present in fixed-gear bicycle riders. Pedaling on a fixed-fear bicycle necessitates the use of your hamstring to slow down. When the hamstrings are overworked, pain can travel all the way to the back of the knee.

So if you’re riding a fixed-gear bike, take a break and coast a little.

Cause of Pain In The Front Of Your Knees

Front-side knee pain is usually cause by too much force being applied to the joint by your powerful cycling quads. Your bicycle’s seat height, seat fore and aft, and crank length should all be checked before you ride.

When you’re seated, your leg should be straight when the pedal is at six o’clock. At this point, your leg should be fully extended. Your seat’s height should be adjusted accordingly.

Front knee pain can be cause by a saddle that is too far forward. When your foot is above the pedal spindle, the bony area below your knee cap should be directly above the ball of your foot.

It’s possible that the pain in your front knees is the result of poor form. Avoid using your bicycle’s highest or most difficult gears when attempting to climb steep hills.

Cause of Pain Outside Your Knee

As a result, your IT band, the fibrous tissue that runs from your hip down to your knee, is put under an excessive amount of strain. Outside knee pain can be cause by strain on the IT band.

Cause of Pain Inside Your Knee

Poor cleat position in cycling shoes that clip into your pedals can cause internal knee pain. In order to avoid stressing your knee’s collateral ligaments when you push down, your cleats should be spaced far enough apart. You’ll get inside knee pain if your cleats are too close to the inside of your cycling shoes.

It’s perfectly acceptable to use a knee brace if you’re still experiencing discomfort after several attempts at adjustment. Keeping your knee in check can sometimes necessitate a little extra support.

Cycling Strengthens Knees

Does cycling help with knee pain? Absolutely. You’ll notice a significant improvement in your knee health if you take the time to ride your bike properly.

Keep coming back to our site for more information on joint health. Contact us if you need a knee brace or other treatment for your knee pain. We’d be happy to assist you in any way we can.


Cycling has numerous health benefits, including these. Cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy if you’re looking for something new. You’ll be thrilled with the outcome, I’m sure. When it comes time for a cycling class, it is best to invest in a high-quality bike.

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