Dirt and Trail August 2019


How to Minimise

Knee Pain for Riding

By Mandy Thomas, BASE FIT : Specialised in Fitness For Dirt Bike Riding

As riders our bodies need

to be able to cope with the

physical demands

of sharp bends, high jumps

and sudden jolts. In order

to do that successfully, we

need strong knees so we

can sit, stand, squat, and

take turns without crashing

and burning, as well as to

grip, stabilize, and control

our bikes.

Being active is one of the best things

you can do for your joints. But injuries can

happen, and they often involve your knees.

Some of the most common problems are

not just sprained ligaments, meniscus tears

and tendinitis, but also old knee injuries that

may flare up now and then or hurt all the


Dirt bike riding requires you to spend

time in a position where your knees are

bent, considerable strain is placed on the

joints and ligaments. This can have negative

repercussions on your knees if you have not

taken adequate steps to help keep them

strong, especially if they have been already

weakened by a previous injury. Although we

can’t prevent all riding injuries, we do the

below to minimise risk of knee pain:

• Stretch out your legs before and after


• Always wear well-fitting shoes which

offer enough support.

• Keep your legs strong with regular

strength conditioning work.

• Lose the extra body weight as it puts

lots of stress on your knees.

How to strengthen your knees:

Emphasis on developing the strength

of your quadriceps, core muscles, and

hamstrings, will help support correct riding

posture and maintain a good position of

your knees.

The following exercises will help

strengthen the key supporting muscles

for your knees so we are able to handle

a higher degree of jolt and shock, as well

as help save your knees in the long run.

They can be performed at home or at the

gym after your regular training regime.

We suggest using get a light-strength

mini theraband to add gentle resistance.

Repeat these exercise three times a week.

Straight Leg Raises

Sit on the floor, leaning slightly back, with the

theraband around your ankles and your legs straight.

Raise one leg as high as you can manage against

the resistance of the band. Keep your other leg flat

on the floor. Do 15 repetitions per leg, working with

a tempo of 1 repetition per second.

Side Leg Raises

Lie on one side with your legs stacked and

with the theraband around your ankles. Raise

the top leg and as high as you can manage

against the tension of the theraband. Hold for 3

seconds, lower and relax briefly, then repeat 10

times. Switch sides and start over.

Glute Bridge Walkouts

Lie on your back, legs bent with your feet flat

on the floor. Lift your hips up off the floor and

hold. This is your start position. Then slowly

straighten your right leg so only the heel makes

contact with the floor, then return it to the

start position. Repeat with the left leg. Do 10

repetitions in total, alternating legs.

Wall Squats

Stand with your back against a wall, your

feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart,

and drop your hips down until your thighs

are just shy of parallel to the floor, keeping

your pelvis against the wall. Hold for 30

seconds. Over time try build up to 1 minute.

Remember: Although muscle soreness after exercise is normal, but any sharp, shooting,

or sudden pain in the muscles or joints is not. In this case stop what you are doing and

check with your doctor.

Riding Tip: Before you get on the bike, do a gentle hamstring, quad and hip flexor stretch.

Stretched muscles reduce the impact of the jolt to the knees. Hold each of the following

stretches for 15 – 20 seconds: 1: Hamstring stretch, 2: Quad stretch, 3: Hip flexor stretch.

If you need help getting

your fitness for riding to

the next level or you just

don’t know where to start,

then get hold of us at Base

Fit. Our Base Fit team of

coaches are trained to get

you maximal fitness results

specifically riding.

Mandy Thomas/Base Fit

Please send your

questions to mandy@

basefit.co.za or call me on

082-461-1443. If you found

this article helpful, please

follow us on Instagram

#basefitsportfitness and




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