Knee Pain for Skateboarders – Skateboard Strength (2024)

This will be a big one simply because of how the knees take a brutal beating in the daily life of a skater, and how many issues could be responsible for experiencing knee pain; especially in skating.

Skating is brutal on the knees and the simple act of bending (knee flexion) and straightening (knee extension) is the basis of everything we will do on a skateboard. Add to this the constant impact taken from bailing from tricks, landing tricks, and even just pushing around, it’s no wonder skaters are always complaining about knee pain.

Knee Pain for Skateboarders – Skateboard Strength (2)

Example of knee flexion (bending) and knee extension (straightening)

It’s important to note when talking about our knees, so much can effect our perception of pain in the area including the surrounding muscles, tendons and nerves, or even pain being caused from further up and down the chain, such as instability at the feet, hips or torso. A problem in any one of these could give the perception of or lead to pain at the knee. Here’s an example:

Instability at the hip when skating can cause one hip to kick out to the side, placing the knee in a bad position down the chain. This causes irritation at the knee as the ITB is forced to work overtime, correcting the placement of the knee to counterbalance and rectify the lack of stability at the hip.

Knee Pain for Skateboarders – Skateboard Strength (3)

This is why it is important to look at the bigger picture: When we expand our line of thought to the broader picture of mechanics of, not just the knee but also, the muscles and joints surrounding the knee that have potential to cause irritation, we can understand the system as a whole and the context of the pain relative to the positions and movements expressed on the board.

Another common mistake when dealing with knee pain is finding temporary solutions to immediately get people out of pain, rather than fixing the cause and keeping them out of it. Often, stretching, foam rolling, and mobility work come under these temporary solutions, leading to skaters returning to the board too soon and constantly looking for new pain relief when the pain returns. This can then cap your skating with a limit of potential because, as your skating skills increase, so do the forces being placed on the joints and the muscles that are causing the pain.

So how do we deal with this properly?

Your greatest pain reliever from skate-based pain will be filling the missing pieces of the puzzle: Mobility, stability, and strength. Developing these characteristics of movement can be the key to eliminating pain for good.

Most importantly, building strength off the board allows us to deal with the forces being placed on the knee on the board. This lifts our ceiling for potential whilst minimising off-board training time and allows us to scale up our skills pain-free.

Let’s get started:

This program is split into 3 components:

Mobility – This is how we get you out of pain, restore range of motion at muscles and joints to allow you to move pain-free again.

Stability – This is where we explore these new ranges of motion and create stability in the whole structure; the knee and everything that surrounds and affects it.

Strength – This is where we eliminate knee pain for good. Building strength allows us to tolerate the forces being placed on the knee when we skate so we don’t continue to tighten up.

Your Mobility Program can be performed every day and before your Stability/Strength exercises.

A1Mobility Ball: Hamstrings11-2 minsBW
B1Foam Roller: ITB11-2 minsBW
C1Foam Roller: Quads11-2 minsBW
D1Foam Roller Adductors11-2 minsBW
E1Couch Stretch11 minBW

The Stability/Strength focused day can be performed every second day:

  • With differences in pain and skill levels it would be impossible to choose a single lunge or hamstring exercise for everyone that would work. As a way around this you are going to use the Skateboard Strength Instagram page and Youtube video to find your variation of each exercise and insert it in the D1, D2 and E1 (Hops) boxes.

Choose 1 of each variation that suits your level and when you can complete the sets and reps given you can then move on to the next challenge in variation.

A1Hip Airplane36BW
B1Banded Step Downs310-12BW
C1Tib Anterior Raise310-12BW
C2Hamstring Curl Pulse320-40 sec holdBW
D1Choose lunge Variation3-46-1030secsLoaded
D2Choose Hamstring Variation3-46-1030secsLoaded
E1Choose Hops Variation3Follow video recommendationsBW

Full break down of all exercises can be found on the youtube clip here:

Find Your Lunge:

Just remember if you have gotten to the stage where you’re feeling acute knee pain it is most likely due to months or even years of trauma. This didn’t happen overnight and so the solution to get you out of it might not happen overnight either. In the initial stages the more you can perform this program as recommended, the faster you will experience results – so stick with it.

Hopefully this program can now not only provide you a blueprint to relieving your skate-related knee pain, but also keep it away. Lift your ceiling for potential of what you can do on the board without having to constantly be sacrificing your knees and continue skating well in to your latter years.

We cover all these exercises and more taking a full body approach in a skate specific 16 week program fully interactive guide with the SS Fundamentals Program so be sure to check it out here:

Knee Pain for Skateboarders – Skateboard Strength (2024)


How to stop knee pain from skateboarding? ›

Most importantly, building strength off the board allows us to deal with the forces being placed on the knee on the board. This lifts our ceiling for potential whilst minimising off-board training time and allows us to scale up our skills pain-free.

Is skating hard on the knees? ›

Knee issues are very common with skaters, especially those who begin to skate a lot or start doing longer distances before their leg muscles are strong enough to support the joints properly.

Why do my knees hurt from skating? ›

Usually skaters have more quadricep dominance since many of the movements are spent in a bent knee position (crossovers, edges, jumps and spins). Quadricep dominance can cause skaters to be more susceptible to patellar (kneecap) damage and to tendon and ligament strains.

What are the common knee injuries in skateboarding? ›

Tendonitis and sprains — Tendonitis and sprains in the feet, ankles, and knees are common due to overuse and pressure placed on the feet while skateboarding. There is usually localized pain, swelling, and stiffness. A sprain will occur suddenly while tendonitis often develops over time.

Can you tear your meniscus skateboarding? ›

Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially while bearing weight, can lead to a torn meniscus.

How long does it take for an unhappy triad knee to heal? ›

An unhappy triad injury is one of the most severe sports injuries. Most cases require surgery and a recovery period of six to nine months. But if you keep up with physical therapy and give your knee ample time to heal, you'll likely be able to get back to your usual activities in under a year.

How can I make my knees stronger? ›

Knee exercises for runners
  1. Knee bends – 3 sets of 10 repetitions (reps) ...
  2. Thigh contraction – 3 sets of 15 seconds with each leg. ...
  3. Straight leg raises – 3 sets of 10 reps with each leg. ...
  4. Hamstring stretch with thigh contraction – 3 sets of 15 seconds with each leg. ...
  5. ITB (iliotibial band) – 3 sets of 15 seconds with each leg.

What sport is hardest on your knees? ›

Here are some of the most notorious sports for increasing the risk of knee damage, and how best to minimise the risk.
  • Weightlifting. Weightlifting naturally puts a lot of extra strain on the joints, particularly the knees during squats and when using free-weights. ...
  • Cycling. ...
  • Tennis. ...
  • Football. ...
  • Basketball and netball.

What is the most common skateboard injury? ›

The most common injuries in skateboarding are fractures and traumatic brain injuries. The most common fractures reported are to the forearm, ankle, elbow, wrist, and head and skull.

Are skater jumps bad for knees? ›

If you imagine when you skate you're jumping sometimes hundreds of times in a session, that's hundreds of blows to the knee in a way it wasn't designed for. Over time this added stress can create even more dysfunction, pain and overuse injuries over time.

How do you skate without your legs hurting? ›

Having skates that fit correctly and are properly padded is half of the battle. Another way to prevent skating pain is proper stretching and warmups before stepping on the rink. Lower body stretches that stretch out your lower back, hips, legs, and feet help gear your body for the exercise you do while skating.

How do you position your knees when skating? ›

Some key points for good knee bend are keeping your knees in-front of your toes, keeping your hips bent in a neutral position and having good ankle bend. If your knees stay behind your toes, your hips will stay backwards keeping a large portion of your weight behind you.

What sports have the highest knee injury rates? ›

Causes. ACL injury typically occurs during athletics where jumping, pivoting and rapid change of direction occurs. Football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and skiing are some sports known to have high ACL injury rates.

How to avoid breaking bones when skateboarding? ›

Wrist guards support the wrists and may help prevent a broken bone when falling. “But the wrist is best protected by not catching yourself with your hands when you fall,” says Dr. Peretz. Shoes should be closed and slip-resistant, and goggles should be considered to keep debris out of the eyes.

Is skateboarding good exercise? ›

It's a Great Cardio Workout

Skateboarding is a sport that gets your heart and blood pumping, so it's a fantastic cardio workout. Since you'll usually go from pacing to explosive bursts of energy when you're doing tricks, skateboarding works your heart in a similar way to a high-intensity workout or a spin class.

How do I make skating less painful? ›

You'll want to avoid boots that are the wrong size, whether they are too small or too large, the boots will cause pain. Blisters are another thing to be aware of with ill fitting skate boots. Another thing to avoid is lacing your boots too tightly, which is known as lace bite or skate bite.

How do I stop getting injured skateboarding? ›

Wear Proper Protective Gear
  1. A properly fitting helmet.
  2. Wrist guards help support the wrist and reduce the chances of breaking a bone if you fall.
  3. Knee and elbow pads reduce the severity of cuts and scrapes, and prevent gravel burns.
  4. Closed-toe shoes that have slip-resistant soles, rather than sandals.

Why does my leg hurt after skateboarding? ›

Those symptoms, of discomfort and lethargy, tend to occur from the deterioration of muscle after over usage and, over time, soreness and fatigue can impact the ability to skate again the next day. Like amateur skaters, athletes also know the pain caused by a big day of skating.

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