Knee pain is a pretty common thing these days. And when you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis or any other knee problem, your doctor might advise you against flexing the knee too much. But should you stop enjoying bike riding? Well, while riding the bike, your knee does bend a lot.
So, whether you can still enjoy riding the bike or not will depend on how much knee flexion to ride a bike. From our in-house tests, we have figured out exactly how much you would need to bend your knee to push the pedal. And we will talk all about the topic in this article.
How Much Does the Knee Bend When You Ride a Bike?
Needless to say that your legs do most of the movement when you are riding a bike. And most of the movement is around the knee region. In general, you will need to flex the knee to about 90 degrees to fully pedal the bike. And without achieving that angle on your knee, you can not make the bicycle move forward.
How to Get Physical Therapy for Your Knee with a Bike?
As we have started the topic with knee pain and osteoarthritis, we would like to talk about how you can get proper physical therapy with the bike. In fact, your therapists might have already recommended you to ride a stationary bike. It will help keep your knee flexible and maintain the proper muscle tone.
That said, one of the main goals of physical therapy is to reduce swelling and make you reach the full passive ROM. For that reason, it is pretty vital to make your knee achieve the maximum degree of straightening and bending. However, you should try to put as less stress on the knees as possible. To achieve that, follow these:
Check the Height of the Seat
First and foremost, you should ensure that the seat is at the right height. You should sit on the seat and keep your dominant knee straight down on the pedal to check this. Keep the leg resting on the pedal and check the bending of the knee. There should be a slight flex on the knee at the lowest point of the pedal.
Pedal in Reverse
Before pedaling the bike forward, you would need to pedal it in reverse. Also, start slowly because you might not be capable of pedaling the bike all the way around. This issue is quite normal for people with knee problems. You would want to just pedal it to the point where the pain is tolerable. Do not push yourself!
When you have bent the knee as far as possible, hold that position for a couple of seconds. Then slowly circulate the pedal and make your knee as straight as possible. Continue to pedal backward until you are comfortable with the overall movement of the knee.
You should repeat the sequence of pedaling backward for a couple of minutes. And it would be best if you did not pedal in the forward motion until you are not entirely comfortable with the backward movement. However, when you are comfortable, you should follow the same process for the forward motion.
So, what is the answer to the question of how much knee flexion to ride a bike? Well, the simple answer is 90 degrees. To be capable of fully pedaling the bike, you will need to bend your knees to about 90 degrees. And if you have a knee problem, you should strictly follow the process mentioned above.