How to Hike with Bad Knees

I’m sure we’ve all hurt our knees at some point in our lives. Regardless of the reason, the false assumption that we can’t do any strenuous exercise again just sends us into a never-ending depression. And to add insult to injury, we have commercials that tell us that once some of our ligaments are gone, they won’t come back and we’ll be left with 50% of our former motor ability.

Bad KneesBut the fact is that when our knees start to hurt, the ligaments are still there, only in an injured state. If we give time for them to heal, our knees can go back to the way they were. Problem is, we never give time for them to heal.

Everyday, we walk, climb stairs, go down stairs, and run using the wrong muscles and wrong motions. Most people, including teenagers without knee issues, walk incorrectly. Somehow, we were “taught” to exert force from our leading leg, when it really should be our rear leg doing the brunt of the work. Imagine a car driving along the street. The front wheels already need to steer in different directions. Would it make sense for the front wheels to also drive the car forward? Why not let the rear wheels do it? The same goes for us humans.

Front Rear WheelsWhen you’re walking up stairs, for example, your front leg will be more bent than your rear leg. If you use your front leg to also drag your whole body up in that weakened (bent) position, you’ll start hurting before long. What you should do is to let your rear leg boost you up as it’s already in the strong (slightly bent, not locked straight) position. It may feel weird and slow for you to walk like this at first, but trust me when I say it won’t hurt as much, if at all. After a few weeks, it would feel so natural that you’ll criticize yourself for not walking like that ages ago.

Climbing StairsFor more information on how to walk downhill, look at the YouTube video below:

Uphill Downhill


6 thoughts on “How to Hike with Bad Knees

  1. tried this technique while walking up a flight of stairs just now. it felt so unnatural and the back leg started getting sore. =P


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