Is Skiing Bad for Your Knees?

Skiing isn’t inherently bad for your knees, but like any other athletic activity, there is a chance for injury. These injuries can occur to any skier, but the better shape you are in and the more you ski within your ability levels, the less your chance of getting hurt.

My name is Christine, and I created this blog to share my love of skiers with others who have a similar passion. I’ve spent many days on the mountain, and my knees are still doing great. So I know through first-hand experience that skiing isn’t bad for your knees. 

This post will explore if skiing is bad for your knees. I’ll examine all of the risks you take while skiing, touch on the chance of accidents, and provide you with some tips to help prevent knee injuries from occurring. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Skiing isn’t inherently bad for your knees, but knee injuries can occur while skiing. It’s a demanding sport that puts your lower body in all sorts of positions, which can lead to potential knee damage. 
  • If you ski within your ability level and keep your body and legs in good shape, your chance of knee injury goes downs significantly. 
  • Skiing may not be the best thing to do if you are already dealing with a previous knee injury from another sport or situation. 
  • Accidents can occur at any time while skiing, so the chance of injury to your knees or anywhere else on your body is constant. 

Is Skiing Bad for Your Knees? 

Skiing is a sport that predominately involves using your legs and lower body. Because of this, many people believe that it’s automatically bad for your knees. But this isn’t true. Skiing isn’t inherently bad for your knees. 

But the risk of getting a knee injury while skiing is very real. Knee injuries happen all of the time in this sport, so it’s something to keep in mind. But knee injuries also occur in many other sports – it’s not exclusive to skiing. 

The most common knee injury that can happen while skiing is a sprain. And if you get a bad enough sprain, it can lead to ligament damage and tears. A torn ACL is one of the worst knee injuries you can get while skiing. 

If you ski within your ability levels and keep yourself in good shape, you can limit your chance of getting injured while skiing. And if you already have bad knees from a previous injury or any other reason, you should consider that before you start to ski. 

So while skiing isn’t outright bad for your knees, it does place stress on them and put them in situations that can potentially lead to injury. With this in mind, skiing isn’t bad for your knees, but it is risky for them. 

How to Strengthen Knees for Skiing

Focusing on strength training and general fitness is a great place to start strengthening your knees for skiing. There are many different exercises you can do for proper knee health. Squats and lunges are two bodyweight movements you can focus on. 

Another thing you can do to help your knees is walking backward. This sounds kind of weird, but it’s actually beneficial for strengthening your knees and the ligaments and muscles that make them work. 

If walking backward seems easy, try pulling and pushing a sled. This is excellent training for skiing in general, but it also focuses on your knees, which can pay off when it’s time to get on the slopes. 

There are literally hundreds of ways you can go about strengthening your knees for skiing, and the suggestions above are just a start. Talk to a personal trainer or ski instructor if you want more details. 


Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to if skiing is bad for your knees. 

Does skiing hurt your knees? 

If you are in relatively good physical condition and ski within your abilities, skiing should not hurt your knees. Skiing can be painful if you have preexisting knee pain from another injury. It depends on the person and the situation. 

Which is worse for your knees skiing or snowboarding? 

Skiing and snowboarding pose nearly the same risks for your knees. One of these sports isn’t better or worse for your knees than the other. You can injure your knees whether you are skiing or snowboarding.

How do you not hurt your knees when skiing? 

Proper ski conditioning and strength training can help prevent your knees from hurting when skiing. Numerous exercises and methods are involved with this, but you can do a lot to improve knee health on and off the mountain. 

Final Thoughts

Skiing in and of itself isn’t bad for your knees. It’s always possible to injure a knee while skiing, but you can hurt a knee doing any number of things. If you ski within your ability levels and stay in good shape, the chances for injury go down. 

It’s important to remember that injuries can happen at any point while you ski. Even expert skiers who are in great shape deal with knee injuries from time to time. It’s part of the sport, and there is no way to eliminate it entirely. 

Have you ever had a knee injury caused by skiing? Let me know in the comments below.

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