In order to help you avoid knee damage, we have classified some of the most common sports and recreational activities into 3 basic levels according to the stress they impose on the knee. Level I activities apply generally safe stress on the knee. Level II activities apply moderate stress. Level III activities apply high stress to the knee and/or involve a higher risk of ligament or cartilage injury. By consulting with your physician and using common sense, you can minimize your risks of knee damage.


[I, II]
[I, II, III]

Level I:

Bicycling (road), bowling, golf, kayaking, rowing, scuba diving, swimming, walking (level ground), yoga, classic cross country skiing.

Level II:

Aerobics (low impact), skate skiing, diving, racquetball, roller skating, running (soft surfaces, 5-10 miles/wk), hiking/backpacking, horseback riding, hunting, ice skating, bicycling (mountain), sailing, softball (conservative, no cleats), waterskiing, wind surfing.

Level III:

Ballet, baseball, basketball, downhill skiing, football, gymnastics, handball, hang gliding, ice climbing, ice hockey, karate & judo, snowboarding, lacrosse, motorcycle (dirt biking), rock climbing, rugby, running (hard surfaces >10 miles/wk), soccer, softball (with cleats), tennis, track & field jumping events, volleyball, wrestling, wakeboarding.

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US Ski Team US Snowboarding

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