Does Go-Karting Make You Sore?

Go-karting is a popular motor-sport around the world, fun for people of all ages. It’s more dangerous than you might think, with hundreds of people ending up with injuries of varying severity while go-karting. Even if you walk away without any broken bones, however, there’s a good chance you might be sore after a day of go-karting.

Go-karting can lead to a variety of injuries, including muscle or joint soreness after riding in one. This soreness largely stems from the different forces at work during go-karts, especially if you don’t ride go-karts often. There’s also very little in the way of padding or support on a go-kart’s seat, which can lead to the lower back, arm, or leg soreness.

As with many physical activities, it’s possible to reduce or eliminate soreness after go-karting. Keep reading to find out exactly why go-karting may make you sore and what you can do to avoid soreness when go-karting.

Does Go-Karting Make You Sore?

Competitive go-kart racing, or just recreational go-karting at your local track, can undoubtedly make you sore. This is especially true if you don’t drive go-karts regularly. If you spend a few hours go-karting and you don’t do it often, you may find that your sore the next day. This soreness can be in a variety of spots on your body, including:

  • Back
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Neck
  • Hands/Fingers

We’ll go into more detail below on why each of these body parts might get sore throughout the rest of this article. The bottom line is don’t feel too bad if you get sore after go-karting. Your body isn’t used to that sort of activity, and just like with pretty much anything else, if you’re not physically used to something, you’ll probably be sore. 

Why Your Body Gets Sore

As you age, your body will start getting sore for a wide variety of reasons. Body aches are a natural part of life, and you’ve probably realized by now that you could get one for something as minor as sitting the wrong way on a long drive. As mentioned above, you can get sore in quite a few areas of your body after go-karting. Here’s why.


Go-karts aren’t known for their stellar lumbar support, and you’ll be whipping around tight turns at high speeds, which can throw your back out of whack. Because of all the changes in direction and the forces at work, as well as the uncomfortable seating, you may find that your lower or mid-back are pretty sore after go-karting. 


Go-karts also don’t typically have armrests; you’ll be holding a steering wheel on a minimalist vehicle that isn’t built with much concern for rider comfort. Holding your arms up for a while can make them sore, in a similar way to doing a strenuous workout. You may also find your shoulders are sore from holding your arms up. 


Go-karts don’t have a ton of legroom, so if you have longer legs, they’re going to be bunched up a bit while you’re riding. Just like being on an airplane for a while and being cramped, being stuffed into a tiny go-kart could make your legs sore. This might go away the same day after walking around for a bit, or it could be the day after your ride. 


High-speed go-karts often require you to wear a helmet, similar to a motorcycle helmet. If you’re not used to carrying weight around on your head, you may experience a sore neck after riding in a go-kart for a day. This is entirely normal, and unless you had an accident where you’re worried about whiplash, you’d probably feel better after a couple of days.


You’re going to be excited while you’re speeding around the go-kart track, gripping the wheel tightly. Even if you take time to loosen your grip and stretch your fingers, your hands and fingers might still be sore after you finish riding. 

Other Injuries From Go-Karting

Go-karting can be a dangerous sport, although serious injuries are exceedingly rare. Although it’s challenging to find useful statistics on the subject, 231 fatalities resulted from go-karting accidents from 1985-1996, with another 125,900 reported injuries during the same period. 

Although go-karts have gotten significantly safer since then, they can still be dangerous or even fatal. Collisions in go-karting are relatively common, and safety controls are considerably lacking. As a result, people can experience internal bruising or injuries, lacerations, spinal trauma, or even bone fractures while riding in a go-kart.  

Luckily, there are ways to be safer while go-karting

  • Please do your best to avoid collisions; it’s not bumper cars, after all. 
  • Wear proper equipment and footwear.
  • Never stop in the middle of the track. 
  • Never drive a go-kart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • Follow all the directions of track officials, lights, and flags while driving. 
  • Follow the posted guidelines on rider heights and ages.
table of injuries - Does Go-Karting Make You Sore?

These guidelines may not keep you from getting sore, but they’ll help keep you and the rest of the riders on the track safer from severe bodily injuries. 

How to Keep From Getting Sore

With go-karting, you have three ways to help minimize soreness after your riding; you can either ride in go-karts more often, you can spend some more time exercising and strengthening your muscles and joints, or you can stretch yourself out well after you go-kart. If you’re concerned about getting sore the next time you go-kart, you should try a combination of the three.

Riding Go-Karts More Often

The first time you do pretty much anything physical, you’ll find that your body is sore. Soreness is entirely normal, and it’s because, when you do something new, you produce microscopic tears in your muscle fibers.

The stress you’re experiencing isn’t limited to your muscles, though; it can also affect your joints and bones.

While go-karting isn’t known for being incredibly strenuous, it still subjects your body to a new activity. As with pretty much anything else, your body will get used to it if you do it more often.

In other words, riding go-karts more often will help your body get used to the unique stressors it experiences, and you’ll find that you’re less sore after doing it a few times.

Get More Exercise

You can also reduce soreness from go-karting through exercise and getting into better shape. If you work out regularly, your muscles, joints, and bones will be better used to stress, and it will help you cope with a variety of physical activity. This doesn’t just work for go-karting; being in good physical shape can help you perform better on many activities. 

Stretch Out

Recovery is an integral part of any workout plan, but it’s also important to recover after doing any strenuous physical activity. Stretching out after go-karting is a good idea because it helps your muscles recover and could lead to less muscle soreness and greater flexibility over time, which in turn will help you be less sore the next time you go go-karting. 

Final Thoughts

Go-karting can be a fun way to pass the day, and they’ve gotten a lot safer over the years. However, they can still be dangerous, and if you’re not used to riding them, you’ll probably experience some soreness afterward. Even if you do, it’s a small price to pay for an enjoyable pastime that can be a great way to spend some time with your friends in a friendly competition.

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