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What Muscles Are Worked When Cycling

what muscles are worked when cycling

Popular exercises like cycling have many positive health effects. It’s critical to understand which muscles are generally used during cycling in order to comprehend the effects this activity has on our bodies. In this article, we’ll go over the muscles that cycling uses in general. Cyclists can improve their training regimens and riding experience by concentrating on particular muscle groups and studying the muscles involved in cycling.

Primary Muscles Worked in Cycling

There are a number of major muscles used when riding. These muscles consist of:

  • Quadriceps: The quadriceps, which are situated in the front of the thigh, are the main muscles in charge of pressing the pedals downward during the downhill portion of the pedal stroke.
  • Hamstrings: Located in the rear of the thigh, the hamstrings aid in pulling up the pedals and generating power during the upward phase of the pedal stroke.
  • The gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the buttocks, gives you strength and stability while riding.
  • Gastrocnemius/Soleus (Calves): The calf muscles, such as the gastrocnemius and soleus, assist in pushing the pedals and pointing the toes downward during the pedal stroke.
  • Hip Flexors: The hip flexors, which include the iliopsoas, help elevate the legs and contribute to the production of power during the pedal stroke.
  • Core Muscles: While cycling, the core muscles, which include the abdominals and lower back muscles, assist in stabilizing the body and preserving good posture.
  • Deltoids: The shoulders’ deltoid muscles support stability and help in bike steering.
  • Trapezius and Rhomboids: These muscles in the upper back help support the upper body and maintain appropriate posture during riding.

While these muscles are generally used during cycling, it’s crucial to remember that the workload and intensity might change based on the terrain, speed, and cycling technique.

Supporting Muscles Worked in Cycling

Cycling works a number of supporting muscles in addition to the primary muscles described above. These muscles help to maintain stability, balance, and good posture. Cycling exercises a number of the supporting muscles, including:

  • Hip abductors and adductors: These muscles, which are situated on the sides of the hips, support stability and control throughout the pedal stroke by assisting with leg abduction and adduction.
  • Gluteus Medius: Located on the outside of the hip, the gluteus medius supports hip stability and minimizes hip movement or drop while cycling.
  • Erector Spinae: The muscles that run along the spine’s length aid in preserving stability and an upright posture during cycling.
  • Transverse Abdominis: The transverse abdominis, a member of the core muscles, helps to support the body while cycling by stabilizing the pelvis and lower back.
  • Rotator cuff muscles: The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis of the rotator cuff stabilize the shoulder joint and help the cyclist maintain optimal arm position and control.
  • Forearm flexors and extenders: When riding, these forearm muscles help you hold onto the handlebars and maintain control of the bike.
  • Quadratus Lumborum: The quadratus lumborum muscles in the lower back support the pelvis and spine during riding.
  • Tibialis Anterior: The tibialis anterior muscles help raise the toes during the upward portion of the pedal stroke and are situated near the front of the lower thigh.

Training Tips

The following advice will help you maximize your training and improve the power and stamina of the muscles utilized in cycling:

  • Strengthening workouts: Include resistance training workouts that target the muscles utilized in cycling. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles can be strengthened using exercises including squats, lunges, leg presses, and hamstring curls.
  • Incorporate Functional Movements: To increase muscular activation and coordination, do out workouts that resemble the movements used in cycling. Step-ups, single-leg squats, and hip abduction/adduction exercises are a few examples.
  • Variate Your Intensity: Include interval training and hill repeats in your cycling regimen to put your muscles to the test and increase your endurance. This helps to mimic the demands of various surfaces and levels of difficulty seen during outdoor cycling.
  • Cross-Train: To add diversity and target, other muscle groups, partake in additional cardiovascular workouts like swimming or running. This can lessen the likelihood of muscular imbalances and improve general fitness.
  • Relax your muscles with a massage: Vibration and deep pressure are used in massage guns, a popular workout recovery tool. It is possible to apply the muscle massage gun to sore or tense muscles, leaving each location for at least 30 seconds.
  • Stretch and foam roll: To keep cycling muscles flexible and prevent tightness, stretch them after each session.


Which Muscles Are Used When Riding a Bike? – YouTube

Emily Brook

Emily Brook

Hi, I'm Emily, a Health and Fitness Specialist with FivaliFitness. With years of experience in the fitness industry as a certified personal trainer, I am passionate about helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals.

Whether you're new to fitness or an experienced athlete, our products and resources are designed to support and enhance your fitness journey. So, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me at any time!

The information provided in articles written by Fivali is intended for educational and reference purposes only. The content on this website ( is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We do not recommend self-diagnosis or self-treatment based on the information provided in our articles. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your health or well-being.
If you are experiencing any symptoms or discomfort, we strongly encourage you to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional. Only a licensed healthcare practitioner can provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

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