If you’re wondering what muscles does cycling burn and if cycling is an effective exercise, then the good news is that it burns a ton of calories and works a lot of muscles across the body, so if you don’t already have a bicycle go visit your local bike sales store and make a positive lifestyle change ASAP. Cycling, both stationary cycling and outdoor cycling, is great for exercise. Exercising boosts muscular and cardiovascular endurance. By understanding the muscles that cycling works and improves, you’ll understand how best to integrate cycling into your workout for the best results.
Does Cycling Work the Core?
Cycling does require you to engage your core, given that it’s best to ride a bike with a slight forward lean. You also use your core to control the bike and make turns, mainly when riding on tough terrain.
If you want to give your abs a good workout though, then you should rely on more than just riding a bike. You can improve your core muscles and get more control over your bike by implementing some core exercises into your regular routines, such as bridges and planks.
Core muscles are what keep the back straight during a ride. You should have the strength to hold yourself at a 45-degree angle while holding on to the handlebars. Raise the handlebars if you need to lean forward too much to grasp them.
Does Cycling Work Quads and Hamstrings?
Riding a bike is the perfect exercise for your hamstrings and quadriceps. The muscles work together to push the bike forward as you pedal. You won’t need to add much else to your routine to give your legs a good workout with biking.
If you want to target the muscles in your leg when riding a bike, then it’s best to use a circular full-pedal stroke. The effort from the quadriceps pushes pedals down, while hamstrings work on the upstroke. Work against some resistance — such as a hill — to get more out of a bike workout for the legs.
Strengthening your hamstrings and quads will improve muscular balance, meaning you’ll have an easier time staying on your bike and are less likely to get injured.
Biking For the Calves
The calf muscles are also used when you pedal your bike. As such, biking is a great way to strengthen them. There are lots of benefits for cyclists with bigger calves. For example, more muscular calves mean that you can bike for longer and are less likely to get injured.
Once again, you can take your results to the next level by doing some calf exercises — such as calf raises — off of your bike.
Biking and Glutes
Cycling is also a great way to shape your glutes. Your glutes help push the movement when you stand up to cycle. Make things more intense, whether cycling indoors or outdoors, and you’ll see better results for your butt.
Make sure that your bike seat is at the proper height — which is a little higher than most expect — to give your glutes the best workout. Having the bike seat at the right height means your hips can move through a broader range of motions, working your glutes more.
Cycling is good for your health and it is an excellent way to work out your lower body. From the thighs to the calves, to even the glutes, cycling works just about every muscle in your legs.