Which muscles tense when cycling

Bicycle. what muscles?

Abdominal muscles

Correct and efficient cycling requires strong and trained abdominal muscles. Keeping the back straight and the body in an even and correct position, as well as tilting the whole body forward, is the main function of our press. Having strong abdominal muscles makes cycling an order of magnitude easier.

Lower legs

While riding, of course, the lower calf muscles work. They work when the foot is extended by pressing the bicycle pedal. Also, during this movement, the hamstrings are involved.

Hip flexor

This small iliac muscle is found in the groin area. It performs the function of flexion of the leg at the knee bend, as well as extension of the hip. This muscle is very vulnerable and easily injured in cycling, so while riding, if you feel any pain in this area immediately. If this happens, stop the training, because it can end sadly and with undesirable consequences, up to stretching or tearing.

Gluteus muscles

When cycling, this muscle group works in tandem with the quadriceps (quadriceps muscle of the legs). In addition, the buttocks help maintain balance while riding.

Evaluating the pulse

To estimate your optimal heart rate, do the following:

Determine the resting heart rate in the morning, immediately after waking up in a lying position.

Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age in years from 220.

Calculate the heart rate to be adhered to in the absence of training (at the very beginning of your trips) as the arithmetic average of resting heart rate and maximum heart rate.

Calculate the heart rate to which you should reach as training level increases, as the arithmetic mean of the heart rate in the absence of training and maximum heart rate.

Keep in mind that HRmax is a conditional calculated value that should never be reached during training. leave it like this to pro athletes!

which, muscles, cycling

What muscles develop?

When cycling, the quadriceps (quadriceps) of the thighs and calf muscles are the most stressed.

You don’t have to worry about the excessive inflatedness of these muscles. the amateur does not reach the required loads for this. Muscles will simply tighten and take on a beautiful shape.

The muscles of the buttocks will also pump up quite well. Since you have to constantly maintain balance (when driving, this is done at the subconscious level), the muscles of the arms, abs and back are connected.

An example of calculating the required number of calories

The daily energy consumption of a woman weighing 80 kg with a normal weight of 60 kg is 30 x 60 9 x 20 = 1980 (kcal). Counting calories burned during exercise.

At a speed of 15-25 km / h, you spend 0.4 kcal for each kilometer of your journey, per 1 kg of your actual weight. Calculation example: with a weight of 80 kg, the energy price of a kilometer of track will be 0.4 x 80 = 32 (kcal).

With 4 workouts per week with a route length of 20 km, the total weekly distance will be 4 x 20 = 80 (km), and the weekly energy consumption is 32 x 80 = 2560 (kcal). On average, 2560/7 = 365 (kcal) will be spent per day.

We add to the main energy consumption the additional ones caused by cycling: 1980 365 = 2345 (kcal). We subtract 400 kcal for weight loss (to create a calorie deficit): 2345. 400 = 1945 (kcal).

Therefore, when performing the intended cycling program, the diet of the example woman should be designed for 1900-2000 kcal.

This is a fairly high value that allows you to eat complete foods, forgetting about the notorious lists of “prohibited on diets”.

In no case try to choose for yourself one of those short-term “diets” that everyone has heard and promises fantastic plumb lines, and on which no one has yet completely lost weight.

Actually, no one around you will notice that you are “on a diet.” It is possible to combine calorie counting with your daily life so that it does not catch the eye of others, especially since you will be eating the same thing as they are.

Your weight loss is guaranteed by your cycling and calorie counting. Do not try to lose weight too quickly. the described method will provide you with weight loss at the rate of about 5 kg per quarter. Thus, it is quite possible to lose 10 kg in a six-month cycling season.

Why Do You Feel Pain When Cycling? | Cycling Weekly & Six Physio

Carry out a check weighing once a month (for women it is important to weigh yourself always on the same day of the cycle, say, for the sake of clarity, the fifth, when the edema associated with critical days has already passed, but the ovulation associated with mid-cycle has not yet occurred), and if weight loss will be too rapid (more than 2 kg per month), increase the calorie content of your diet.

The benefits and harms of such training

When riding a bicycle, the pulse quickens, the heart muscle strengthens and the overall endurance increases, the indicators characterizing the aerobic capabilities of the body increase, the respiratory organs and the vestibular apparatus are trained.

For weight loss (weight loss), cycling is one of the most effective types of cyclic loads, since significant energy consumption is achieved.

In addition, cycling is just enjoyable as you are not exercising indoors, but outdoors. And what could be better than having a good time, admiring the surroundings and at the same time strengthening your health?

Before starting cycling training, it is advisable to see a doctor. You will have to give up classes for some forms of scoliosis and the presence of a vertebral hernia. You will also have to refuse to travel in case of violations of the vestibular apparatus.

We train for results

3-4 workouts should be carried out per week. If you have not previously engaged in cycling, did not run, or pedal an exercise bike in the fitness center, or the previously acquired training has already been lost (for beginners, a two-month break is enough for this), start with cycling rides lasting 15-20 minutes.

Increase the duration with each workout by 5-10 minutes, in order to bring it to an hour or two in 5-8 weeks. Choose a low speed at first, about 15-16 km / h, and gradually bring it up to 24-25 km / h.

A better indicator of exercise is heart rate (measured in beats per minute). Aerobic training is most effective at a specific heart rate based on your age and physical condition (fitness level).

Creating a calorie deficit

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. to supply less energy with food than energy costs for life and physical activity.

To estimate, at least offhand, how many calories should be consumed with food for effective and confident weight loss, simple calculations should be made. The first step is to estimate what your energy costs are, excluding cycling.

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This can be done based on your normal weight (which you certainly know) and your current actual.

Overweight is the difference between your actual weight and your normal weight. Total energy costs are the sum of normal weight costs and overweight costs.

Each kilogram of excess weight costs you 9 kcal, and each kilogram of normal weight is 30 kcal for women and 32 kcal for men.

These ratios are valid for non-strenuous work. If any, add to the calculated value from 300 to 1000 kcal, depending on the nature and intensity of the load.


Of course, when cycling, your abs and back muscles are trained. They allow you to maintain a straight back and correct body position in general. They are also used when bending forward, so it is important that the abdominal muscles are strong enough.

Cycling: which muscles work?

Consider which muscle groups work on a bike. The list of them is actually quite impressive.


The gluteal muscles swing when cycling, working in tandem with the quadriceps. They also help to keep the body in the correct position when riding.

Cycling: additional benefits

Cycling, which muscles sway with which, we already know, is actually useful not only for the muscles. It has many other advantages, including the following:

  • prevention of infectious and colds;
  • improving the functioning of the vestibular apparatus;
  • beneficial effect on vision;
  • reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke;
  • improved blood circulation;
  • increased endurance;
  • improvement of the ligamentous apparatus;
  • losing weight;
  • improving the function of external respiration;
  • excellent fight against stress and depression.

The bicycle is especially recommended for those who work in a sedentary job and lead an inactive lifestyle. It will provide the prevention of a number of diseases, will not allow the muscles to atrophy.

The benefits of cycling to the reproductive system are known. Women who have this useful habit are better able to tolerate pregnancy, less likely to face complications during and after childbirth. Useful as fast driving, which gives a powerful cardio load, and slow, strengthening the heart and developing muscles. Calm riding minimizes the risk of injury.

However, it should be borne in mind that, despite all the benefits of a bicycle and the effective study of muscles when riding it, there are also some contraindications, if ignored, you can only harm yourself. Be sure to consider the following points:

  • A bicycle can be dangerous if there are coordination disorders or diseases that provoke its temporary loss.
  • Also, a contraindication may be diseases of the cardiovascular system, serious disturbances in the work of the heart. However, here everything is individual and you need to consult with a specialist, because with minor heart problems, the benefits of a bicycle can be much greater than its harm.
  • Disturbances in the functioning of cerebral vessels, situations that lead to their damage or other pathologies, in which the blood supply to the brain is impaired. This is also not a clear contraindication, however, you need to consult a specialist, and additional examinations may be required.
  • Brittle and fragile bones, joints prone to dislocation. maximum care is needed.
  • For any diseases associated with damage to the musculoskeletal system, it is necessary, together with the doctor, to determine all the nuances, in particular, the speed that is permissible, and the terrain, when driving in which classes will be safe.

Arms and shoulders

Since the muscles of the upper body are trained significantly less than the lower ones, many professional cyclists have strong inflated legs and buttocks and not too trained arms and shoulders.

Basically, the muscles of the arms and shoulders are needed when turning the steering wheel, when holding it during steep descents. And, of course, you cannot do without them if you need to periodically bring in and take out your bike from the premises and back. Usually triceps work as much as possible, extending the arms at the elbows to coordinate the distance of the torso from the handlebars of the bicycle.

The shoulder girdle is loaded when standing on the pedals, when all the muscles of the body are involved. If you are driving along a steep hill, then the bike, on the contrary, will have to be lowered, pushing it away from you, pressing it to the surface. On a flat surface, the arms and shoulders work little, but on hilly and mountainous they have to work hard, so if you want to work them out too, choose just such landscapes.

In general, the effect is. wow! It seems like it’s time to buy a new friend:

Leg muscles

  • Calf muscles. They are worked out when you extend the foot by pressing the pedal. The hamstrings are also involved.
  • Quads. Get a fairly large load. Their task is to ensure that the pedals are pressed firmly. The maximum tension of these muscles is felt when you climb a bicycle on a hill, making maximum effort to this.
  • Hip flexor. A small iliac muscle located in the groin area that helps both hip extension and knee flexion. This muscle is quite vulnerable, especially in relation to cycling. Therefore, you need to focus on your feelings and avoid discomfort in it.


Hip biceps working when lifting the leg up with a pedal.

How to build muscle while cycling

Bicycle. how much in this word A well-known phrase. And how it warms the souls of thousands of pedal lovers. What could be better than a ride through your hometown, a winding forest path. just discussing bike news with your like-minded people or developing new routes.

Riding a two-wheeled friend is not only a lifestyle, but also a huge benefit to the body. When cycling, almost all muscle groups are involved. And how many positive emotions and positive will our nervous system receive?

Cycling helps to avoid shock loads on the musculoskeletal system, such as when running. This is an ideal way to get physical activity, having such diseases: scoliosis, osteochondrosis, flat feet.

If you look at professional cyclists, the question immediately disappears: “Is it possible to pump up legs on a bicycle?” Everyone who pedals more or less regularly has beautiful, prominent and inflated leg muscles. But besides the legs, there are other muscles that are no less involved in the process of riding.

Swing your legs

It is the muscles of the legs that are most stressed when cycling. Therefore, if the task is to give your legs a beautiful shape, pedaling is the perfect solution to the problem. Which muscles get the load?

Upper muscles: The quadriceps and hamstrings are the percussion muscles for this exercise. The quadriceps are pumped when going uphill, and the biceps when the leg is working from the lower pedal position.

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The calf muscle belongs to the lower leg. Its inflation occurs at the moment of pressure on the pedal with the toe of the foot. In this process, the muscles of the hamstrings are connected to the pumping.

Small but very important muscle

In the human body, there is a muscle called the iliac, or hip flexor. It is located in the groin area. Performs the following functions:

  • bending the knee;
  • hip extension.

Therefore, when riding a bicycle, it plays a significant role. When even a slight pain is felt in the iliac muscle, it is necessary to stop riding or reduce the load.

Arms, shoulder girdle and back: we distribute the load correctly

When cycling professionally, the muscles of the arms, shoulder girdle and back receive minimal stress. Therefore, pumped up arms is an almost impossible task. The only thing to expect is to keep the muscles that hold the steering wheel in good shape.

The back muscles are slightly more involved. If a person is just learning to ride a bike, it is very difficult for him to maintain a correct fit. The work of the back muscles is highly dependent on the position of the saddle.

If the bike is a sports bike, the saddle is almost on the same line as the handlebar. In this case, the stabilizing muscles of the back receive a significant load.

In the presence of a walking model of a bicycle, it is necessary to rest the muscles of the back at regular intervals, since keeping it in an upright position all the time is a rather tedious exercise.

The muscles of the shoulder girdle of the hand are applicable for such manipulations: turning the steering wheel, keeping the steering wheel and the front wheel in balance, especially on steep climbs.

The load on the muscles of the arms, shoulder girdle and back occurs in the following situations:

We swing the press

When cycling, the oblique abdominal muscles are most stressed. They are involved in such maneuvers:

  • turns;
  • uphill climbs;
  • riding standing.

The inflated press helps to keep the correct fit in the saddle, keep your back flat when riding, and in a sporty fit, regulate the forward tilt of the body.

The inflated press greatly facilitates the process of movement on a two-wheeled friend

Pushing the leg up

This exercise for the buttocks, like the following exercises, can be performed anywhere, including at home, at home.

The starting position is on all fours, on the floor. Knees along the mowing line, thighs and arms at shoulder level. Full length elbows. The back is straight. From this position, lift and bend one leg 90 degrees, the heel points towards the ceiling, make movements up and down, holding the leg in the upper position for 2-3 seconds.

The sole looks up all the time, we do not lower the leg to the end.

Do three sets of 15 reps for each leg. The break between each approach is one minute.

PLEASE NOTE: in this exercise, the movement of the extension and flexion of the legs should be without jerking, the buttocks are compressed.

Lower leg muscles

We refer to this segment as the calf muscles. They are located on the back of the lower leg and come into play as soon as we rest on the toe. Naturally, when cycling, this muscle group works very, very actively. I would like to note that this group can be strengthened without cycling by practicing calf raises. At home, you can simply lift on socks with weights or dumbbells, and in the gym you can perform exercises such as calf raises, standing and sitting in simulators. When cycling, the calves are engaged at the moment when we extend our feet by depressing the pedal. By performing this movement, we also use the tendons that are under the knees.

How to build muscle while cycling

Riding a bike is good not only for saving time, but also for your health. This is why many people use this form of transport in order to maintain muscle tone. However, not all athletes know what muscles work when cycling, so they think that only the muscles of the legs are swinging. This opinion is understandable, because the cyclist is constantly in a static position and it is difficult for others to judge the work of his muscle tissues. In fact, virtually all of the muscles are involved in this process. In addition to the work of the lower extremities, the tension of the muscles of the abdomen and arms can be distinguished. This kind of sport is also useful for other systems, for example, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal, therefore it is often practiced with osteochondrosis and to strengthen the heart.

According to experts, you can pump up your legs on a bicycle quickly enough, since all muscle groups of the lower extremities are loaded while riding it. However, you should know all the features of cycling and the anatomical structure of the muscles that work during exercise. In this case, the result will be much better.

You can see which muscles swing when cycling in this image:

  • Effects of cycling on the body
  • What muscles work when cycling
  • Lower leg muscles
  • Muscles of the upper legs
  • Gluteus muscles
  • Hip flexors
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Hands and deltoids
  • How to understand which muscle groups to train?
  • Effective glute exercises
  • Basic rules for doing exercises:
  • Pushing the leg up
  • Exercise “Pendulum”
  • Exercise “lunges”
  • Wall Squat
  • Exercise “Bridge”
  • What you can do daily to pump up your buttocks:
  • For perfectly toned buttocks, the following types of physical activity are well suited:
  • Exercises against cellulite on the thighs and buttocks
  • Effective glute exercises
  • Basic rules for doing exercises:
  • Pushing the leg up
  • Exercise “Pendulum”
  • Exercise “lunges”
  • Wall Squat
  • Exercise “Bridge”
  • What you can do daily to pump up your buttocks:
  • For perfectly toned buttocks, the following types of physical activity are well suited:
  • Exercises against cellulite on the thighs and buttocks
  • Cycling and the health benefits of women
  • Is a bicycle good for women on critical days??
  • Is it good for a woman to ride a bike during pregnancy??

The muscles must work intensively in order to see the effect of the training process. It is for this purpose that the load should be gradually increased. Pain after a workout is quite natural, but with its strong intensity, it is advisable to do a massage, go to a bath or do water procedures.

Cramps localized in the calf muscles may indicate a lack of potassium in the body, since the athlete sweats a lot when riding a bicycle and the beneficial element is gradually released. It can be normalized due to vitamin complexes and products with a high concentration of this substance.

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Cycling is not only beneficial for muscles, but also for the following purposes:

  • Improving immunity;
  • Restoration of vision;
  • Stabilized vestibular apparatus;
  • Prevention of cardiovascular pathologies;
  • Improving nutrition of the lungs and brain;
  • Increased endurance.

Riding a bike helps not only to make the muscles of the legs work, but the whole body as a whole. It is extremely useful for people suffering from back diseases and obesity. The person who goes in for cycling improves mood and self-confidence. This is why it is also recommended for relieving stress and anxiety.

Cycling is a very interesting and exciting sport. But it is not only interesting, but also useful, namely it is able to perfectly develop the cardiovascular system, muscle strength and endurance. If you compare it with some other sport, then it is very similar to running, as it has about the same intensity and efficiency. Of course, the feeling immediately arises that while cycling, a person uses only the upper body, but this is not the case, since the upper body can also be used. In this article, we will analyze which muscles work when cycling.

Exercise “lunges”

The starting position is standing. Bend your leg and push forward so that the thigh is parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position.

Do two sets of 15 on each leg. Break between sets 1 minute.

which, muscles, cycling

PLEASE NOTE: The back must remain straight at all times.

Exercise “Pendulum”

The starting position is standing on a small elevation (a book, for example), resting your hand on something for balance. With a straight back, move the outside leg to the side, opening and lowering slowly.

Do three sets of 30 times on each leg. Break between sets 30 seconds.

Note: After a couple of months of doing this exercise for the buttocks, you can increase the intensity of the effort using additional weights.

Variation: Lying on the edge of a bed or table on your side, raise and lower your leg, sock towards you. We do 33 times on one leg and the same amount on the other with maximum amplitude, without jerking, then we do the second approach the same number of repetitions. This exercise, has been tested, significantly removes the “ears” on the sides in a month.

What muscles work when cycling?

So which muscles work during cycling? Let’s consider them in more detail.

Cycling For Half An Hour Every Day Will Do This To Your Body


The hamstrings work when the leg is lifted up with the pedal.


While riding, the muscles of the buttocks work in tandem with the quadriceps muscle of the legs (or quadriceps). In addition, they help to keep the body in the correct position while riding.

Leg muscles

  • Calf muscles. They are activated during the extension of the foot by pressing the pedal. Also, while cycling, the hamstrings are involved.
  • Quads, they are under heavy load. Their job is to pedal hard. You may feel the tension in these muscles most strongly when climbing a hill, when a large amount of effort is required.
  • Hip flexor. This small iliac muscle is located in the groin area. It helps both hip extension and knee flexion. This muscle is quite vulnerable, especially in cycling. It is necessary during training to always listen to her, whether she is sick.

Arms and shoulders

Due to the fact that the upper torso is practically not used during cycling, many professional cyclists have strong legs and buttocks and a slightly inflated upper body. arms, shoulders.

Typically, the muscles of the shoulders and arms are used during the turns of the steering wheel, while holding it on steep descents. In addition, the cyclist needs to take his two-wheeled friend out of the room and bring it in. here these muscles are also involved.

Typically, the triceps do the most work. They extend their elbows to coordinate the distance of the torso from the handlebars of the bike.

The muscles of the shoulder girdle are loaded when he is on the pedals, then all muscle groups are involved. But if the slide is steep enough, then sometimes the bike needs, on the contrary, to be lowered, pushed away from you, pressed to the ground.

It should be noted that all of these muscles are perfectly trained both on a bicycle and when exercising on an exercise bike. However, there is another undoubted plus on a bike: walks in the fresh air and in interesting places.

What muscles work when cycling

Cycling develops your legs well. But what other muscles are involved, how cyclists train and how cycling affects athletes. we will find out right now.

Muscles Used in Cycling

The main load falls on the leg muscles. When cycling, the muscles of the lower leg and thigh are actively working. Also, the load extends to the gluteal muscles. The front bundles of the deltoid muscles, as well as the muscles of the back and abdomen, experience a constant load. Triceps and biceps are also involved.

The benefits of cycling

Recently, the direction of group training, which is called “cycling”, has become popular. These sessions are held in fitness centers using exercise bikes. This workout mimics cycling. They are aimed at reducing weight, improving mood and general well-being, as well as strengthening blood vessels and the heart.

Full cycling, in addition to these positive effects, develops reaction, coordination of movements, an eye.

which, muscles, cycling

Also, being outdoors in different climatic conditions contributes to better adaptation to weather changes and has a positive effect on the body’s immune capabilities. It is worth noting that under moderate exercise, cycling strengthens the knee joints.

What muscles are affected by the bike?

It is not difficult to build up the muscles of the legs by cycling. To do this, you should choose a route rich in long climbs. The load can be alternated with short, high-energy sprints, in which the legs will work to the limit. By the way, another good addition will be the performance of the elements of a bicycle trial. a kind of sport, the purpose of which is to cover a section of the path with the help of maintaining balance and jumping from a place on a bicycle.

Bike trial

Cycling training consists of marathons and stationary bike work. Basically, the goal of athletes in this sport is to develop endurance and explosive leg strength to overcome difficult sections of the track or overtake opponents.