biking Nov 13, 2023

What Muscles Does Biking Work

what muscles do biking work

What Muscles Does Biking Work?

Biking is a great way to get a full body workout and build muscle strength. It is low-impact and many cyclists enjoy the scenery on their rides. But, just what muscles does biking work?

Core Muscles

When biking, your core muscles—the ones that form a kind of “corset” around your midsection—are very important. The muscles you`re using to steady your bike, maintain a balanced position and shift your weight from side to side as you navigate curves and hills work to engage your central region. Strengthening the core muscles helps to improve your posture, cycling efficiency and performance.

Leg Muscles

The primary muscles that biking works are the legs. When pedaling, the muscles of the legs drive the pedal and its force is distributed throughout the body. For cyclists, the leg muscles must frequently contract and relax in order to provide the power needed for cycling efficiently. The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The quadriceps (thighs) are responsible for movement of the knee and hip. The hamstrings (back of thigh) are the muscles responsible for movement of the knee and hip in the opposite direction. The calves (lower legs) are used to provide even more power to propel the pedals. The glutes (buttocks) are used to help with the power of each pedal stroke.

Arm Muscles

Your arms aren`t often something people think about when talking about the muscles used while biking. However, they are very important when it comes to maintaining balance and steering. The main muscles used in cycling are the biceps, triceps, shoulder stabilizers, and rotator cuff muscles. The biceps are used to extend the elbow (when steering the handlebars) and flex the shoulder joint (with each pedal stroke). The triceps help extend the elbow, and the shoulder stabilizers (muscular system around the shoulder blade and upper part of the spine) help with stabilization and control of the upper arm for a stronger ride. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint and help keep it in place.

Back and Neck Muscles

The back and neck play a major role in keeping a stable, balanced seating position on a bike. The muscles in the area are working constantly to keep you from toppling over. The back and neck also have to bear the brunt of posture and weight changes as you navigate changes in terrain. The major muscles used for biking in this area are the rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, and erector spinae. These muscles work together to keep the shoulders and neck in a neutral, balanced position while cycling. The trapezius and deltoids make up the shoulder girdle and work to support the upper body during pedaling. The erector spinae is responsible for keeping your spine and upper body stable.


Biking is a great way to get a full body workout and build muscle strength without the need for intense athletic activity. A great variety of muscles are involved in biking, including core muscles, leg muscles, arm muscles, back and neck muscles. With regular biking, these muscles will help you achieve a more powerful, efficient ride.
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