biking Jun 19, 2024

what muscles does biking work

what muscles does biking strengthen

Exploring the Muscles Worked and Strengthened by Biking


Biking, also known as cycling, has become a popular form of exercise and transportation among people of all ages. It is not only an enjoyable activity, but also an effective way to work out multiple muscle groups in the body. Whether you ride a road bike, mountain bike, or stationary bike, biking has a positive impact on your overall physical fitness. In this article, we will delve into the muscles that are worked and strengthened while biking.

Muscles Worked

Biking is a low-impact aerobic exercise, meaning it gets your heart pumping without putting too much stress on your joints. The primary muscles worked during biking are the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. While performing cycling movements, these muscles contract and relax in a continuous motion, providing strength and endurance to support the body`s movement.

1. Quadriceps

The quadriceps are a group of four muscles located on the front of the thigh. They are the main muscles in charge of extending the leg at the knee joint, which is essential for pedaling in biking. These muscles are constantly engaged while biking, especially in uphill climbs, to provide the necessary power and strength.

2. Hamstrings

Located at the back of the thigh, the hamstrings are made up of three muscles that work in coordination with the quadriceps. They help in flexing the knee and extending the hip, which is crucial for pushing the pedals during cycling. The hamstring muscles are also responsible for maintaining balance and stability on the bike.

3. Glutes

The gluteal muscles, commonly known as the “glutes”, are the large muscles that make up the buttocks. They are used to power the movement of the hips and provide stability during biking. These muscles are also essential for maintaining correct posture while riding and contribute to overall leg strength.

4. Calf muscles

The calf muscles, comprised of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, are located at the back of the lower leg. These muscles are responsible for extending the ankle and pointing the toes towards the ground during the downward stroke of pedaling. They also help in pushing the pedal forward and providing support for the weight of the body.

Muscles Strengthened

Biking is an excellent way to build strength and endurance in the lower body. As the muscles are continuously engaged and challenged during the activity, they adapt and become stronger over time. In addition to the main muscles worked, there are also other muscle groups that are strengthened by biking.

1. Core muscles

Biking not only works the lower body muscles but also engages the core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques. These muscles are essential for maintaining good posture and balance while on the bike. As you cycle, your core muscles actively stabilize your body and help in transferring power from the lower body to the upper body.

2. Upper body muscles

Though the majority of the workload is taken up by the lower body, biking also involves the upper body muscles to a certain extent. The muscles of the arms, shoulders, and chest are utilized for steering, maintaining balance, and supporting the weight of the upper body. While not the primary focus, these muscles are still strengthened through the continuous movements of biking.

3. Endurance muscles

Biking is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that involves continuous movement for an extended period of time. As a result, it improves the endurance of the muscles and increases their ability to work for longer periods without fatigue. This is especially beneficial for the lower body muscles, which are used in activities such as running and hiking as well.


Biking is a great way to stay fit and healthy while having fun. Not only does it engage the main muscles in the lower body, but it also strengthens the core, upper body, and endurance muscles. As with any form of exercise, it is essential to maintain proper form and use appropriate gear to prevent injuries. So, grab your helmet and hit the trails or hop on a stationary bike for a workout that will strengthen and tone your body from head to toe.

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