Does Bike Riding Build Muscles? – (Pros And Cons Of Cycling)

Are you wondering whether cycling benefits your muscles? You are not alone. Seasoned cyclists understand that bike riding has numerous health benefits. Nonetheless, if you are new to riding and aren’t sure whether the exercise contributes to muscle building, don’t think twice; grab your bike and enjoy the ride while building your muscles effortlessly.

How Does Cycling Build Muscles?

How Does Cycling Build Muscles

Riding has a resistance element that contributes significantly to fat burning and muscle building. The rate at which you develop muscles hinges on the intensity of the exercise. If you ride correctly, you’ll build core muscles, strengthen the glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. 

If you haven’t cycled before and you are in a dilemma about whether the biking exercise is ideal for strengthening and building your lower muscles, keep it here. This page analyzes how riding contributes immensely to improving your health. Fat burning, weight loss, muscle building, and other health benefits. Allow us to guide you on how to live healthy using your bicycle.  

Targeted Muscles While Cycling

1. Calf Muscles

The calf consists of two muscles: gastrocnemius and soleus. These muscles assist in lifting the heel and pedaling to keep the rider going. Whether you cycle leisurely or intensely, the two muscles get strengthened to endure the exercise. However, the level of muscle building depends on your riding routine.

2. Hamstrings

The hamstring muscles enable the legs to bump adequately. Suppose you engage in a regular cycling activity; your hamstrings get strengthened to endure the rigorous pedaling process.

3. Quadriceps

When cycling, the quadriceps muscles get worked out the most. The result of this intense workout is sturdy muscles that perform the biking tasks optimally.

4. Glute Muscles

While pedaling, the glute muscles work in conjunction with the hips to enable rotation of your ties as you move your body. The pedaling action helps in building glute muscles and strengthening them.

5. Core Muscles

Though much emphasis is put on the lower body muscles during cycling, core muscles that consist of the stomach and your back also get worked out. Your thigh and abs muscles enable you to cycle more efficiently with strength, thus minimizing pressure to the lower back muscles. 

Spinal erectors and hip flexors are enhanced by biking, leading to a balanced and better ride. Other body parts targeted by riding are the biceps, triceps, and shoulders. When cyclists change their riding position to maximize performance, body shifting exerts pressure on the upper body and strengthens the abovementioned muscles.

How Should I Develop My Core Muscles Through Cycling? 

Develop Core Muscles Through Cycling

It is evident that cycling primarily strengthens the lower body and arms. The core (other body parts apart from arms and legs) also require strengthening so that you may transfer sufficient energy via the legs while biking with an improved posture and reduced injury cases. 

So, how do you strengthen the core? Well, since most cyclists use a lot of time pedaling and building on endurance, it would be wise to invest in gym time to fast track building of muscle fibers. In the gym, you add loads to your exercise for bone strengthening to compliment your overall posture.

While in the gym, try the following exercises to build and strengthen all body muscles:

Upper Body Pushes- do pushups and single-hand overhead presses. The exercise helps in strengthening the triceps leading to stability while riding.

Upper Body Pull Movement– use extensions through your arms to do pull-ups. The upper body pull movement exercise stabilizes the pelvis, enabling you to channel extra power vial the pedals.

Hip Dominant Exercise- Perform pulling practices which center on the glutes and hamstrings to harden them for the riding task.

Knee Dominant Exercise- perform front squats with some weights to enhance your knees’ strength so that you can pedal effortlessly.

Health Benefits Of Cycling

Besides muscle building and core strengthening, cycling is a cardiovascular activity that has many benefits to your body. Discussed below are some of them:

1. Cycling Improves Immunity

While cycling is a leisure or sporting activity, it enhances your immunity system tremendously. When you cycle, your upper respiratory system receives a boost, hence minimizing cases of a common cold.

A cycling activity also improves the production of body proteins that enhance the activity of white blood cells, leading to an improved immune system.

2. Riding Minimizes Cancer And Heart Diseases

Riding is a cardio activity that increases the heart rate and enhances blood circulation around the body as you burn fats effortlessly. The exercise ensures that you don’t carry extra weight, proving why the National Health Service (NHS) recommends it as a suitable exercise that reduces the risk of attacks from diseases like cancer and heart attack.

3. Cycling Has Minimal Risks (It Is A Low Impact Exercise)

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t have weight-bearing synonymous with other activities such as running. While long-distance runners are prone to muscle damage, biking is effortless and doesn’t lead to ligament destruction.

4. Time-Saving

Cycling is a suitable means of commuting that cuts time spent on traffic jams in urban areas. You can easily maneuver the traffic or use bike-designated paths to arrive faster at your destination with the bike.

5. Cycling Improves Sleeping Habits

A cycling exercise is a proven way of improving your sleeping pattern. It is suggested that riding relaxes your mind and decreases anxiety, thus leading to better sleeping ability. Another way how riding improves your sleeping pattern is by cutting down excessive weight. People with excessive weight suffer from sleep dysfunction.

The Drawbacks Of Cycling

1. Accidents

The major disadvantage of cycling is the risk of accidents. Statistics indicate that many cyclists suffer serious injuries or even death while riding their favorite machines. Take precautions when riding to avoid such unpleasant scenarios.

The Takeaway

Don’t doubt it further if you desire to build lower body muscles and wonder whether your bike can help you achieve better results. Cycling is a proven way of muscle building and strengthening of core muscles. It also comes with numerous health benefits, as discussed on this page. However, if you crave better results, combine riding with relevant gym activities.

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