A lot of emphasis is placed on the aerobic benefits of cycling and the sport certainly is good for our heart and lungs. But which muscles cycling works and the advantages of cycling for our musculature is often an afterthought.
To get faster, we often focus on improving our maximum oxygen consumption ( VO2 max ) and Functional Threshold Power .
An FTP test doesn’t measure your ability to go full gas for shorter periods or sprint repeatedly, such as in cross-country mountain biking .
To improve at these punchier efforts, it helps to get stronger legs for cycling by doing strength training .
But before hitting the gym, you’ll need to know which muscles cycling works. In this guide, we explain how different kinds of cycling use different muscles and in different circumstances.
Since cycling isn’t a whole-body activity, we also suggest ways to strengthen the muscles cycling doesn’t work. Which muscles does cycling work?
The calves and hamstrings play a supporting role to the prime movers. y Dario Belingheri/Getty Images Rob Brown, a sports physiotherapist and formerly Orica GreenEdge head physio, says the glutes and quads supply two-thirds of the power we push through the pedals.The adductor magnus (the largest groin muscle), the quadriceps and the soleus (one of the calf muscles) also contribute.The hamstrings, groin muscles and the gastrocnemius (the calf muscle’s other half) direct the force of the quads and glutes to the pedal, according to Brown.The dominance of the quads and glutes plays to the strengths of the human […]
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