Cycling is a great exercise in itself. But it’s also helpful to workout off your bike. Then you can be stronger, faster, and more efficient in your travels. Here’s more on the muscles used when you ride. And the four best exercises you can do to strengthen them!

Primary Muscles Used in Cycling

Leg Muscles

Quadriceps – Your primary source of cycling power, activated in the pedal stroke as you extend your knees.
Hamstrings – Activated in most of the pedal stroke, including the downstroke, to help keep your knees stable.
Calves – Mostly used in the downstroke to propel you forward. Engagement depends on your fitness level and ankle mobility.
Glutes – Mostly activated in the downstroke as you extend your hips. Needed for pelvic stability and full body movement.

Upper Body Muscles

Biceps, Triceps & Pectorals – Constantly engaged as you control your bike to help bear the weight of your upper body.
Latissimus Dorsi – Used to pull on the handlebars, especially for sprinting. Expand and compress your ribs when you breath.

Core Muscles

Abdominals & Erector Spinae – Steady your upper body in the pedal stroke, giving you a platform for power and comfort.

How to Strengthen These Muscles

Squats (Leg Muscles) – Power phase is similar to the one used on a bike, requiring hip and knee extension. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward. Drive your hips back, bending your knees 90 degrees and pressing them open slightly. Sit in the squat with your heels and toes on the ground, chest up, and shoulders back. Press into your heals, stand up straight, then repeat.

Planks (Core Muscles) – Work your core muscles. Get in a push-up form with your hands directly under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width. You can also put your forearms on the floor with your elbows aligned below your shoulders and your arms parallel to your body at shoulder width. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize yourself. Hold the position for 30 seconds at first, then work your way up to longer periods of time.

Push-Ups (Core Muscles) – Also work your core muscles. Get down on all fours and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs, then lower your body until your chest almost touches the flour. Hold for a second or two, push yourself back up, and repeat.

Single Leg Deadlifts (Glutes, Hamstrings, Erector Spinae) – Stand on one leg with a kettlebell in the opposite-side hand. Keep your back straight as you lean forward and extend your free leg back. Flex at the hip until your torso is parallel to the ground. Return to the standing motion and repeat with the opposite leg and arm.

2022 Diamondback Haanjo 4

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