Whether biking outside or taking in a spin class, cycling is more than just a workout for your legs; it’s an effective full-body workout. The key is to stay in the proper position with your seat and handlebars adjusted correctly so that there is a slight bend at the hips that keeps your core engaged. The following body parts will thank you.
Legs and Butt
It’s no surprise that cycling works your quads and glutes since they are the key muscles that engage to move your pedals. But your hamstrings and calves play a role as well. When your feet are properly clipped in, your hamstrings are responsible for bringing them up while your calves enable proper pedal motions so you can power through any hill that might be ahead.
Core and Back
Cycling is so much more than legwork. All of the muscles in your core are vital to your posture as you sit on a bike. To maximize the impact on these muscles, keep your spine neutral, back straight, and abs engaged. Your lat muscles on your back also get a serious workout. Experienced cyclers often pedal with their body out of the saddle, which is great for engaging back muscles as balance shifts.
The focus of cycling is certainly not your arms, but they still get love. While your legs and core do most of the work, your forearms, triceps, and shoulders are activated as you grip the handlebars and adjust the flexing of your elbows. Some cycling classes also incorporate the arm muscles with handlebar push-ups or arm series with weights.
Are you looking for a fun full-body workout that’s efficient and appropriate for all fitness levels? Cycling is a great option – and one that all of your muscles can benefit from. Just be sure to add enough resistance!