What muscles work when riding a bicycle?

A bicycle is not only a fun means of transportation, but also an excellent means of physical activity. Cycling activates many muscles in your body, making it a great sport for maintaining fitness and strengthening different muscle groups. Let’s look at what muscles work when riding a bicycle.

Quadriceps (quadriceps femoris)

This is one of the most actively used muscle groups when pedaling a bicycle. The quadriceps are located on the front of the thigh and are used to push the pedals down. When these muscles work, they become stronger and more resilient.


These muscles are also actively involved in pedaling. They are located on the inner side of the thigh and play an important role in bending the leg at the knee joint, which is necessary for the movement of the pedals.

Calf muscles

The calf muscles are located on the back of your lower leg and are used to control the movement of your foot when you pedal. They are actively strengthened when cycling.

Shins and thighs

Cycling also activates the shins and hips, especially when pedaling in the top position. These muscles help lift the leg up and hold it in the desired position.

Lumbar and gluteal muscles

The psoas and gluteal muscles play an important role in keeping the body upright on the bike. They are also used to maintain balance and stability.

Cortex and upper body

Although cycling primarily activates the lower body, the upper body is also involved in maintaining balance and stability. Therefore, even your core muscles and upper back can feel the strain when riding for a long time.

It is important to note that the intensity of work of these muscles depends on the intensity and nature of the cycling activity. Mountain biking, for example, uses the calves and thighs more intensively due to the uphill and downhill motion, while road riding emphasizes the quadriceps and hamstrings due to the steady pedaling on the pavement.

So, cycling is an excellent physical activity that activates many muscle groups in your body. This sport strengthens the legs, improves endurance and helps maintain overall fitness. Whether a bicycle is your daily means of transportation or a hobby, it contributes to your health and physical fitness.