What Muscles Does Cycling Tone? Comprehensive Guide

You might have heard before that cycling is a great exercise. In fact, many people claim that cycling can help you stay fit and get toned muscles. But have you ever wondered what muscles does cycling tone? 

From both strength and speed perspectives, cycling does help you quickly build a proper muscular structure. Along with that, it targets cardiovascular endurance. But that is just the tip of the iceberg in this particular topic. 

Cycling will help you work and tone many muscles that are on your body. And by going through this in-depth analysis article, you will get to know about it all!

What Muscles Does Cycling Actually Tone?

Many believe that cycling is only for the lower body muscles. This thinking is true but to some extent. Cycling offers a wide variety of health benefits. Regular cycling can eventually make you gain a fit and lean body. And it would simply not be capable of providing all of that by targeting the lower body muscles.

Instead of just focusing on the lower body muscles, it works in five different groups of muscles that are in our body. And here is a brief description regarding each of the groups:


When you are hinging forward at the hips to pedal through, your lower back muscle will support your entire upper body. This support helps you to stabilize your body on the seat and keep your torso in the proper position. Thanks to the back muscles working, you can easily balance yourself on the top of the bike.

But that is not all! While you keep your spine straight and lean forward when riding, you engage the back muscles properly. This engagement will help you strengthen the overall posture and allow you to pedal through.

Upper Arms

You might have noticed that you keep your hands in the proper position when you shift between the standing and seated positions. The arms will do their work and support your entire body properly. Shifting positions will also help you to strengthen the biceps and triceps. The best part is that you will not even need weights.

Hips and Glutes

Despite what many people think, the hips and core generate a lot of power when cycling. You will engage your glutes and hips just to boost the overall pace while you are pedaling through. The glutes and hips will also do their work to maintain a comfortable position throughout the whole ride.


While pushing through the pedals, you will find yourself hinge from the hips and trying to maintain a correct overall posture. Also, you will find yourself avoiding leaning on the handlebars, which will let you engage your core muscles. That will eventually allow you to strengthen and tone your entire abdominal wall.

Other than that, you might notice yourself gently swaying from one side to another while you are pedaling through the terrains. The upper rhythm that you will generate while doing so will make the muscles of the abdomen work substantially. Over time, you will make your core built like a tank!


We believe that we do not need to state that you will work your legs out while you are riding a bike. As you are pushing through the pedals, the quadriceps, which are the large muscles present in the front of the thighs, are working hard. The intensity of the workout will increase substantially when you downstroke.

Apart from that, the muscles that are present on the back of your thighs, otherwise known as hamstrings, will get a workout as well. And the intensity of this workout will increase substantially when you pull your legs up during an upstroke.

On the other hand, when you downstroke and upstroke simultaneously, your calves will get a workout. Basically, when you go full-on riding mode, you will end up getting lean, strong, and well-toned legs.

Other Benefits of Cycling

Other than toning your muscles, cycling allows you to enjoy a range of benefits;

Improves The Condition of Brain Health

First of all, it is a well-known fact that exercising is factually connected with brain health. It will help to reduce the cognitive changes that might eventually leave you vulnerable to dementia.

Enhances Blood Flow

Secondly, you will improve your brain’s blood flow and throughout the whole body when you cycle. In fact, studies have already shown that when you push your body through its limits during cycling, your blood flow will ascend to up to 40 percent.

Amps Up The Stamina Level and Improves Cardiovascular Health

Other than that, cycling is basically strength training. It will help you enhance your stamina level and improve the overall condition of your cardiovascular health. And when you train yourself in high-intensity intervals, you can effectively burn off a lot of excess calories and build a high level of stamina.

Tones Up The Shape of the Body

Your body shape will tone up, and you will be capable of getting your dream body quickly after you pick up the habit of riding the bike. And if you push yourself most of the time, getting a flat stomach will not be a difficult task for you anymore. Your muscles mass will also see an increase. 

Eventually, you will improve the overall condition of your health and enhance the strength of the body by cycling. However, to ensure that you get the maximum out of the cycling sessions, it is recommended to cycle at least 55 to 60 minutes per day.


If you are still wondering what muscles does cycling tone, it will target every part of your body. However, some of the parts, such as the lower portion of your body, will tone more quickly than the others. But eventually, you will shape your body and stay fit if you can cycle every day.


Does indoor cycling offer the same benefits as outdoor cycling?

Many believe that indoor cycling is not effective at all. But that statement is not true! Indoor cycling can offer you most of the benefits of outdoor cycling. And the best part is that you will enjoy all those benefits while being in the comfort of your home. You will not even have to worry about bad weather.

Can I get in shape after riding electronic bikes?

It is certainly possible to get in shape with an electronic bike. But you need to ensure that you do not rely on electronic power that often. Use the motor to throttle through the steep hills and inclined roads only. By doing so, you will work most of your muscles and eventually get in shape.

How often should I ride a cycle to get all of the benefits?

If you want to get all of the benefits that cycling has to offer, you should cycle every day. Try to carry out high-intensity sessions and make the sessions last for at least an hour. But that does not mean you should limit the sessions to 60 minutes. If possible, cycle longer than that!

Is it possible to lose weight by cycling?

Cycling makes most parts of your bodywork. And if you can carry out a high-intensity cycling session for 55 to 60 minutes per day, you can certainly lose a good chunk of your body weight.

Patrick Flinch

Patrick Flinch is a professional cyclist, according to him, cycling is a sport that also helps people stay in good shape. Cycling takes many forms, and styles and so does the cycling equipment, however, this information is not available to everyone and that is why Patrick thought it wise to consolidate the most important information about cycling on “For the Bike Magazine.” Beginner, intermediate and professional cyclists will be furnished with useful insights. They will be able to understand the differences and benefits of both online and physical cycling. Apart from Cycling, Patrick is a family man, he is passionate about cycling and when not on duty, he loves to enjoy biking with his crew.