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  • Writer's pictureJason Ryser

6 Body Parts That Benefit From Biking

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

As an avid bicyclist, you may be curious about the main body parts that benefit from biking. You may know about the cardiovascular benefits of cycling, but when it comes to muscle groups, do you know what you’re working out?

You can feel when you’ve worked out a muscle if it becomes sore, but with how complex the body is, it can be easy to think that you’re working out one part when you’re working out a completely different part of the body. In this article, we’ll go over the six body parts that benefit from biking.

Before that, it's important to read about why you should bike.

Why Should You Bike?

Cycling is not only good for your health, but it is also a convenient form of transportation. There are multiple reasons you should consider getting into biking. Biking is:

  • A low-impact exercise. Biking will cause less strain and injuries than any other form of exercise.

  • Great for muscle toning. Biking is the best form of cardio for muscle toning.

  • Easy. Biking doesn’t require a ton of physical skill to start. After a while, your body will build up the endurance it needs for longer, more regular rides.

  • Time and cost-efficient. You can use biking as a form of transportation to save time on public transit and money on gas.

Biking to work, school, or places like shops is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on vehicle costs, improve your health, and avoid traffic.

Biking and Health

Biking regularly helps protect you from severe and chronic health conditions. These diseases can include the following:

  • Stroke

  • Heart attack

  • Cancer

  • Depression

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Arthritis

For being such a low-impact form of exercise, biking brings a ton of benefits to the rider. If you’ve been wanting to start working out but just haven’t had the time or drive for other exercise forms, you should look into getting a bicycle.

The Lower Body

Biking can improve overall muscle endurance but mainly targets the lower body. Your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and even your shins will benefit from increased strength, function, and muscle shape.

1. The Gluteus Maximus

When you bike, the more you push on the pedals, the more you engage your gluteus maximus. This part of your body is the largest of the three gluteal muscles in your body. The glutes pick up slack when your hamstrings become overworked to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back and knees.

2. Hamstrings

Hamstrings play a crucial role in bending your hips and knees during pedaling. These muscles run from your hips down the back of your legs and cross the back of your knees. You can engage your hamstrings entirely if you move from a 6 o’clock to a 9 o’clock position.

3. Calf Muscles

If you want to build up your calf muscles, pedaling with your toes can help significantly. Calf muscles sit in the back of your lower legs and begin below the knee, extending into your ankles.

4. Shin Muscles

The shin muscles are crucial in standing, walking, and participating in other strenuous activities. Shin muscles also help in balancing your foot and toe mobility. These muscles are some of the most active when power pedaling.

5. The Upper Body

Though biking primarily targets the lower body, your upper body and core still get an effective workout. A strong core and arm strength are crucial in proper biking technique and endurance.

Frequently during longer rides, a cyclist may change their riding position. A strong upper body is necessary to make these changes safely.

6. Arms

The force you apply on your handlebars can tone your arm muscles, including the biceps, triceps, and deltoids. Cycling in hilly areas is the best place to get a good arm workout since you feel twice the force you would on smoother grounds.

The Core

Among the body parts that benefit from biking are core muscles like your back and abdominals. Your core is crucial in maintaining your body upright, and a strong core helps keep your bike in the proper position.

Strong abdominal muscles help support the spine, increase stability, and enhance your comfort levels while cycling.

The Effects on Brain Power and Circulation

Exercise has been proven to have beneficial effects on the brain. Cycling helps the brain improve blood flow throughout the body, leading to a healthier, stronger body.

A 2019 study done by neurology found that aerobic exercise can help improve cognitive functions. The study found that this doesn’t have anything to do with age, so everyone can benefit from the cognition benefits of biking.

Aside from cognitive functions, biking can help boost your mood.

It’s recommended that you cycle for an hour per day, at your own pace, and move up from there.

Stationary Bikes

Stationary bikes are great if you can’t get out due to weather or location. You can still get some of the same physical benefits from riding a stationary bike from the comfort of your own home.

Still, if you want to enjoy the sites and get the full-body workout that you would from a regular cycle, it’s best to stick to the traditional way of riding.

Join the Fight Against ALS by Joining the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay

It’s important to know about the body parts that benefit from biking, especially if you plan to improve your health by riding a bike. But, aside from the health benefits, you can also ride a bike to support important causes, such as the fight against ALS.

The Saints to Sinners Bike Relay, spanning from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, was started in 2009 and is dedicated to Ron Frandsen’s fight against this progressive nervous system disease.

Register today if you want to get in shape while supporting a great cause! You can register as a captain, rider, or volunteer. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding the race — we would be more than happy to help answer any questions.

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