There aren’t two ways to deal with this, indoor cycling causes aches and pains all over the body – but what muscle work specifically?
This HIIT workout is sure to work your leg muscles the hardest, with your glutes, glutes, and hamstrings doing most of the work. While other parts of your body will be involved in the workout, these are the main muscles that keep the pedals spinning.
Even so, the muscles work at different points of the pedal revolution, so you can expect to feel them burn at different stages. Here’s how they work together to keep things moving.
When cycling upright in the saddle, your legs are doing almost 100% of the work, while your core helps stabilize the upper body. Two major leg muscles do the bulk of the work and generate most of the power while cycling – the glutes and lats.
Each revolution of the pedal will use different muscles in different parts. The glutes – the muscles at the surface of the buttocks – will be awakened and activated during the first phase of the pedal revolution, when you push downwards.
Physiotherapist Lyndsay Hirst says: “When doing push-ups on a bike, the glutes, especially the glutes, are most active.”
The quads also work hard during this downward cycle – these are the big, strong muscles located in your front thighs.
“During this phase, the quadriceps will contract to continue pushing the pedals toward the floor and extending the knee,” says Hirst. “The thigh muscles – part of the quadriceps muscle group – will generate the most force and therefore work the most during this phase.”
A 2016 study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that the rectus femur is most activated in the first quadrant (first quadrant of the pedal rotation) and the fourth quadrant (first quadrant). last) of the crank revolution.
The hamstrings, the muscles in the back of your thighs, will in turn glow on the second half of the pedal rotation (when the leg returns to its original position). To a lesser extent, the calf muscles, located at the back of your shin, also assist here.
This upward “pull” motion is enhanced if the cyclist uses gripless pedals (slightly the opposite, this means when you wear specialized spinning shoes that clamp to the pedals).
“As the pedals begin to travel backwards and the knees begin to bend, the hamstrings will also work,” says Hirst.
There are a number of other muscles that are worked out when cycling, many of which you may not have thought of. “The ankle flexors and dorsal flexors of the ankle will also play a role in helping stabilize the foot on the pedals,” says Hirst.
And your arm muscles shouldn’t feel loose, either. Your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and chest have to do a lot of work when you’re out of the saddle, such as when climbing steep (virtual) hills, sprinting through fast sections, or swerving over steep hills. high-resistance part of the rotating layer.
Your core will work well when you’re out of the saddle, as it works to keep you upright and supported.
da Silva, JCL, Tarassova, O., Ekblom, MM, Andersson, E., Rönquist, G., & Arndt, A. (2016). Quadriceps and hamstring muscle activity during cycling was measured by intramuscular electromyography. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 116(9), 1807–1817.
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