There’s a reason why cycling is one of the better ways to exercise. A strong core, back, and arms is vital to your cycling experience. Contrary to what some may believe, cycling is more than just using your leg muscles. Here are some common muscles used during cycling and what you can do to strengthen them for a better ride.

Back Muscles

As you are pedaling, the force of your leg runs up to your lower back, therefore causing a strain on those muscles, especially when sitting while riding. Your upper back also gets a workout from holding your head and shoulders up. Keeping good cycling posture for a long time can be extremely tiring.

Exercise to Try

For your lower back, there are many relatively easy exercises you can try. Partial crunches are a great way to work out your lower back, especially if you’re experiencing back pain. Make sure to do them slow and stay up for a second while breathing to get the full workout.

Opposite arm and leg exercises is an easy way to work out your upper-back. Simply lie on the ground and slowly raise your right arm and left leg at the same time. Repeat the exercise with the opposite arm and leg.


Much like your lower back, the force of pushing the pedals gets pushed into your abs. Just like any sport, having a strong core is crucial for endurance and that includes cycling. If you’re finding that your abs are feeling sore after a short ride, you might want to try a few exercises to strengthen them.

Exercise to Try

A cross-legged crunch is a great ab workout. Get in a position for a crunch, but cross one leg over the other, and keep the lower leg straight. Continue the crunch as normal. Repeat the exercise, but with the opposite leg crossed over.

Arm Muscles

Your arms take much of the force while riding, especially when hitting bumps and uneven terrain. When riding you want your arms to be bent, but if you start to get tired, you might notice your elbows start to straighten. That’s bad riding posture, as it forces the strain to go to your shoulders.

Exercise to Try

A good workout for your triceps is basically a type of push-up. Sit on the edge of the seat and grab the handles of the chair. Extend your legs so that they are straight and you are off the chair. Slowly bend your elbows until they are in line with your shoulder and bring it back up.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or one who enjoys cycling occasionally, we at Utah Bicycle Lawyers are here for you. As cyclists ourselves, we know how much it hurts after a long ride, but we also know how much more it hurts if we get in an accident. Call us today for a free consultation.

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