best exercise bike

What Muscles Does an Exercise Bike Work

Exercise bikes are notoriously great for a cardio workout. This machine is great for a low-impact workout that’s easy on the joints. Most models come with a screen that tracks calories, speed and distance. There are also different styles of resistance such as with a fan or break pad. Users have a lot of ways to customize it and have the best cycling bike experience.

One question users have is what muscles does the exercise bike target? It’s obviously good for the legs, but it’s important to understand which muscles it works on exactly to know if it’s the right equipment for you. So, let’s look at what muscles it works on and how to get the best cycling bike workout.


To start, the main muscles that an exercise bike works are going to be in the legs. These muscles are the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. An cycling bike also works your hip flexors. If you are looking to work certain muscles more, there are different types of exercise bikes to consider.

The main place you’re going to feel the workout is in your thighs. They will start to burn after a while, and your quads will probably be sore after a long workout. What you might not feel is the extensive workout your calves are getting. To engage the calves even more, try to point your toes downward when your legs rise. It can feel weird at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.

If your main focus is your hamstrings and quadriceps, you’ll do just fine on a recumbent exercise bike. This style puts users in a reclined position behind the pedals, and the legs are doing the majority of the work.

All styles of cycling bikes are going to work on your legs, of course. Adding more resistance can help you strengthen them, and it’s a known fact bikers have great calves.

Arms and Upper Body

Most people associate an exercise workout with the legs, but the arms can be incorporated as well. Exercise bikes with handlebars such as an upright or dual-action will engage the arms to work the muscles.

On an upright bike, you can stand up and put your weight on the handlebars to engage the arms. Be careful not to put too much pressure on your wrists, though. This can cause pain later on, but if done properly it’s a great way to get in an arm workout while on your bike.

The dual-action exercise bike is designed to engage the arm muscles. The handlebars move while you pedal, so as long as you are hanging on you’ll be working those biceps. You can increase resistance to give yourself a more intense workout

bike exercise stand


When you use an cycling bike, your abs are doing a lot of work. The abs are essential for maintaining good form and control over the bike. To properly engage your core and get an ab workout, you’ll need to be paying attention.

Be mindful of drawing in the stomach towards your spine while you’re pedaling. You should feel your back flatten and your pelvis tilt. While in this position, you can try doing leg extensions to work on your core. To do this, you will lift one leg while you pedal with the other. It sounds tricky, but with some practice you’ll get the hang of it.

While doing the leg extensions, you can kick it up a notch with arm raises. Hold each for 10-15 seconds and do this as many times as you’re comfortable with. You’ll be sure to get a good core workout this way.


To sum it up, the best exercise bike workout not only works your legs, but your arms and your core as well. There are tricks you can do to engage other areas you want to work on. Some will take practice and focus, but once you get in the habit of doing it you won’t have to think about it as much.

It’s always important to be mindful of your muscles when you use an exercise bike. If there is a certain area you want to work on, do not overdo it. You can cause muscle strain which will be painful and hinder your workout routine. As always, if you have problems or concerns consult with your doctor.

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