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Does Cycling Give You a Bigger Butt? How Riding Works Your Glutes

Does cycling really give you a bigger butt? The answer might surprise you! Read on to find out the benefits of cycling for your body and your booty.

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Do you want to tone your glutes while also having fun? Who doesn’t? Cycling is a terrific way to burn calories and tone your body, but can it also help tone your glutes?

In this article, you will learn whether cycling activates your butt muscles and how cycling tones your butt. And how to work out your butt muscles when cycling.

Life is like riding a bicycle close up on female body with the bicycle on racetrack. Source: adobe stock
Life is like riding a bicycle close up on female body with the bicycle on racetrack. Source: Adobe Stock

Cycling is an excellent exercise for lifting and strengthening the glutes, which are responsible for the pedal strokes and are thus worked every time you ride. So, cycling could be ideal for you if you want to tone your glutes without spending hours in the gym!

Does cycling activate your butt muscles?

The gluteals (also known as glutes) are a group of muscles that include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They are in charge of hip extension (straightening the hips) and external hip rotation (rotating the thigh outwards).

The good news is that pedaling involves a hip extension, which should activate your gluteus maximus! The bad news is that most people have inactive glutes, so their buttock muscles do not function as well as they should. When your glutes become lethargic, other muscles, such as your quadriceps, take control.

If you are interested in toning your butt even when not cycling, check out some of these products that can help achieve that beach-ready look.

This is one of the reasons why many individuals get sore quadriceps after cycling but never feel it in their buttocks.

Additionally, riding a bike necessitates using the Gluteus Maximus (or Glute Max for short). EMG (or electromyography), according to the National Library of Medicine, tries to record the degree of electrical activity within a muscle.

This can establish whether or not a muscle is active during a certain movement and how active that muscle is compared to the other muscles involved. Several EMG tests, for example, have shown that the Glute Max is most active from the top of the stroke to about three-quarters of the way down while cycling.

Image of a man biking on an orange bike. Source ally griffin, unsplash
Image of a man biking on an orange bike. Source Ally Griffin, Unsplash

How does cycling tone your butt?

Here are two ways cycling is wonderful for toning your buttocks:

Cycling tones your muscles

Finally, one of the best advantages of riding is that it makes your arse look better. Your glutes will be stronger and more toned, and those stubborn fat deposits will start to melt away, leaving you with a tight butt that will look terrific in those skintight biking shorts.

Because cycling exercises these muscles consistently, they become more toned the more you pedal. This toning has a distinct effect on your body. This change in appearance is frequently in the form of increased muscular mass, culminating in what many call a “tight” butt.

Cycling helps burn fat and lose weight

Whatever your purpose for starting to cycle (health or racing), fat loss will occur, and it will almost certainly occur in your buttocks. This is the fundamental reason why riding looks amazing on your butt.

Cycling will also help you burn off the fat deposits that seem to take up permanent residence there. These are the jiggly things that disappear with toning.

How to work out your butt muscles when cycling

Here are some exercises you may do to strengthen your buttocks as a cyclist.

1. Activate and visualize your glutes

The first step toward cycling for your bum is to ensure you activate and use your butt muscles when pedaling. Visualize your muscles contracting on each pedal’s downstroke. Pushing down on the pedal for each stroke is similar to performing a one-legged squat.

To visualize this, imagine each down stroke on the pedal as a single-legged squat in which you push through your heel from a bent leg position. As you make this motion, squeeze and clench your glutes on that leg.

2. Determine your cycling position

Set up your bike so your legs are in the optimal position to activate your glutes and improve your cycling butt workout. When you consider the motion you use when doing squat exercises, it is not a stretch to understand that the greatest approach to targeting your glutes while cycling is to place your seat such that your knee is bent at something close to 90 degrees when your pedal is up.

3. Consider raising your handlebars

Also, consider raising your handlebars to keep your body as upright as possible. This configuration resembles holding your torso straight when doing lunges.

When setting up your riding position, please use common sense, conduct your research, and only do what is comfortable for you. Because everyone’s body mechanics and proportions vary, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

4. When climbing a hill, stand up

Take a break from using your bike’s gears when cycling up hills for a great butt workout. Instead, try riding in a higher gear to provide some nice pedal resistance. Then, while pedaling, stand up.

Keep your body as upright as possible without leaning too much forward. This motion is similar to step-ups, which are excellent for your buttocks. You can improve this motion by deliberately focusing your mind on squeezing and contracting your glutes rather than allowing your quads to do the work. Try several things to determine what works best for you.

4. Push with your heels

Push with your heels rather than your toes to help engage those buttocks! Please use caution here with a lower seat position. Your knees being too far forward over your feet can result in knee injury or pain.

Avoid the knee extending over your toes too much and applying force. Some people may find this impossible due to the size and setup of their bicycle frame and their body proportions and mechanics. If you’re not sure, don’t do it! Seek expert assistance first.

Image of a man in black cyclist shorts standing on an orange bike. Source: david dvoracek, unsplash
Image of a man in black cyclist shorts standing on an orange bike. Source: David Dvoracek, Unsplash

How to tell if your glutes aren’t activating

Physiotherapists frequently tell cyclists that their “glutes aren’t firing.” But how can a professional arrive at this conclusion? It’s incredibly personal. However, professionals can have someone lie on their front, push their legs to the side, and determine which of the three gluteal muscles are “firing” and how well the group operates together.

If you want even more tips, watch this video, “Does a Stationary Bicycle Target Your Glutes?” from the Cheap Treadmill YouTube Channel.

A video called “Does a Stationary Bicycle Target Your Glutes?” from the Cheap Treadmill YouTube Channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about whether cycling is good for glutes.

Does cycling make your glutes bigger?

Because it is a fantastic exercise, it helps you tone down, reshape your buttocks, and develop your leg muscles. This includes making your buff appear bigger.

Does cycling give you a good butt?

One of the best advantages of riding is that it makes your arse look better. Your glutes will be stronger and more toned, and those stubborn fat deposits will start to melt away, leaving you with a tight butt that will look terrific in those skintight biking shorts.

Is biking or walking better for your glutes?

Both exercises make use of almost all of your muscles. When riding, though, you’re working out your glutes and quadriceps (as well as muscles in your lower legs and feet if you’re clipped into the pedals).

Conclusion

Cycling can be a terrific activity for strengthening your glutes, but knowing which muscles you’re working is crucial. Cycling effectively will help tone not only your glutes but also your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Cycling is an excellent alternative for precisely targeting your glutes and your entire body!

This article covered whether cycling activates your butt muscles. How does cycling tone your butt? And how to work out your butt muscles when cycling. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • The gluteals (also known as glutes) are a group of muscles that include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They are in charge of hip extension (straightening the hips) and external hip rotation (rotating the thigh outwards).
  • Cycling is terrific for toning your buttocks.

So, are you working out for a bigger butt? How’s that going for you? Did we cover everything you wanted to know? Let us know in the comments section below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check our full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed gear and single-speed bikes. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

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Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies, including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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