Leg Exercises for Cycling

Get more out of your ride with stronger legs.

Get more out of your ride with stronger legs.

Whether you are into high-performance racing or just enjoy riding around town with your friends or family, cycling is an activity that both young and old can enjoy. Cycling requires strength throughout your entire lower body; the glutes, quadriceps, calves and hamstrings are all active when powering your bike along a ride, around a track or up an incline. Performing exercises to strengthen these muscles can help to increase your power, speed and agility when riding.

Single Leg Lunge Lift Off

Stand in a lunge with your left foot approximately 2 feet behind your right. Come onto the ball of your left foot and bend your left knee until it is just above the floor. Bend your right knee until your hamstrings are parallel to the ground. Pull your stomach muscles in toward your lower back and keep your torso straight.

Extend your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height. Slightly lean your torso forward as you push your right foot into the floor and straighten your right leg. At the same time, lift your left foot toward the ceiling so you are balancing on your right foot. The dual movement works your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Hold onto the back of a chair for balance if necessary.

Bend your right knee to reverse the movement. Slowly allow your left foot to lower back toward the floor, landing on the ball of your foot with your knee bent until just above the ground. That is one repetition. Complete eight to 10 repetitions on one side and then switch sides for another full set.

Stack Jumps

Stand with your feet facing forward and hip-width apart. Allow your arms to relax at your sides. Keep your abdominals engaged and pulled in toward your lower back throughout the exercise.

Bend your knees and lower your butt toward the floor as your hips extend back; it's a similar motion to sitting in a chair. Lower until your hands reach the floor.

Push through your feet as your body explodes upward, with your hands and arms swinging up over your head. Your body should be in straight line, with your feet leaving the floor. Allow your body to explode as far off the floor as possible to maximize the workout of your glutes, quadriceps, calfs and hamstrings.

Land with bent knees, back in the pre-jump squat position with your hands on the floor. Complete five to eight stack jumps.

Standing Calf Raise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and facing forward. You may use a wall or the back chair to help you with balance during this exercise if you prefer. The wall or chair should be 6 to 12 inches in front of you. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep your shoulders in line with your hips to maintain a straight torso.

Lift your heels off of the floor as you roll your weight onto the balls of your feet and your toes. Press your toes into the ground to lift your heels higher and further engage your calf muscles.

Slowly lower your heels to the floor to finish one repetition. Complete two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Items you will need

  • Chair


  • Reduce the risk of injuries.by performing gentle stretches before and after working out.

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About the Author

Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.

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