Man cycling on a bike and a woman cycling on a stationary spin bike


When you're creating a fitness routine, cardio is generally a common aspect to consider. How do you plan to get your heart rate pumping? There are plenty of options to add into your weekly habits, many of which, like cycling, are continuing to grow in popularity.

Whether indoors or out, following a guided program, in a group, or on your own, there’s a reason cycling continues to grow momentum. Get ready to push the pedals and reap the benefits of this full-body workout as we guide you on everything from footwear to choosing the best two-wheeler for your endeavors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What muscles does cycling work?

    Cycling, indoor and outdoor, works more than just your legs and glutes (although studies confirm that cycling does stimulate deep muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings). Core, shoulders, hamstrings, and calf muscles all play a part in cycling, making it a full-body workout.

  • Does cycling strengthen your core?

    While cycling has the potential to strengthen your core, there is also evidence that improving your core strength off the bike can improve your pedaling performance. For this reason, you might consider committing to cycling as your go-to training modality or as part of a cross-training regimen.

  • Is cycling a low-impact exercise?

    Cycling is a low-impact exercise, meaning it is gentle on the joints and involves fluid motion. However, low-impact does not need to mean low intensity: changing gears, performing intervals, and cycling on an incline can increase the intensity of your cycling workouts. 

  • Is cycling to work enough exercise?

    As with any exercise, getting in some movement is better than nothing, including cycling to work. In fact, one study found that cycling to work was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. However frequently you choose to bike to work, take appropriate safety precautions. 

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Page Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Abt JP, Smoliga JM, Brick MJ, Jolly JT, Lephart SM, Fu FH. Relationship between cycling mechanics and core stabilityJ Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(4):1300-1304. doi:10.1519/R-21846.1

  3. O’Donovan G, Lee IM, Hamer M, Stamatakis E. Association of “weekend warrior” and other leisure time physical activity patterns with risks for all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortalityJAMA Internal Medicine. 2017;177(3):335-342. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014

  4. Celis-Morales CA, Lyall DM, Welsh P, et al. Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort studyBMJ. 2017;357:j1456. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1456

  5. Target heart rates chart. AHA.