Does Cycling Build Calf Muscles?

Does Cycling Build Calf Muscles?

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Best Way to Calf Development by Cycling 

Calf muscles and biking is kind of synonymous to one another. When you notice a pro cyclist, you’ll see their lean and tight calf muscles staring at you. This bulky muscle group doesn’t only give you a muscular charm but also helps you develop a strong core, which is a must for any physical activity. But often people don’t realize how true it is. They think it is a misconception that is spread by pro cyclists. But being a professional racer, I can assure you that it is a fact for sure.

Which muscle work most in cycling?

Biking allows you to tone your lower body. If I say more specifically it works on thigh muscle (hamstrings, quadriceps) and leg muscle (calf: soleus and gastrocnemius). 

You may think that biking only good for lower body. No, abdominal muscle, biceps and gluteus maximus (buttock) are also get toned by cycling.



What does Science Say?

Yes, Science backed it up. Physiologists say that the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of the calf work strategically with the hamstring and the quadriceps in your upper legs helps to keep the feet pedaling. This muscle group works to use your thighs as a lever. The distance in leg between your thighs and shin is a factor for the efficiency in cycling.

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Is Biking the only way to develop your calves?

Definitely not. Swimming, Running, Gymnastics, etc. helps you get leaner calves. But all of them do not contribute the same amounts in getting lean muscles.

According to a research, treadmills burn down a lot of calories which leads to leaner calf muscles. But at the same time, you can burn twice as many calories by biking. This shows how effective biking is when it comes to getting fat free lean muscles.


Does Cycling mean leaner calves?

Actually no.

Most of the cyclist who rides a bike for lean calves don’t get what they aimed for. This is because they couldn’t produce the resistance needed to push their muscles. The cycle should be well-equipped to produce just the right amount of resistance, needed for pushing your calves to get leaner. Otherwise, your hours of riding won’t be of your help.


How do you get leaner Calf muscles with biking?

  1. Ride up to the hills to force your calf muscles to deal with the natural force of gravity. Riding upwards require you to push your body weight with the quadriceps & hamstrings, and also you the gluteus maximus, when you are riding in a sitting position.
  2. To add more weight to the down-stroke pedaling, you must stand when pedaling. Because cycling used the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps predominantly. By raising the heels while standing would require more use of your calves. If possible, do this by pointing the toes downwards.
  3. Pedal slowly. This will ensure the use of more calf muscles instead of benefitting from the absolute momentum of the chain and pedal. It lets you do more work without having any noticeable assists from your bike’s mechanism. This is done best in the even grades or just a slightly inclined rather than a straightforwardsteep hill because this may lead to exhaustion and fatigue.
  4. Shift to upper gears to ensure more resistance on slightly downhill grades and level surfaces. The more you face the resistance from your bike, the more you’ll stress muscle tissues, which will need repairing, recovering, leading to calf development.
  5. Spring for building calf muscles. The gear you choose should be high enough to consistently maintain a sprint as long as 30 seconds including ample resistance.


Additional Benefits of Biking

Biking is popular for developing calf muscles. But it doesn’t stop there. Biking also increases the calorie count, making it easier to maintain a weight-loss routine. According to the Medical News Today, on average, a man burns 300 calories each hour while biking.

Additionally, the strength-training aspects of your cycling can increase the metabolic efficiency. This helps your body burn more fat. Besides, if you had or have any joint problems like arthritis, cycling would be an excellent low-impact form of the high-intensity aerobic exercise.

Is their any special benefit of mountain biking?


Mountain biking requires more energy and stretch on more muscles than normal cycling.

Downhill biking, uphill biking and rugged terrain help you to train your more muscle comparing  to cycling on smooth road .

Conclusion: Now that you know how beneficiary biking is for developing calf muscles, you can start riding and enjoy lean and muscular legs within weeks. And the best way to do that is mount biking. It requires a lot of energy and the stress pushes your muscle to be more active & stretchy. Don’t worry if you don’t own a mountain bike already. There are plenty of cheap mountain bikes available in the market. Get one of those and start climbing.

Happy Riding!


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