Primary muscles are vital for the right movement of the body in any sort of sport. Also referred to as movers, primary muscles are the first muscles providing more force or speed when required. Muscles that are important for cycling are in the legs and hips. Before you decide one of the electric bikes to buy, you need to know about these muscles.
The strength needed for pedal stroke
Cycling involves continuous paddling on the saddle, which requires a great deal of strength. Typically, you need to apply most of the power between 12 and 5 o’clock position. So, you need to activate most of your primary muscles during this position, including hip flexion and knee extension. Compared to this, you need a lesser knee extension between 6 and 12 o’clock position. Your gluteus, quadriceps and calf muscles, as well as hamstrings, help in the pedal revolution, so you need to build strength in these primary muscles.
Exercises for increasing muscle strength
When you exercise to build muscle strength, you need to keep in mind that all the muscles are important, and you must focus on them equally. Only when all the primary muscles are strong, enough strength to ride a bike can be produced. Here are the best exercises you can try to improve your muscle strength –
- Squats: You need to extend both your hips and knees during a squat. It is similar when you ride a bike. So, it helps a lot to strengthen all your primary muscles including gluteus, hamstrings, quadriceps and core muscles.
- Heel raises: You can build strength in your soleus and gastrocnemius muscles by doing this exercise. You can do it with or without weights.
- Single leg deadlifts: Each of your legs needs to be capable of supporting load independently. Doing this exercise on one leg will help recover any kind of muscle imbalance as well as help the hips, hamstrings and lower back.
Only strength is not enough, you also need to have enough speed to ride a cycle. It not only saves your time on a daily basis but also helps you in races. You can try increasing your cadence to get better pedal stroke and efficiency.
Importance of stretching
If you ride cycle regularly, you can develop fatigue and your primary muscles can become tight. Simple stretches like touching toes while standing, pulling heel toward buttocks, and stretching hamstrings can help to get your body into the right shape.
Be serious about exercising your primary muscles as much as you are about what kind of electric bikes you should choose to buy.