What is the Effect of Cycling on Body Shape? Male vs Female

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Cycling has a great impact on our body shapes. It makes us healthy and fit. It helps us burn calories and improves the overall cardiovascular health of a person.

It is an effective way of doing some physical activities. But if you want to make your body better and want to gain muscles and big thighs and all then you will have to join the gym because that type of physical fitness comes from intense training in the gym.

It is not as easy as we think to see cyclists on track. Their body does not come from just cycling alone. According to bicycling.com, large quad and great thigh muscles don’t come from bicycling only, they need to do intense training in the gym.

To help you better understand we shall look into the effect of cycling on body shape and how does cycling change your body shape? in more detail.

What Muscle Does Cycling Tone?

What muscle does cycling tone

As we feel and see while cycling that our legs work. So, the lower part of the body gets affected by cycling the most and the muscles on the lower body are only targeted and affected.

But some of you must think that how does cycling change our body shape. So, let us look at the muscle groups that are targeted and are the most toned in detail.

  • Calf muscles:- The first one is the calf muscles. It is obvious while we use our legs to paddle, it focuses on our calf muscles and strengthens them widely. (Calf Muscles – Soleus and gastrocnemius)
  • Thigh muscles:- As we paddle, we lift our legs up and down making the thighs move and then the thigh muscles are targeted. (Thigh muscles – Hamstrings and Quadriceps)
  • Buttock muscles:- There are muscles in the buttocks region that work together with the hips which helps them to move the thighs so that we can paddle with our feet.
  • Foot:- It is the obvious one, isn’t it? All the pressure from our hips to thighs to calf comes down to the foot. And that helps us to rotate the paddles and help the cycle move forward. These are the lower body parts that are more or less known to people and they are visible but the upper body part muscles are also affected and toned. Let’s look at Some.
  • Arms:- The support while we manage the handlebars of our bicycles. The more strength our arm has the steadier we are with our balance so yes it plays the role. (Arms – Triceps, and Biceps)
  • Shoulders:- As our arms help us maintain balance it is connected to the shoulder. So, in the process, the shoulder muscles get trained too. (Shoulders – Deltoids)

9 Effect of Cycling on Body Shape

There are so many effects that our body experiences when we do normal cycling or indoor cycling. Our body does not transform majorly but the differences can be felt. Let us see the different effects of things that have an effect on our body shape when we cycle.

1. It develops the lower body muscles

The lower body parts thighs, calves and buttocks get trained while cycling. The muscles get strengthened. It also enhances their shapes and helps the muscles get improved.

As the muscles are linked all together from the foot to the calves to the thighs and to the buttocks it helps in better functioning of them. And helps them stay connected in a better way.

2. Enhances the leg shape and strength

health benefits of cycling

As we cycle, we paddle from our feet. The pressure is exerted from the thighs to reach the calves which then reach the foot. It helps in improving the grip of our foot on the paddle, enhancing the shape.

And as we keep on cycling it gives our legs a lot of strength and enhances the shape of our legs. It does not give them a very defined Look. That would come from intense training in the gym. But it would help us with better shape than what we had previously.

3. Burns the calories

It helps us burn calories in a very effective way. According to Harvard University, cycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour will result in burning 298 calories in 30 minutes.

Mostly cycling on the upper hill helps burn calories because it needs more energy and strength to go against the route you were following and try on a different thing.

4. It tones your arms

As we keep the handles straight to keep the cycle going good and need strength to maintain the balance. It helps us strengthen our arms and muscles and it gives a tone to it.

It makes it look better as we continue with cycling giving it a better shape. The arms are mostly the body part that guys pay attention to.

So, this is a massive change that comes after we start cycling than before when we did not exercise at all.

5. It helps us lose weight without extreme diets

Effect of Cycling on Body Shape

Cycling is one of the best methods of exercise to trim the fat and lose weight across your whole body. Why might be thinking why pro bike riders are so lean? Yes!

Just an hour of cycling can burn as many as 1000 calories, depending on the intensity you are riding at. That in turn helps us to lose weight.

As we cycle uphill it gives pressure on our lower body as well as our upper body which increases the energy required than normally we need. This process helps us consume more oxygen and helps us lose weight as energy is used more.

A study found that people who switched to cycling from vehicle lost on average 7kg over the course of the year when riding just 30 minutes each day. That’s why we say cycling is a very, very effective way to lose weight.

6. It has a low impact on joints

It does not affect our joints much as it does while we have intense training. It does not give that much pressure on our joints.

It makes it easy going and with time the joints become better and easy going. The fluid present in our joints remains active and gives us a much better life in our old age.

7. Helps in achieving a flat stomach

To cycle at a fast pace or on uphill we need to use our breath correctly and when we cycle at a very fast pace it affects our Stomach.

We feel the pressure on our stomachs. It helps us burn a lot of calories resulting in a flatter stomach. It defines the shape of your belly and makes it look so good. All the methods and the ways that are being explained will take time to show the results.

8. Thighs get the strength they need

We need a strong thigh to enhance our cycling skills. For faster and more intense cycling we would need our thighs to be strong. And that also is achievable by cycling on a regular basis and increasing it bit by bit.

So, the thighs get the strength that they need and the shape is also enhanced.

9. Improves heart health

By getting your heart rate up cycling strengthens your heart muscles. It also reduces your risk of developing several cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack.

Moreover, when compared to those who live a no-exercise lifestyle and those who participated in physical activities such as cycling and running can experience an overall improvement in cardiovascular function.

Cycling Body Transformation Female – What you should know?

Cycling Body Transformation Female

It takes much longer than a male to see changes in the body of a female due to hormonal limitations. The females need much more intense cycling than a man to see the changes in the desired time as the men.

Transformation through cycling in men and their body parts can be seen within 12 to 16 weeks. Their triceps start to get defined and also their lower body gets the definition.

But you might be thinking what is the effects of cycling on body shape female?

Women have more body fat than a man so if a woman is cycling 4 days a week and that also the time is more than 60 minutes then we can expect some changes as the timing is required for men.

It transforms the body in a very good way and is long-lasting. It gives them a flat stomach and with a little bit of more exercise of their own females can also achieve a smaller waist.

Cycling is very effective and the chances of injuries are also less. Hence, they are preferable.

Cycling Legs Before And After Female

The body shape before we start cycling remains the same as most other people in the world. We start doing any sort of physical activity to enhance ourselves. So what effect does cycling have on the legs of females before and after?

It would remain bulky and fatty before you start cycling. It is good actually, very good to accept the way we are but it is not health-wise.

The shape of our legs that we get after normal cycling or indoor cycling is much more defined and better looking. It will help us remain fit.

The calves get toned and they look so good when they are styled with a pair of skinnies. The thighs get strengthened and overall the health and look all get defined in an excellent way.

What Happens To Your Body After Cycling?

Starting from the shoulders to arms to the lower back and stomach to the buttocks, thighs, calves and feet, it gives us a full body workout that we need to keep our body fit.

It helps us lose weight, burn a good amount of calories and make us look better with our body parts toned in better ways than we had.

Our bodies just like any other person would have looked the same but after we start cycling our body features become defined and not only that it will increase our overall health in the best of ways.

FAQ on Cycling Body Transformation Before and After

Q1. What is the effect of indoor cycling on body shape?

Indoor cycling is an efficient and effective way to burn calories and body fat. It improves the health of your heart, lungs and muscles as it is an aerobic workout.

Cycling helps in improving the blood flow in the body resulting in many health benefits on body shapes such as lower blood pressure, better sleep, more energy and a strong immune system.

Q2. Which body parts are affected by cycling?

Mainly 3 core parts are affected by cycling such as the Lower body, Upper body and Core/back. The lower body includes the calf and thigh muscles. The upper body part includes the arms and shoulders. Abdominals and back are included in the core body part.

Q3. Can cycling reduce thigh size?

Yes, Cycling is a low-resistance exercise that means putting less pressure on joints than running or jogging. If you have excess fat on your thighs then endurance cycling will help you to reduce thigh size (reduce thigh fat).

Conclusion on The Effects of Cycling on Body Shape for Male & Female

The above-mentioned details on the effect of cycling on body shape have been provided for you. It is good unless you have some physical conditions to pay attention to.

Whether you want to increase your height, lose weight or increase the quality of your health, cycling is the most effective way. It also helps us define our body, gain strength and make us confident in carrying ourselves.

Hope you found it informative. Let me know if you did. Have a good cycling experience.

Happy Paddling!


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/538492-does-cycling-help-you-lose-weight-in-your-waist-thighs/
  3. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/cycling-how-to-cross-train.html

I am the founder and editor of Cycling Guru India, a fitness freak and passionate cycling enthusiast from India. My passion for cycling led me to build the Cycling Guru blog site where I share my cycling experience, cycling tips & guides, and help people to get the best bicycle. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form. You can also follow me on Strava.

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