Does an Exercise Bike Tone Your Bum?

A toned bum isn’t always easy to come by! Whether you’re sculpting your body shape or want to build butt muscle, various exercises may help. But, does an exercise bike tone your bum?

Cycling is great for working your gluteal muscles and can help tone your bum. For the best results, it’s a good idea to try exercises such as lunges, squats, and bridges, too. Below, we’ll look at how exercise bikes tone your bum and to what extent.

Key Takeaways

  • Cycling is great for working your gluteal muscles and can help tone your bum, but it is mainly a low impact exercise that burns calories and fat.
  • To get the best results from cycling, you should adopt proper form, adjust your seat and handlebars, stand up occasionally, and vary your resistance levels.
  • You should also supplement cycling with other exercises that target your glutes, such as lunges, squats, bridges, hip thrusts, and kettlebell swings.
  • Cycling can help tone other muscles in your lower body too, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, as well as your core and back muscles.
  • Cycling and running are both good for toning your lower body, but neither are as effective as weight training or strength training for building muscle mass and definition.

How Can an Exercise Bike Tone Your Butt?

Cycling exercises your gluteal muscles constantly during rides, helping to tone up while you pedal. Cycling is also fantastic for burning calories and helping to trim down subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat develops under your skin, as energy stores. It typically builds up around your butt and abdomen (though, of course, everyone is different). One of the best ways to burn this fat is to increase your calorie burn and take up cardio exercise.After all – the key to losing weight is to maintain a calorie deficit over time.

Cycling on an exercise bike can help you burn calories, fat, and help you reach optimal heart rate zones. 

While cycling, you’ll mainly use quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings to pedal. However, your gluteus maximus (your butt) is the biggest muscle in your body and is great for pushing and extending your hips. 

Pedaling also uses the medius and minimus glutes, which help with abducting and stability.

This repeated movement can help tighten up your bum. However, you’ll need to exercise elsewhere for maximum toning, such as through weight training. Further down, we’ll take you through a few supplemental exercises for a toned lower body. 

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on cycling alone to tone your glutes. For all cycling can help to tone your bum, it’s largely aerobic or low impact exercise. That means it won’t build extra strength or add mass to your muscles.

The main role cycling plays in toning your bum is to help cut down that subcutaneous fat. Cycle to burn calories and raise your heart rate, and top up on other exercises to tighten that muscle.

That said, you can try a few things on a stationary bike to help achieve a toned bum quicker. 

Top Tips for Toning Your Bum While Cycling

Adopting proper form on an indoor bike is vital if you want to work your butt muscles. While burning off that fat, here are some quick toning tips.

Stretch Before Riding

You should always stretch before you ride. Stretching helps to enhance flexibility as well as prevent injury and pain. Always stretch your glutes properly for maximum toning potential.

Sit Correctly and Adjust Your Seat

Seat height can affect how much you tone, or even how much you burn. Improper form will also put you at risk of pain and injury.

To avoid getting too sore after exercise, adjust your saddle and bike seat height before exercise. It’s good to refer to your bike manufacturer directly if you’re unsure how.

Carefully adjust your seat up and down and keep it at a balanced level. Too low, and you’ll risk losing the range of motion necessary to tone effectively. 

Keep the seat’s maximum height at your hip bone when standing alongside. Then, try sitting on the bike. You should have a slight bend to your knee when the pedal is at the bottom.

Similarly, always make sure you position your feet correctly on your pedals. Keep them parallel to the floor, and wear appropriate footwear. Again, improper form here can stop you from toning effectively.

Adjust Your Handlebars

Adjusting your handlebars so they’re as upright as possible will help to keep your torso straight. Too low, and you’ll end up slouching while riding your exercise bike.

As with adjusting your seat, keeping proper posture allows you to tone effectively. An upright posture on spin bikes, or otherwise, will also help keep your stomach muscles tight and can help you tone your abs. Keep this position so you can better tone your glutes.

Push Down Through Your Heels

As with weight training, avoid pushing your knees over your toes. Doing so can reduce the effect of toning on your glutes (and other muscles). 

Try to push those pedals heels first, rather than toes first. This can also help you avoid pain and injury. You’re directing balanced power through your feet, avoiding overexertion.

Pedal While Standing

If you can, stand up while pedaling occasionally. This can help to define your butt better and can help burn more calories.

Pedaling while you stand will help open up muscles below the hip, such as your calves and butt. Effectively, you’re adopting a position fairly close to running or jogging. You produce more power while standing on a bike, too.

Train Regularly

The more you train, the quicker you’ll tone up. There’s no guaranteed timeframe, as the speed at which you tone will vary on body profile, age, and resistance.

It’s important to have a workout plan in mind and to give yourself proper rest days. While you may want a toned body fairly quickly, your gluteal muscles (and your heart) need time to recover. Training regularly may be as simple as going to the gym two or three days a week.

Adjust Your Resistance

Be sure to keep changing your bike’s resistance when riding, especially if you find lower levels on your spin bike too easy to beat. 

Higher resistance cycling is great for burning extra calories and boosting heart health. You’ll also push the muscles involved that little bit harder.

With Peloton, for example, you can use power levels to help tone up your glutes and lose weight. It’s best to advance resistance gradually to avoid overexertion or injury.

Advancing gradually also gives you time to recover and gradually acclimatize to higher power or resistance levels. Rushing into higher resistance when you’re not ready may result in you falling back to square one.

Weight Train When off the Bike

Weight training and stretching can help you maximize toning and to build muscles. Toning glutes in isolation can help build muscle and tone faster, more so than through cycling alone, which works lots of different muscles.

As mentioned, cycling is largely aerobic. You’ll need to balance aerobic cardio with muscle-building exercises to tone your bum effectively. You can rely on your bike to cut fat while you tone elsewhere.

Other Exercises for Bum Toning

As much as an upright bike can help you on the road towards a toned bum, it’ll only do so much. Burn those calories while pedaling, and consider the following exercises when you’re on non-cardio days. 


Simply lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise your hips so that  they’re level with your shoulders, and lower again. Repeat this for 10-12 reps.

Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts are fantastic for flexing your glutes. This exercise uses a barbell and a bench. You’ll need to rest your upper back on the bench, and with knees bent, lift your barbell pushing through your feet and hips.


These floor exercises need you to be on all fours. With knees and toes bent, and core engaged, you extend your legs back, squeezing your glutes, then return. 


With squats, you lower your hips while standing, then stand back up again. This helps to boost your mobility and balance, as well as tone your bum.


In a lunge, you place one leg forward, knee bent, with foot flat. Your other leg goes behind you as you slowly lunge forward and back. It’s great for working your lower body, from your glutes to your hamstrings.

Kettlebell swings

With a weighted kettlebell held downwards, you can swing between your legs (with feet spread apart flat) and raise up. It is just one toning exercise you can do with a kettlebell, as it can work the whole body if used correctly.


What Other Muscles Can I Tone With an Exercise Bike?

Indoor bikes are great for toning your calf muscles, back, hamstrings, and quadriceps. However, you’re more likely to burn fat and calories when riding a bike (indoors or outdoors).

Cycling is helpful when toning your body through other exercises, such as through stretching and weights. It’s healthy to balance the time you spend on exercise bikes with muscle-building techniques elsewhere.

Are Exercise Bikes Better for Bum Toning Than Running?

They’re about the same! Both indoor biking and running are great for toning areas of your lower body. However, you’ll get better all-around results for a bigger butt or more toned glutes when weight training.

Running tends to be better for building muscle than cycling. However, neither are as good as targeted stretches and strength training.

What Exercises Increase Butt Size?

You can increase your bum muscles’ size, toning, and strength by trying lunges, bridges, and kettlebell swings. It’s worth cycling on exercise bikes (or an outdoor bike) to reduce fat alongside.


Thanks for reading our guide today! As you can see, your bum muscles work very hard when cycling. That’s why using an indoor or spin bike can be great for toning your glutes.

However, always try some weighted or strength exercises to maximize results. The pedaling motion on a bike is great for cardio health, but you won’t get a toned bum from cycling alone.

Do you know anyone else who’s toning up for the months ahead? Feel free to share this guide, and let us know if you have any tips.

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