Having a Peloton makes workouts a lot easier; you have all the equipment you need at home and have access to thousands of on-demand classes led by professional instructors to help improve your workout.
While everyone knows that cycling is one of the best cardio workouts, you may be wondering whether it can help with strength training and targeting certain areas – even helping to strengthen your upper body, for example.
The short answer is yes; your Peloton bike can help build muscle. So what muscles does the Peloton bike work?
The Peloton can help target many different muscle groups, all of which we will explain below.
- Peloton bikes can help build muscle in various muscle groups like quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, core, arms, chest, back, and hip flexors.
- Peloton offers different types of classes that target specific muscle groups or provide a full-body workout, such as strength, HIIT, power zone, climb, and bike boot camp classes.
- To build muscle effectively on a Peloton bike, it is important to be consistent, ride for at least 20 minutes, and choose classes that focus on specific muscle groups.
- Peloton workouts are not equivalent to weight lifting, but they can help retain and preserve lean muscle mass and tone muscles.
- It may take up to eight weeks to see the physical results of building muscle on a Peloton bike.
Can You Build Muscles on a Peloton?
Yes, you can build muscles on a Peloton bike. Peloton offers many classes that work the whole body, but you can also find classes that focus on specific areas like the upper body.
Some workouts that the Peloton bike offers include HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) and climb rides. These types of workouts are great for improving muscle strength. We will list some more Peloton cycling classes below.
Something to keep in mind is that it may take up to eight weeks to see the physical results of building muscle.
Furthermore, since Peloton workouts only incorporate a certain level of weight and resistance, it’s probably best to go to the gym and lift weights if your main goal is to build a lot of muscle.
What Muscles Does Peloton Build?
Now that it’s been established that you can, of course, build muscle on a Peloton bike, it’s worth taking a closer look at what muscles Peloton works.
This section will review all the major muscle groups you can build while riding your Peloton bike.
It’s probably not surprising that your quadriceps are the muscles you work the most while riding your Peloton bike. This muscle group is located in your upper legs and extends from your hips to your knees.
Your quads provide almost half the power you need to push the pedals down. This means that you engage these leg muscles with every pedal stroke.
When it comes to your glutes, pedaling against resistance will work all three muscles, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Hill climb workouts on your Peloton bike are especially effective for your lower body, specifically the glutes.
While pedaling uphill during a hill workout, your glutes carry most of your leg’s weight, requiring those muscles to work even harder. If you want to fast-track your way to strong glutes, hill workouts will be the way to go.
When it comes to certain body muscles, your legs work the hardest every time you hop on your Peloton bike.
Much like your quads, your calf muscles will activate every time you push down the pedal. The resistance that your Peloton provides will help build strength in your calves.
Your hamstring is a group of three muscles at the back of your leg. These muscles work the hardest in cycling classes that use high resistance.
However, your hamstring is constantly working; you engage these muscles every time you pull up and push down on the pedal.
Your Peloton bike is great for working on your core muscles. While you may not even notice, the abdominal muscles are engaged the entire time you cycle.
This is because your core works to keep you balanced on the seat. The ab muscles stay tight, which will help tone your stomach and increase your overall core strength.
It’s easy to assume that your Peloton bike only works your lower body, but the workouts can actually engage multiple muscles in your arms too, such as your biceps and triceps.
Different muscles in your hands, biceps, and triceps activate when you hold the handlebar. While it won’t be as effective as using a dumbbell, classes such as climb rides, HIIT workouts, and power zone rides will target these areas.
Much like arms, you may be surprised to see that your Peloton bike can help build and tone your chest muscles too.
You activate your chest muscles every time you breathe deeply. Hill or HIIT workouts are when you activate these muscles the most.
Upper and Lower Back
Hill climb workouts increase the muscle development in your upper and lower back by engaging the spinal erectors. You engage your back muscles when you lean forward while working against the high resistance of a hill climb.
Cycling on your Peloton greatly increases the muscular endurance of your hip flexors. The three different muscles in this group work every time you peddle as it helps to flex the hip.
Since your hip flexors are constantly engaged while cycling, make sure to do some stretches after each workout to help limit any stiffness or soreness.
The Best Classes for Building Muscle on a Peloton
After going over all of the muscles that your Peloton bike can help build, you may be wondering how to start increasing your muscle mass.
What kind of workouts do you need to do?
Since there are thousands of classes to choose from, it may be a bit overwhelming trying to pick the right one for your needs. We will list five classes below that will help you gain muscle.
Peloton offers strength classes, both on and off the bike. For example, if you want strength training for your arm muscles, you can do a class incorporating dumbbells while still on the bike.
In recent years, Peloton has expanded what they offer and now has tons of strength training videos that include floor workouts. All you have to do is hop off the bike, turn your screen and pull out your yoga mat.
From full-body workouts to targeting your core muscles, you will find all the classes you need.
Cardio HIIT Ride
In recent years, HIIT workouts have become popular, as they provide an intense workout in a shorter amount of time.
The following video gives a useful breakdown of what high intensity interval training (or HIIT) is, and why it’s beneficial:
HIIT rides will ultimately help retain and preserve your lean muscle mass; however, try to incorporate hills in your workout to build muscle. Doing a HIIT and Hills ride will improve your leg muscles, especially the quadriceps.
Power Zone Rides
Power zone endurance rides incorporate different zones (exertion levels) and cadence ranges. The instructor will give you a specific cadence range and will then tell you what zone you should be in.
When it comes to muscle building, power zone rides are effective, since the workout is so intense. Furthermore, these workouts will improve your balance and coordination and help turn body fat into muscle mass.
If you want to focus on leg muscle, climb rides are the way to go. Apart from burning calories, this workout will stimulate your gluteal muscles and quadriceps and help increase muscle mass in your lower body in general.
Similar to the power zone endurance rides, Peloton bike bootcamps are high-intensity workouts that promote muscle endurance and stimulate the leg muscles.
With some extra equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands, you’ll tone your muscles in no time.
Tips for Building Muscle on a Peloton Bike
Now that you know that your Peloton bike can offer a full body workout through different classes let’s take a look at a few tips on building muscle.
Much like weight loss, muscle building can be difficult. However, if you follow these few tips, you’ll quickly reach your goals.
The first and most important thing that will help build muscle is to be consistent. While Peloton bike classes will help you reach your goal, having a consistent workout regime is key, whether that is twice a week or four times a week.
The more you work out, the more you’ll increase your endurance and be able to work out more effectively.
For instance, your pedal stroke will become more efficient over time, making it easier to put more into the workout and build muscle.
However, remember that it will take a while to see results from your strength training classes.
Ride for at Least 20 Minutes
Peloton offers many cycling classes that range from 5 minutes to an hour and a half. However, in order to make the most of your climb rides and build up your leg muscles (or any other muscles you want to work on), you should work out for at least 20 minutes.
According to Healthline, working out for 20-30 minutes 2-3 days a week will be effective. If you keep this up, you will see results.
Choose a Class That Focuses on Specific Muscle Groups
If you want to see results more quickly, choose a class focusing on specific muscle groups like your hamstring or back muscles.
This tip will be best for those who don’t have much time to spare on the Peloton bike. As we covered above, consistency is key, so if you can only do a few sessions, it’s best to target certain areas.
Sometimes combining classes are the most effective for reaching your goals.
If you want to work on your upper-body muscles, try combining split training classes involving upper-body strength and full-body workouts.
For lower body work, combine some Peloton cycling classes with strength training and body weight exercises. It is also good to do classes that help build fast and slow twitch muscle fibers.
Use High Resistance and Slow Cadence
Cadence refers to the number of revolutions you pedal per minute. Typically, the slower the cadence, the higher the resistance. High-resistance Peloton classes are the most effective for working on your muscles, particularly the quadriceps.
Using high resistance will not only help build your gluteal muscles but will also help you to lose weight, increase your stamina and increase your heart rate.
While Peloton workouts are not equal to weight lifting, they can still help to build muscle.
Some of the main muscles the Peloton bike works are the calves, glutes, hamstrings, core, and quadriceps muscles.
To increase your muscle growth, check out these classes that come with your Peloton bike, including bike bootcamp, power zone rides, climb rides, cardio HIIT workouts, and strength classes.
If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment, and be sure to tell us what your favorite Peloton workouts are!