While running does burn more calories on average, cycling is gentler on the joints, which might allow you to exercise longer and burn more calories overall. For running, however, only the gastrocnemius muscle … Doing cardio exercise, such as running and biking, teaches your heart to pump even more efficiently the rest of the time. Her fiction has appeared in the "Tampa Review," "Florida Review," "BLOW" and "Pindeldyboz." Running may be better for toning muscles since it works your whole body and burns more calories. You cannot pick where your body gains or loses fat, but you can pick which muscles you build. Cycling can help you build muscle in your lower half. Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS. What Are the Different Muscles You Use When You Run & Bike? Running frequently causes pain in the knees, ankles and back, which doesn't happen as often in cycling. Your back muscles … Running slower but for longer stretches may help you achieve a toned look. Cycling uses different sets of muscles to running, such as more use of your quads, glutes and core muscles. Pick whichever one fits your lifestyle to ensure you’ll enjoy it and stick with it. Your leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are responsible for most … Since running and cycling are both aerobic exercises, it involves major muscles groups during the cardio workout. In cycling, the majority of power is produced by the quadriceps and hamstrings in the upper legs and the soleus and gastrocnemius in the calves. When you are running, your thigh muscles are the primary muscles. If You Want to Build Muscle. Both biking and running are great workouts that can be done inside or out — but which is better for you? Runners and cyclists should train and stretch the hip flexors to support development of the glutes. Hip flexion, along with hip and knee extension are the primary movements of a pedal stroke. And while running carries … However, your muscles and bones will get stronger from use and the impact of hitting the ground. However, a quality pair of running shoes can be expensive, too. The number of calories you burn in either exercise depends on the intensity and length of time you do it. USA Cycling: Strength Training for the Cyclist. While using the stationary bike and running involve many similar muscles -- the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, for example -- running recruits a few additional muscles. This is particularly true for overweight people. In running, the primary muscles used are … Running can also help you to lose weight and tone certain lower body muscles, but the activity places more stress on the joints and body, which puts you at a greater risk of injury. Her journalism has appeared in "Orange," "Luxury," "Creative Loafing," "tbt*" and other publications. For cycling, all muscles showed a significant correlation between mean EMG activity and the load applied. Your efficiency should improve too which will help you run faster. When you run, your glutes are an important part of powering your stride to support the length and speed of your gait, but both are primarily the function of the legs. If you’re just looking to try a new sport to up your cardio exercise each week, running is the cheaper option. Running won’t lead to a lot of … You’ll also burn more calories if you’re running or cycling uphill for any portion of your exercise than you would if you were exercising on a flat surface. Although both cycling and walking use all of the muscles in your lower body to some extent, the main muscle groups targeted by the two activities are different. Last medically reviewed on August 3, 2018, You can reduce your muscle mass by doing the opposite of what you would do to increase muscle mass: Consume fewer calories, use lighter weights and…. But it’s also higher impact and harder on muscles and joints. "So you'll see gains in leg bulk." 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