3 Leg Strengthening Exercises for Cycling

January 7, 2016

Any cycling enthusiast knows that stronger quads and gluteal muscles are essential for powerful pedal strokes.

Developing these two important muscle groups not only helps you avoid knee injury but also helps you shave time off of your cycling sprints and distance rides.

So we’d like to share a few leg strengthening exercises that will help you pedal stronger and longer. All of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your home. They’re quick to learn and easy to remember.

Leg Strengthening Exercises For Cycling


Dumbbell Squats

This exercise is a terrific butt buster. For starters, begin with lighter dumbbells until you get the technique down. As time progresses, you will want to increase the number of reps you do and use heavier dumbbells for greater intensity.


  • Begin with feet shoulder-width apart with dumbbells of your choice at your side.
  • Squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair. Balance your body so that most of your weight is on your heels.
  • When your knees reach a 90-degree angle, squeeze your glutes and stand up to the starting position.
  • Repeat 15-20 times.

For a more advanced workout, jump explosively from the squatting position. Two advantages of this exercise is that it closely mimics the movement of cycling, and does not require the use of dumbbells.

Explosive Lunges

This is a great exercise for improving balance, patience, and overall leg strength. And if you’re looking to do a little cardio, then this is definitely the exercise for you!


  • Begin standing upright in a comfortable position.
  • Take a large step forward so that the knee is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Jump up and quickly switch leg positions so the other leg is forward
  • Continue these back and forth in an explosive manner for 60-90 seconds.

For a less intense workout, go through the motions slowly, taking as much time as you need to complete each lunge fully.

Wall Sits

Wall sits work well for quads and glutes. It can be combined with any one of the previous exercises for greater intensity. After 10-20 seconds you should feel your quads begin to burn. How long can you go?


  • Begin standing with your back against the wall.
  • Slowly slide down the wall until your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
  • If you feel the need, place your hands on your quads for support. Otherwise, let them hang at your side or place them behind your head.
  • Maintain that position for at least 30 seconds.

If you can’t reach a 90-degree angle, start at less of an angle and set a goal to reach 90-degrees at a future point in time.

In summary, each of these exercises is designed to give you greater strength and endurance in your quad and gluteal regions, and improve performance when cycling.

If you are experiencing any pain or swelling during any of these exercises, stop immediately and consult a medical professional. Feel free to contact us at SimpleTherapy for questions or concerns regarding knee pain, ankle pain or other joint problems.

For additional information on supplements for runners and active recovery, check out HVMN’s article here.

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