I commute by bike and go to the gym two or three times each week. At the gym, I usually do upper body workouts, since I already cycle a lot. Not all my lower body muscles are exercised when I cycle.

Can you recommend me good lower body exercises that would complement my cycling routine? With explanation, please. I'd like to know which muscles I'd have to focus.

I want recommendations based in a health standpoint, not to increase my biking performance.

  • 3
    Which muscles do you think are not worked by biking?
    – JohnP
    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:31
  • If you search google using "complementary exercises to cycling or lower body workout to cycling" key words you will have many good web pages that you get benefit from
    – bantandor
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:38
  • 1
    @bantandor: the internet is full of contradictory information. One of the aims of the StackExchange sites is to give a definitive answer to some common questions. I believe that my question is reasonably general that it deserves a good answer. BTW, almost all the references are about improving your cycling performance, I want to improve my overall health.
    – neves
    Mar 16, 2016 at 18:03
  • youtube.com/watch?v=rNl9USmMqeM Mar 16, 2016 at 21:02
  • 1
    @never: I just wanted to help you with the keywords in case you missed them.
    – bantandor
    Mar 17, 2016 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Pretty much anyone who doesn't regularly lift weights at a intermediate level should be focusing on doing basic compound lifts in the gym. These lifts will give your entire body a workout so that you can develop all your muscle groups.

I would recommend either Starting Strength by Rippletoe or 5x5 Stronglifts by Mehdi. The documentation on each of these is vast and positive.

For lower body:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats

For above the waist:

  • Overhead Press
  • Bent over row
  • Benchpress

(* note: I classify Intermediate level as: you train 4-6 days a week in the gym and have graduated off a starter program like 5x5 Stronglifts or Starting Strength)

  • ... kettlebells are free weights. I also don't agree with your definition of what intermediate level is. You also imply that only beginners benefit from basic compound lifts, which is completely not true. You may also want to avoid abbreviations as people who are less familiar with the terminology may not know what you mean.
    – Alex L
    Mar 17, 2016 at 0:08
  • The comment about kettlebells was just a jibe at their popularity and misuse. Ill adjust my comment as I imply that everyone at all levels can benefit from compound lifts but for those that lift competitively (advanced and high intermediate) focusing on hypertrophy through isolation is commonly accepted as sensible. I'll adjust the abbreviations too.
    – John
    Mar 17, 2016 at 7:18

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