What Muscles Does a BMX Work Out?


A BMX bicycle is light, petite and easy to maneuver on a track or around obstacles. Unlike a larger road or mountain bike a BMX is more designed for short distance, high-intensity riding. In similar fashion to any other bike, you have to activate a number of major and minor muscles for proper handling.


The glutes are the major muscles that compose the buttock area. They consist of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, and they function to extend the hip. You perform this action when you move your thigh backward while riding a BMX.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexors

The quadriceps sit on the front of the thighs and they consist of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius. These muscles get activated when you perform hip flexion and knee extension. Hip flexion occurs when you move your thigh toward your stomach. Knee extension takes place when you straighten your leg.

The hip flexors start in the lower stomach and run down to the top of the thigh. In similar fashion to the quads, you work these muscles when you perform hip flexion. You may also hear this muscle group referred to as the iliopsoas because they consist of the iliacus and psoas major.


The hamstrings reside on the back of the thighs. These muscles consist of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus. You activate these muscles on a BMX when you extend your hip and flex your knee. Knee flexion occurs when you bend your knee and move your heel up toward your butt.


The ab region is made up of the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and obliques. The rectus abdominis is the large muscle in the stomach. The transverse abdominis is deep inside the stomach and the obliques sit outside the rectus abdominis in a diagonal orientation. All three of these muscle groups get worked forcefully when you pedal hard and jump on a BMX. You also contract these muscles to keep your upper body stable.


The calves sit on the back of the lower leg. They consist of the gastrocnemius and soleus. The gastroc has a lateral and medial head and is visible right below the knee. The soleus sits in front of the gastroc and is thinner. Both muscles function to plantar flex the foot while riding a BMX. You perform this action when you bend your ankle and point your foot down.

Erector Spinae

The erector spinae is a group of long muscles that run from the back of the head all the way down to the lower back. They function to extend the torso which occurs when you arch your back. While riding a BMX you contract these muscles to keep your torso upright. These muscles also get worked when you quickly go from a leaning forward position to a standing position.


The biceps sit on the front of the upper arms. These muscles function to flex the elbows. You perform this action on a BMX when you jump, bend your elbow and move your forearm closer to your upper arm.


The triceps sit on the back of the upper arms. They function to extend the elbows. This motion occurs when you straighten your arms while riding a BMX. You also have to keep these muscles contracted to maintain straight arms while standing and seated.