Why Are My Legs So Heavy After Cycling?

Your legs feel like they have pebbles stuck in your bones because you just finished a strenuous bike race, finished a long-overdue squat session, or pushed hard on the hills. We refer to this as DOMS, or delayed-onset muscular soreness.

While it may seem strange to get back on your bike right away after a leg day, a little activity encourages blood flow and helps to eliminate lactic acid. Try going for a couple quick, simple walks or bike rides.

Muscle fatigue

The sensation of heaviness in your legs or feet that follows intense activity is known as muscle fatigue. It is a typical and beneficial aspect of training that results in stronger muscles and enhanced power.

The accumulation of metabolites like lactic acid in the muscles is usually the cause of muscle tiredness. This is an indication that the workload you are attempting to maintain is too much for your body to tolerate.

The good news is that the exhaustion will subside as soon as your muscles are able to receive oxygen. This enables you to keep working out and become closer to your objectives.

Muscle weariness can also happen during or even after other types of hard exercise, depending on the situation. This kind of exhaustion, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is typically more intense and lasts for 24 to 48 hours following activity. These symptoms, which resemble leg tiredness after cycling, should go away with rest.


After a strenuous training session or workout, we are all accustomed to feeling exhausted and hurt. However, if these sensations last for an extended period of time, you most likely have overtraining syndrome.

The body's inability to recover after extended periods of strenuous training or exercise without rest is what causes the illness. It can result from a variety of factors, such as eating an inadequately nutrient-rich diet or not receiving enough sleep. Workplace, educational, or familial stress can also lead to overtraining.

Unexpected drops in performance, constant fatigue, difficulty focusing, poor sleep, and a lack of motivation for exercise are all indicators of overtraining. It would be wise to see a doctor for a diagnosis if you have been experiencing these symptoms for several months or longer. They'll probably advise you to take it easy for a few days so your legs can heal.

Absence of sleep

Whether you're cycling for fun on the weekends or pounding the pavement in a running race, cycling is a great low-impact workout that strengthens your legs and even improves bone density. It is a well-known fact that cycling can be very taxing on the knees and legs, particularly when one is training for a competition or performing high-intensity exercise.

Your body uses the chemical lactate, which is produced during exercise, as fuel. Because oxygen is needed for this process to occur, intense exercise can quickly deplete your oxygen supply, which will cause your legs to get heavy as soon as you cross the lactate threshold.

After your bike ride, try some plyometric activities like squat jumps to help release any stored lactic acid. Maintaining mobility in your muscles following your workout will also help lessen pain and stiffness that may appear 24 to 72 hours later. DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness, is the term for this.


Riding a bicycle is a low-impact activity. It does, however, have some danger of injury, much like any endurance sport. Overtraining or biomechanical stress resulting from muscle imbalances and incorrect bike setups are typically the causes of these injuries.

Overtraining is the root cause of lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Lactic acid is a waste product that causes discomfort and exhaustion when it is produced at a pace higher than it can be removed.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is among cyclists' most frequent knee complaints. This happens when the iliotibial band compresses, irritating and rubbing against the kneecap's underlying bones. Long periods of time spent riding on tri bars in a racing tuck can exacerbate this problem.

It is a good idea to incorporate a quad stretch into your post-ride routine to help mitigate this issue. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent to a 90-degree angle and your feet stacked on top of one another to complete this stretch.

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