If you’re looking to get fit and healthy, but the idea of spending hours sweating it out in a crowded, stuffy gym doesn’t appeal, consider a stationary bike. True, you can’t burn as many calories on one as you would on a treadmill, but it’s a lot less intimidating. Besides, you can combine indoor cycling with other activities to up your exercise quotient. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your stationary bike workout:
Keep your spine straight
When you are cycling, it is important to keep your spine straight. This is because you need to maintain your balance, and you need to keep your weight centered on the seat. If you lean too far forward or backward, you will not only be inefficient with your energy, but you could also risk falling off of the bike. It is important to keep your spine straight when cycling so you can be sure you are using your energy to empower yourself.
Staying upright on the bike is the best way to get the most out of your workout, says personal trainer Melissa Alcantara. “The goal is to work your leg muscles, not your back.” Alcantara recommends placing a rolled-up towel under your lower back. “The towel should be just a few inches thick and placed directly under your lower back. It will help stabilize your posture and keep your spine straight.”
Don’t lean on handlebars
When you are stationary on a bike and riding, don’t lean on the handlebars. Doing so will cause you to tire out your arms too quickly and will lead to a less-than-ideal workout. Instead, try to work your entire body and keep your body in a straight line, from your feet up to the top of your head. You can do this by setting the handlebars at a height that allows you to sit straight up and down without leaning to one side.
Adjust your seat
The most important factor for getting the most out of your stationary bike workout is seat adjustment. You must adjust the seat height and angle to ensure the bike is comfortable for you. Only then will you be able to get the most from your workout.
Most stationary bikes are equipped for tall people, which means that it is important to adjust your seat so that you can reach the pedals properly and have your feet flat on the floor. If you are on the shorter side, you can buy exercise bikes online for different types and quality to ensure you get the most out of them. However, when necessary, a lever should be underneath the seat that will allow you to adjust the seat to your preference. You should also ensure that you sit properly and that your back isn’t rounded. This is going to make your ride much more comfortable, and you will be able to focus on your target heart rate.
Most people forget that stretching is a crucial part of exercising. Stretching helps prevent soreness, injury and tightness by increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles. Be sure to spend at least five minutes stretching your legs, arms, back, and other important muscle groups for a more effective workout.
Warm up on the bike
Before starting your stationary bike workout, get on the bike and warm up for a few minutes. Your warm-up should include slow pedaling, increasing your pedaling speed and resistance as you go. When you get on a stationary bike, you probably want to get going as quickly as possible. So you hop on and push hard, right? Doing a warm-up is a crucial part of any workout, and it’s even more important on the exercise bike. Warming up is especially important before you start sprints because those intense workouts can quickly cause an injury. Warm up for at least five minutes before you start. This will get your heart pumping and help keep you injury-free. If you have a turbo trainer at home, you can also use that. It makes a huge difference.
Keep your feet flat and hold your head up
This is the most basic tip for the stationary bike, but it makes a big difference. You will get a much more effective workout if you keep your feet flat and your head up. When you are pedaling, make sure you are using your leg muscles and not your arms to help you. If you find yourself using your arms, then you are not using the right muscles and will not get the full benefit of your workout.
If you are not in the position to keep your feet flat, it will make it difficult for you to pedal your feet. You will end up with sore feet, which will make the entire workout process much more unpleasant.