Exercise bikes are great equipment to tone the muscles around your hips, buttocks, and thighs but did you know that they are also very effective in helping you lose weight? By using the right techniques and the right kind of exercise bikes you can burn calories and get in a better shape. A lot of men and women who do not have the time to ride a traditional bike outdoors take the help of an indoor exercise bike to achieve the same results, in a safer and more convenient surrounding. You do not even have to know how to ride a traditional bike to use an exercise bike because the machine does not require you to balance it on two wheels. Another advantage of using an exercise bike indoors is that you do not have to worry about riding through traffic or unsafe terrain. If you are planning to include bike exercises to your workout routine to lose weight then this post will hopefully help you achieve your results faster and with more efficiency.
What are some of the different kind of exercise bikes?
Before you start using an exercise bike, you need to know what your options are and what kind of bike is best suited for you.
Computerized VS non-computerized
There really isn’t much difference between a computerized exercise bike and a non-computerized one except that with a computerized model you will get a display that will show you your heart rate, number of pedals per minute and maybe even come with pre-settings which you can use for your weight loss program. However, these features may provide you with some extra information but they will not exactly help you lose more weight than when exercising on a non-computerized bike.
Upright Stationary/Recumbent/Spin Bikes
An upright stationary bike is the closest to a traditional outdoor bike with the pedals below you, while a recumbent bike enables you to recline and ride with the pedals slightly in front of you. Recumbent bikes are great for people with back problems. Spin bikes are mainly designed to help you lose weight as they provide a lot of resistance. The front of the bike will have a weighted flywheel which will give you the feeling of riding mountain bike outdoors.
Losing Weight with an Exercise Bike
The most important thing when trying to lose weight on an exercise bike is to add resistance. Cycling must not come too easy or else it will have no effect on your body except just tire you out. Add resistance to a point which you can take but do not cross the line. If you feel that you are in pain while working out or your body hurts too much after cycling then maybe you are pushing it too far.
Ask your gym instructor to set your bike for you during your first few days so you can exercise safely and also achieve your goals faster.
Balanced Workout Ride: Always start your cycling with some easy to moderate pedaling. In this step you must set your time to anywhere between 20 to 60 minutes, longer if you have the time and energy, and just keep cycling at a steady pace without any intervals. You can listen to some music if you want to keep your mind off the time. By cycling continuously in this manner you will be building your endurance level and burning fat at the same time.
The following 3 workout styles will help you burn more calories after you have warmed up with the balanced pedaling.
The Up Hill Climb: Once your body gets used to the steady pace you will need to add some resistance and you can do so by increasing the force level in your pedaling. When you push up the intensity you will automatically feel the burn, almost as if you are riding a bike up hill. Go for 5 minute increments based on how much your body allows you to. The tougher the work load gets the more body fat you will be burning off.
22-minute Interval Workout: This whole workout will last around 22 minutes and must be divided into minutes of various pedaling intensity. You must start off with a 5 minute warm up and then aim to switch between hard to moderate pedaling for the next 5 minutes, with 30 seconds intervals. Then do a bit of easy pedaling for a minute before starting the 30 seconds of hard pedaling and switching to moderate pace again. Continue this for 5 minutes. Then go easy for 1 minute before doing some quick alternating between extreme pedaling and easy pedaling for the next 4 minutes. End your session with 2 to 5 minutes of easy pedaling. If you want to really challenge yourself then you can repeat the whole cycle one more time.
Speed Up with 2 minute Intervals: If you wish to try something different from the Up Hill Climb and the 22-minute workout, you can try speeding up with short intervals. Once again you must start off with a more balanced rate and then increase your pedaling force for two minutes before going back to the normal pace. So you will be pedaling at a normal pace for two minutes and then speed things up for the next two minutes. Do this for 15 to 30 minutes and then slow down your cycling gradually before finishing off.
Things to remember while using an Exercise Bike:
- Sit with your butt balanced well on the widest part of the saddle to avoid soreness after your workout
- Your knees must be aligned with your hips and feet
- Position the handles high enough so you do not have to slump your back to reach them. Your spine should be straight.
- Always keep your feet flat so you are not at risk of engaging the wrong muscles.
- To avoid neck strain, keep your head up during exercise
- Do not lean on the handles and always try to place your weight on the pedals
And lastly remember to stay hydrated before, during and after your work out.