We’ve told you before in a previous post Benefits of the Stationary Bike, despite the bad rap they sometimes seem to get, do make for a great cardio workout and can aid you in your weight loss goals. They are easier on the body than treadmills, yet still work your cardiovascular system with all the hard pushing of the pedals.
In our last post we simply only mentioned all the pros that stationary exercise bikes have to offer, which I am sure only left you wanting to try one out for yourself. So today we are back with more exercise bike loving, and to give you some tips and tricks from Cardio Exercises on Exercise Bikes to maximize your workout time on these machines.
By adding resistance to your exercise bike routines it not only helps to vary your workouts keeping you from getting bored, but it also lets you use your muscles differently while raising your heart rate. When you add a higher resistance you are requiring more effort from you muscles to pedal, therefore requiring more muscle use while also raising your heart with longer pedal strokes. This article from FitDay.com suggests setting your resistance level “between 70 to 80 revolutions each minute to achieve the best calorie and fat burning level.”
If you are using an upright bike, such as this GX2 Sport Bike, try standing on the pedals to create even more resistance, this causes extra body weight on your legs creating more resistance. You can also try adding ankle weights to increase resistance, yet be sure you are not making it so difficult you aren’t able to go at least 30 minutes before having to give up. Start with one-pound ankle weights, and then increase the weight as you soon began to improve.
Instead of going the constant speed during your bike workouts, try using intervals to burn more calories while also improving your anaerobic conditioning. HIIT is not just for the treadmills, they are great workouts you can incorporate into your exercise bike routine as well.
To start you’ll want to use a low resistance setting for this type of workout. After you begin with a 3 to 5 minute warm-up you’ll pedal as hard as you can for about 30 to 120 seconds depending on your fitness level. At this speed your heart rate should be close to its maximum capability. You’ll then follow those 30 to 120 second sprints with one or two minutes of low-resistance recover pedaling. Continue these timed intervals until you reach 30 minutes, and follow with a cool-down.
You can also try making up your own times depending on your fitness level, or for more ways to do HIIT on your exercise bike, check out a previous post of ours on 3 different ways to do HIIT without using timed intervals.
Maintain Proper Form
Another tip that will help you to achieve maximum results from your exercise bike workouts is to be sure you have proper form when biking. If you are lunging over and clutching handlebars, you are not making your legs work nearly as hard as they should be, meaning you are therefore burning fewer calories.
Instead sit with your back straight and let your hands lightly touch the handlebars. If this position feels uncomfortable to you adjust your seat forward or backwards, as well as up or down until you reach a comfortable position. This upright position is also going to give your core a better workout by holding your body inline opposed to the slouching position.
Try these few tips to help maximize your time on the stationary bike to give you a killer workout, helping you to burn more calories while toning your legs and glutes!
What workouts do you do on the stationary bikes to crank up your workout?
What is your favorite workout on stationary bikes?