Exercise bikes are one of the first pieces of gym equipment that people think of when they consider working out.
Along with the treadmill, they are key workout tools that almost anyone can use effectively. Here’s our crash course in exercise bikes and why they can maximise your workout…
Why Are Exercise Bikes Good For Losing Weight?
Exercise bikes are great workout tools to seriously burn calories and lose weight. Riding a bike is a cardiovascular exercise. This means it gets your heart rate going and really encourages the body to burn energy.
Exercise bikes are also a great way to track your exercise and ensure that you have burned the number of calories you want to, in order to achieve your goals. Most exercise bikes have a calorie counter so you can see an estimate of what you have worked off.
Many people find exercise bikes very effective when they often find circuit training or a mixed discipline workout overwhelming. In its most basic form, bikers can simply sit and pedal to feel the fat burning benefits. Many gyms have TVs or iPod docks so you can listen to music or watch films while you sweat.
Exercise Bike Benefits
It is a common misconception that exercise bikes only burn weight from your legs. You would never see a professional cyclist with very toned legs and then an upper body that was overweight. Calories burned effects the whole body and will create whole body fat loss.
Exercise bikes are also more versatile than many people think. By altering the resistance and your riding style, you can tailor your workout to your goals.
Another benefit of an exercise bike is that it is very simple to use. If you’ve ridden a regular push bike, you can reap the rewards of an exercise bike workout. While bikes have various options and settings to help you set new challenges, getting started is very easy.
Which Is The Best Exercise Bike To Lose Weight?
There are a number of features to consider when choosing an exercise bike that will best fit your needs. The most essential is that the bike is the right size for you. This will ensure that you can retain a good posture and that you won’t cause any muscular strains or injury. Most bikes are adjustable for height and arm length, so try them out to check that they can be altered to suit your proportions.
Another consideration is the levels of resistance that are available on the bike. Being able to alternate between strong resistance and no resistance is a great way to supercharge your workout. If you have powerful legs, you will want to check that the strong resistance is enough of a challenge for you. Some bikes do not offer resistance, and so these will be less effective when trying to push yourself towards your weight loss goals. However, it’s worth noting that a basic exercise bike will still allow you to get a good cardio workout. So don’t dismiss them altogether if these are the types within your budget or at your gym.
A number of higher end exercise bikes have a more calculated approach to working out the number of calories you have burned as you exercise. Many bikes provide an average estimate for the general public. Some, however, allow you to submit your age, height and weight to give a more accurate representation of your calories burned. This can be very useful in ensuring you have burned enough calories to create an energy deficit needed for weight loss.
Advanced exercise bikes also have the option to pre-set your workout plan into the bike. For example, if you want a workout with varied resistance, you can select a ride that will mimic riding in hilly terrain. Alternatively, you can set yourself time trials to push the distance you are able to cover in a set amount of time.
Suggested Exercise Bike Workout
Before any workout, ensure you warm up. Do 5-10 minutes of stretching, followed by 5-10 minutes of slow to moderate cycling with no resistance as a minimum warm up.
To get maximum fat burning from just a short amount of time, a cycling HIIT workout will be ideal. Start off by setting your resistance to above minimum, but still fairly low. Cycle for a minute, then drop the resistance and continue at that pace for 30 seconds. Then cycle flat out for one minute. Turn the resistance back up and add on a little more, and repeat the process again, adding a little more to your resistance each time you crank it back up until you reach the maximum you can manage. Do this for 15 minutes.
If you want an overall body workout, you will want to recreate the feeling of all-terrain biking. To do this, set your bike to a hill riding setting. If it doesn’t have this, build the resistance every 5 minutes for 15 minutes and then drop it every 5 minutes for the remaining 15 minutes for a simple alternative. Alternate between one minute of basic cycling and one minute of cycling stood up, leaning from side to side as though balancing yourself. This will boost your core workout and help to work your glutes.