Why should you walk to a gym in the cold weather when you can use an exercise bike to stay fit from the comfort of your home? Exercise bikes are a must-have in your home gym as they help lose weight, burn fat and are excellent for a complete lower body workout.
Although it may take you a while to figure out how to use an exercise bike like a pro. A little adjustment and knowledge about the functions will help you significantly. Here are a few tips you can follow while exercising on this bike.
Choose the Right Exercise Bike
It is important to choose the right exercise bike that is suitable for your body type and has the required features. Here are a few features you should look for in brief:
Weight capacity: The exercise bike should have an adequate weight capacity to withstand your body weight. You can check the description of the product to find out its capacity. Read our article on the best recumbent bike for heavy person.
Adjustability: To get into a comfortable position during the workout, the bike should offer easy adjustability. You should be able to adjust the seat and handlebars so as to not put an excess strain on the body parts.
Resistance level: With more resistance types in an exercise bike, the workout becomes easier. The bike should allow you to start at a low resistance and move towards a higher level once you’re comfortable.
Monitor: A workout monitor will track your progress and accomplishments while exercising. It displays speed, calories burnt, gears, distance, time, the intensity of the user. You can also monitor the heart rate on the screen if the bike comes with an integrated pulse sensor.
Other than these features, you should also consider the flywheel weight, Q-factor measurement, multi-grip handlebars, etc.
How to Use An Exercise Bike Effectively?
The exercise bikes can’t be used right out of the box. You need to make some adjustments to it so that it suits your body type. You should be able to learn how to use its functions. Here are the top five ways to use an exercise bike and consequently benefit from it:
1. Adjust the Seat and Handlebars:
The adjustability feature in an exercise bike depends on the type of bike you use — recumbent, upright, or indoor cycle bikes.
Seat: Starting with the recumbent bikes, you can easily pull the adjustment handle to move the seat forward and backward. Your knee will bend once you are at the farthest point while pedaling. Once you find the right position, lock the seat into place.
For the upright bikes, adjust the seat according to inseam length or simply stand beside the bike and move it downward or upwards to align it with your hip bone. You will experience a slight knee bend of 25–35 degrees while pedaling the bike downwards.
Now for exercise bikes, you can fix the seat by keeping the pedals in the same line and measuring the distance between your knee and forward foot. Then, you can adjust the seat as per this distance for a comfortable workout.
Handlebars: Maintaining a good posture is imperative while you are using an exercise bike. Unfortunately, most recumbent and upright bikes don’t offer the handlebar adjustment. If they do, you can adjust the handlebars up and down the same as the indoor cycle bikes. Make sure they aren’t set too low, as this may cause discomfort. Your grip on the handlebars should be light but firm.
2. Understand the Functioning of the Workout Monitor:
To track your heart rate, no. of burnt calories, time, distance, speed, cadence, etc., a workout monitor can add to your workout performance. It will help you stay motivated and workout regularly. But once you do, it will help you understand when you should put more effort into the workout and if you need to take it easy. With some time and patience, the monitor can help you achieve your body goals.
3. Make the Right Use of the Pedal Straps:
The upright and recumbent bikes come with pedal straps for safety purposes.
You should place the front half of your foot on the pedal and tighten it with the strap. A strap too tight can cut the circulation, and a loose one can lead to slipping off the foot. The indoor cycle bikes also have the foot cage and SPD compatibility on the pedal for added security.
4. Get into the Right Position:
Always use the bike in an upright position with no rounding of your back. This may lead to poor posture and cause neck and back pain. Make sure your upper body, including your shoulders and chest are in line with your ears with the belly button drawn in. Also, make use of the whole foot from toes to heels while using the pedals. Only using the toes can lead to cramps and pain in the feet.
Your grip on the handlebars should be firm so that there is no added stress on your upper body.
5. Choose the Right Workout:
We recommend you start with the low-intensity workouts if you’re using an exercise bike for the first time.
Also, when you want to stop for the day, decrease the intensity and resistance levels slowly to bring your vitals down to normal. You can increase the pace once you are well-versed with the functions of the bike. From cardiovascular workouts, toning your leg muscles to burn body fat, exercise bikes cater to all your workout needs if you choose the right bike according to your body type.
Exercise bikes aren’t as hard to use as they look. They may take a while to figure out, but it is important to have all the information beforehand. This not only makes the workouts easier but also keeps the users safe. It can prevent future injuries and body pains. Now, you can gain more from the workouts without having to work too hard. Also, always wear comfortable clothing while working out on the bike that can help wick away the sweat.