How to use the exercise bike correctly
It can be helpful to use an exercise bike to get ready for a competition when the weather doesn't allow to go outside or train safely. It's also an important part of high-intensity exercise (HIIT) or general cardio workouts.
Exercise bikes are approved by professionals and beginners, but also in case of joint problems or during pregnancy.
Whatever your goals, the exercise bike is the perfect tool for a cardio workout by controlling all parameters, taking into account choosing the right model and the right training position.
Here is a guide to understanding how to use it, how to perform the correct exercises, and the benefits that come from using a stationary bike.
What are the benefits of an exercise bike?
Until recently, I often rode my bike, drawing the balance and the willingness to act and the will from it.
The main benefit is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise for the joints. But the benefits do not stop here. Let's discover them together.
John Ratey, psychiatre à l'Medical School, a écrit dans son ouvrage Spark que la nouvelle science révolutionnaire de l'exercice et du cerveau rapporte le cas de patients dont l'état profondément dépressif s'est nettement amélioie de aprè From the bike.” In short, scientists who have studied the benefits of cycling on our brains for years agree: Cycling reduces stress and depression levels. In other words, it makes you happy.
Studies have shown that cycling is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its exacerbation in the elderly. Cycling is indeed a resistance sport and gradually strengthens the heart, but also strengthens the ventilation of the lungs.
One hour of stationary cycling burns up to 500 calories. It's a key ally against excess weight, especially in women: According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which looked at the benefits of cycling in overweight premenopausal women, cycling for an hour several times a week has a slimming effect.
Unlike running, cycling is a low-impact sport: by pedaling, we do not put pressure on the joints of the lower extremities. This is why cycling is recommended for the knees. Pedaling speeds up muscle metabolism, especially in the buttocks, thighs and calves. But not only. The pedal also strengthens the muscles and bones in the back area, thus it is also beneficial for the back.
The more power you pedal, the higher your life expectancy, mainly because you're avoiding cardiovascular disease. A Danish study explains this: for women from 2 to 3 years old and for men from 4 to 5 years old.
How do you train on an exercise bike?
How do you measure training intensity?
In professional cycling, the performance measurement values are power and speed. The first, expressed in watts, is measured by power meters installed on bikes and defines the strict method used to design your courses.
Another important parameter: revolutions per minute, crank revolutions per minute, which corresponds to the speed. And who is not the new Nabali? How can we understand whether our training is effective and safe?
Here's a helpful tip that doesn't rely on advanced training theories: Increase your pedal resistance and at the same time try not to raise your heart rate too much.
Suitable training for beginners
Thanks to its safety, the exercise bike has very few contraindications and can be used even if it is your first time training. The only advice we can give you, for better control, is to use a heart rate monitor for a safer cardio workout. This naturally applies to any type of physical activity, and our advice is not to overdo it and remember to warm up well before exercising and stretch when you're done.
Cycling is a good cardiovascular exercise with many benefits, but it would be a mistake to think that these are instant exercises. Any process is gradual and requires consistency and commitment.
Compared to a treadmill or a strainer, it takes longer to achieve the same results with an exercise bike.
However, to have a good level of physical activity, the ideal situation is to reach for 150 minutes per week, and try to be consistent for at least 3 months.
How do you have good standing on a stationary bike?
There are 5 points of contact on an exercise bike: both hands on the handlebar, both feet on the pedals, and the pelvis on the saddle. Of course, these distances cannot be changed and will vary from person to person, but we can adapt the bike to our morphology.
Incorrect posture can cause problems. For example, a saddle that is too high stresses the quadriceps muscles to follow the rotation of the pedals, causing muscle overload and premature fatigue, not to mention a loss of pedaling efficiency.
Setting up a training bike is definitely easier than setting up a race bike. However, it is a good idea to follow the few rules below:
On the bike: Get on the bike and grab the handlebars. Then place the instep onto the pedals making sure the leg is bent at the lowest position by 5/10 degrees.
On a recumbent bike, find the correct position when both feet on the pedals are almost fully extended and form a 5 to 10 degree angle.
How to choose your exercise bike
There are three models of exercise bike, which can be used depending on the physical condition and the type of exercise to be done. The basic movement is the same, it's basically pedaling, but the execution and placement are different for different reasons. These three models are:
- classic upright bike
- indoor cycling
Classic upright exercise bike
It has the general characteristics and movement of a road bike. The position is closed during the exercise, and the bust is tilted forward, so this model is suitable for performance training.
Comfortable, accessible saddle allows for a more open exercise position. During the movement, your back and shoulders rest on the adjustable backrest and you get adequate support. You can use it with peace of mind regardless of your physical condition.
Professional Indoor Course
This bike features mechanical resistance and a special flywheel that manages the pedal speed. This means that you adjust the intensity of your training with your own pedaling force. It is particularly suitable for intense aerobic training or competition preparation.