How to Ride an Exercise Bike

Thứ Sáu, 25/03/2016, 15:29 GMT+7

Riding a stationary exercise bike is an effective way to get your cardiovascular workout in, either at home or in the gym. Exercise bikes also strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves. You’ll find stationary exercise bikes in upright and recumbent models. Upright and recumbent bikes will typically have an electronic readout that guides you through your workout. There are also statonary bikes, used for group indoor cycling classes, guided by an instructor.

How to Ride an Exercise Bike

How to Ride an Exercise Bike

Step 1

Sit down on the exercise bike and place your heels on the exercise bike pedals. Check that each leg is completely straight, with knees fully extended when its pedal is in the position furthest away from you. If so, the seat is in the proper position. If not, adjust the bike seat either up or down (on a standard stationary bike) or forward or back (on a recumbent) until your knees are fully extended when your heels are on the bike pedals.

Step 2

Place the balls of your feet on the bike pedals; this is your standard riding position. Pedal briefly to check your positioning; if you adjusted the bike seat as directed in Step 1 you should now have a slight bend in each knee when that foot's pedal is at the furthest point from you in the cycling motion.

Step 3

Sit up straight. Think of tucking your chin back, keeping your shoulder blades squeezed down and back, and bringing your belly button back toward your spine. Grip the bike handlebars lightly, if at all.

Step 4

Pedal slowly, with even pressure, to power up the bike’s console. Press “Quick Start” for immediate access to the controls, or select a pre-programmed training option, if available, for an extra challenge.

Step 5

Pedal slowly for the first 5 to 10 minutes of your workout. This is called a warm up and allows your body time to adapt to being in a state of motion, decreasing your chance of injury. Most pre-programmed exercise routines will prompt you to do a warm up; if you’re using the Quick Start option you’ll have to watch the timer and monitor yourself; just remember to take it easy for the first 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6

Grasp the silver heart rate monitors, if present, to allow the machine to monitor your heart rate. The machine will prompt you to pedal faster or slower to keep your heart rate in the ideal range; most beginners will want to begin working at about 70 percent of their maximum heart rate (as displayed on the bike’s readout). As your fitness improves, you will be able to work out at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Step 7

Continue pedaling for at least 10 minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 150 minutes (30 minutes, 5 days a week) of aerobic activity every week; but if you can’t pedal for 30 minutes at a time, whether because of health or time considerations, it’s okay to break those 30 minutes down into 10-minute sessions.

Step 8

Cool down, just as you warmed up, by pedaling slowly for the last 5 to 10 minutes of your workout. This helps your body adapt back to a state of rest.

>> Read more: US READY - The American's No1 Manufacturer of Bicycle exercise machine

How to Use the Stationary Bike

If you’ve never tried a stationary bike, you’re missing out on a fantastic cardio exercise that strengthens your legs and lungs at the same time. A stationary bike is a low-impact option that's easy on your joints.

How to Use the Stationary Bike

How to Use the Stationary Bike

Types of Bikes

Not all stationary bikes are alike. There are two main types, an upright bike and a recumbent bike:

  • The first option, an upright bike, is like a regular bicycle (your legs extend below your torso and your back is not supported), only stationary.
  • Recumbent bikes offer a more relaxed, supported sitting position. Like a chair, they have seat backs to support your back, and instead of pedaling below, your legs usually extend in front of you.

The set - up

Proper bike set-up will give you an effective workout and reduce your risk of injury. Adjusting a bike to fit you usually involves three to four variables:

  • Seat height: On an upright bike, start by adjusting your seat to about the height of your hip. Have a seat, placing your feet on/into the pedals. With one leg fully extended (foot flat and parallel to the floor), you should have only a small bend in your knee—about 5-10 degrees. You should be able to pedal comfortably without having to point or flex your feet to reach full extension. Adjust your seat again if necessary to reach this position. On a recumbent bike, your legs should almost extend fully, keeping a small bend in the knee. Recumbent bike seats adjust forward and backward along a track.
  • Seat fore & aft (for upright bikes): Once you have adjusted your seat to proper height, some bikes allow you to move the seat forward and backward for a more comfortable position. When pedaling, your knees should be closely aligned with your ankles. If your knees are coming forward close to your toes or beyond, adjust the seat backward.
  • Handlebar height (for upright bikes): Adjust the handlebars so that you are in a comfortable position. Raising the handlebars higher will alleviate lower back stress that occurs when you learn forward. You should be able to reach the handlebars easily, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Foot straps: Most bikes have straps that you can place your feet into when pedaling. Take advantage of this feature, which allows you to both push and pull the pedals, creating a much more efficient pedal stroke. The straps should fit snugly but not too tightly.

The Workout

Once you're set-up, you can manually control your workout incline, resistance, and speed, or you can try one of several programs that bikes offer. Adding resistance simulates hills and inclines, and engages your hamstrings and glutes more than riding with light resistance. Pedal with very little ankle movement, and remember to both push and pull up on the pedals for a better ride.

Tags: Exercise Bike, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, statonary bikes, bike pedals, Bicycle exercise machine
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