Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise, and with a good stationary bike workout you can get the benefits of cycling without having to face inclement weather. Stationary bikes can provide a great cardio workout that also includes resistance training and muscle strengthening. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating the perfect stationary bike workout. Learn how you can burn extra calories in the comfort of your own home.
Finding The Right Stationary Bike For Your Workout
The workout you create may vary a little bit depending on the type of stationary bike you own in terms of movements, but not in terms of the length of the workout or the intensity of the workout.
Recumbent stationary bikes will put emphasis on different portions of your leg muscles than upright stationary bikes. A portable stationary bike, or mini exercise bike, will sometimes provide you with additional workout options, like working your arms for example.
As you create your workout routine consider the type of bike you own. Or if you will be shopping for stationary bikes consider the type of stationary bike that would provide you the ideal workout for you in terms of muscles worked and comfort.
Another option is to use an indoor stationary bike stand or indoor bike trainer to ride your road bike indoors. If you really prefer riding outside and you love your outdoor bike, but you want an indoor option as well for certain times, or if you are training, a stationary bike stand might be a great fit for you. These indoor bike trainers allow you to ride your bicycle indoors.
Building Your Stationary Bike Workout
Each workout should begin with a warm-up. You want to loosen muscles and joints in preparation for higher intensity work. Set your upright or recumbent stationary bike to a low tension level and warm up with lower RPM’s. Figure that 10 – 15% of your workout should be spent in your warm-up. So for a 30 minute ride, plan on spending 3-5 minutes warming up.
After the warm-up, it’s time to kick it up a notch. You have a few options for how to build the more intense portion of the workout. Here are some suggestions:
- Fat burn – By modifying the tension of your upright stationary bike, or increasing the RPM’s so that you maintain a 65% of maximum heart rate, you’re more likely to burn fat during your workout.
- Interval training – If you’d like to increase your overall fitness, interval training is the way to go. Try pedaling at 65% of maximum heart rate for 3 minutes, then upping it to 85% of maximum for 2 minutes. Continue to alternate for 20 minutes. You can increase the length of the higher intensity intervals as your fitness improves.
- Muscle targeting – No matter what kind of bike you have, whether it’s a portable model or a Schwinn Airdyne, you can change up your routine to target different muscles. Simply changing the way you place your foot on the pedal can change the way the muscles are impacted. If you have an upright bike, try doing a standing pedal for a portion of the routine. Just changing the way you do your pedaling can target different muscle groups.
After your higher intensity portion of the workout, remember to cool down. Spend at least 5 minutes bringing your heart rate down. Once your heart rate hits 115 or so, it’s safe to end your workout.
A great stationary bike workout should be followed by a good stretching routine to lengthen your muscles. Done regularly, working out with stationary bikes is sure to bring great health rewards._____________________________________