From indoor workouts to race training, you will benefit from using different types of exercise bikes. Even if you have no time to hit the gym or cycle outdoors, a stationary bike can extend a helping hand. Before using one, however, it is crucial that you know how it works. This way, you can maximize its benefits. Read on to find out.
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How Do Exercise Bikes Work?
An exercise bike is an indoor fitness equipment. To understand how it works, it is also crucial that you know the different parts of an exercise bike, including the seat, pedals, and handlebars, among others. It works pretty much like a traditional bike, with one major difference – it is stable in its position regardless of how aggressive you pedal.
Different Types, Different Positions
In understanding how an exercise bike works, one of the first things to know is that they are available in various types. The kind of the bike that you will choose will dictate the position of your body, which will also impact your overall workout experience.
If you want to mimic the natural riding position when you are cycling, you should have the best upright exercise bikes. They will let you sit with your back straight and the pedals are directly below your body. On the other hand, if you want something that is more comfortable, then you should go for the best recumbent exercise bikes. It has a backrest, and the pedals are in front of your body, which will contribute to a more relaxed and comfortable riding position. Meanwhile, there are also mini exercise bikes or pedal exercisers. They do not have a seat, handlebar, or any other part you will traditionally find in a stationary bike. Instead, it has a base and pedals. You can use it under the desk to pedal with your feet or on the top of the table for arm exercises.
The Impact of Resistance
Another important concept that you must understand is the types of resistance on exercise bikes. This will impact the effort that you will exert when cycling, and hence, directly affecting the overall intensity of the workout.
A lot of the exercise bikes will have a flywheel-based resistance. The flywheel is a mechanical component of a bike responsible for the storage of mechanical energy. It is a heavy metal disk, which acts as the wheel of the bike. A flywheel attaches to the pedal of the exercise bike through a chain or belt. This means that every time you pedal, the flywheel rotates. The faster you pedal, the quicker the flywheel moves, which also means that the more intense the exercise is.
Aside from a flywheel-based resistance, you will also find bikes with air and magnetic resistance. Some will have a fan, which makes the bike large. The fan circulates as you pedal. As with other types of resistance, pedaling faster means that the resistance is more intense.
A Whole Body Workout
Some people might assume that an exercise bike works out only the legs. That isn’t true. It is a great fitness equipment because it targets the different parts of your body. The more intense the exercise is, the more effort your body will use, and hence, the more effective it will be in achieving your fitness goals.
As mentioned, riding an exercise bike will work out mostly your legs, specifically your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves. It will get your leg pumping, making your lower body stronger.
In addition, cycling in an indoor bike will also improve your core. When you are using an upright bike, the abdominal muscles tighten, which will help you maintain the right form and have excellent control. Drawing in your stomach on your spine is crucial to make an exercise bike more beneficial for your core.
More so, it is also effective in upper body conditioning. An exercise bike will help in having stronger arms. There are also bikes with removable handlebars, which will let you work out like you are rowing. Meanwhile, some handlebars will move along with your body, which will contribute to your arm exercise.
When you use an exercise bike, you will also be working on your cardiovascular fitness. Many best recumbent bikes for seniors will have built-in sensors, which will come in handy when monitoring your heartrate. With the latter, you can monitor how fast your heart is beating, which is also reflective of the intensity of the workout that you are doing. Make sure that you know your heartrate target zone to avoid putting too much stress on your body.
In sum, learning the fundamentals of how exercise bike works entails the need to understand many things. For instance, you should know the type of the bike, as well as the resistance that it has. More so, you must also now the different parts of your body that the exercise bike targets.