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Are you dreading the gym but still want a killer lower body? Stationary bikes to the rescue! This easy and convenient alternative to regular cycling offers similar benefits, with a few added in for good measure. Indoor cycling can be done by all exercise enthusiasts – beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This nifty equipment also has varying settings for resistance and speed that you can adjust to best fit your workout. Many of today’s exercise bikes offer several methods for tracking your workouts to better fine tune your routine. This often includes features such as calorie trackers, distance trackers, and more. Read below to learn the benefits of stationary bikes for your legs and how you can achieve what you want out of your indoor biking exercise routine.
If this is your first time using an exercise bike, learn these 8 tips before you start to get the most out of your routine.
Understandably, stationary bikes are an excellent option if you want to build leg strength and endurance. Biking targets most of the muscles in your lower body and can create quite an impact, depending on the resistance settings. If you really want to challenge yourself and build leg strength, try gradually increasing the resistance to a more challenging level, so the muscles can really be worked.
Increasing the difficulty will facilitate building more tension in your legs that leads to the effective building of leg strength. When you exercise for a significant length of time, it invigorates and toughens muscles and acts as effective strength training. The constant contraction and relaxation of muscles while cycling proves to be a strong isotonic exercise. Apart from engaging your lower body, cycling also helps strengthen your core.
If you’re interested in finding a bike for tight spaces, read our review of the Exerpeutic folding upright exercise bike to see if it works for your lifestyle.
If you are looking to shed those extra pounds, your stationary cycle might just be your best bet. Since cycling is an excellent cardio exercise and provides good strength training too, it burns calories at a high rate when compared to many other forms of exercise.
An exercise bike is also one of the most efficient calorie burners because it attacks the fat in two different ways – by burning fat and strengthening muscles. According to Harvard Health Publications, the greater the weight, the more calories are burned off by exercising. If you incorporate cycling into your daily routine, even 20 minutes of the exercise can make a significant impact on your weight in the long run. It is also worth mentioning here that upright bikes tend to burn more calories than recumbent ones, but it often depends on the difficulty the rider sets for their workout.
You might be surprised to know that a stationary bike is one of the most highly recommended equipment to help with rehabilitation, especially after an ankle or knee sprain. Riding an exercise bike is a smooth and gentle activity that keeps your joints moving in a deliberative manner without any shocks or jerks (i.e. jogging). Cycling indoors is low-impact, but you should always consult with your doctor as everyone is different. If you are specifically aiming for improving joint mobility, start by lowering the saddle so you don’t put too much pressure on the joints. Being a very safe and practical sport to do at home, indoor cycling can be a major help in self-rehabilitation.
If you have ever observed the lower body of any competitive riders, you should have a good idea of the toning and sculpting power cycling has in relation to the legs. Exercising on an exercise bike can help you get in shape and tone your legs quickly if done right. The easiest way of toning muscles is, quite obviously, to pedal faster.
If you want to get sleek and shapely legs in a relatively short period of time, try increasing the resistance on your bike to add to the intensity of the workout. Some bikes will have a simple computer interface that would allow you to increase resistance by pressing/touching arrow buttons, and others might have a knob you can turn to change settings. Doing this simulates cycling uphill. However, remember not to continue with a high resistance routine for extended periods or you could strain your knees.
Indoor cycling is known to offer immense benefits to our cardiovascular health in addition to the leg benefits. Your cardiovascular system is made up of the lungs and the heart and the more you exercise, the more efficiently and effectively these organs work.
Cycling will help you get the blood flowing not just in your legs, but throughout the body. When this happens, you are also increasing the rate at which oxygen gets distributed throughout the body. If you exercise regularly, this will greatly improve your overall fitness as well as help you attain your peak physical state. Here, the fitness bike also acts as an excellent way to integrate endurance training in your routine.
Studies suggest that indoor cycling is an efficient way of gaining muscle mass and volume. Cycling regularly will give you well-defined muscles since stationary cycling involves the steady application of force without any shocks. While you are pedaling, the hamstrings and quadriceps present in the thighs are constantly engaged.
The gluteal muscles and calf muscles are also being worked as you pedal, especially against resistance. You should be able to see the results of exercising on a stationary bike after a few weeks of regular and consistent effort. You will start to build muscle mass as your calves, thighs, and buttocks become firmer. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workout will help you gain the required mass and volume over time.
This is especially important for athletes. Indoor cycling is a non-load bearing, low impact exercise which means that your body does not need to support your weight constantly throughout the workout. Since you are working your muscles while seated, the risk of injury to ligaments or joints is reduced.
Your body is not under continual pressure, and you can adjust the difficulty and resistance levels best suited for your workout. This is a major advantage for indoor cycling as compared to other cardio exercises such as running or jogging. By using a stationary bike indoors as opposed to traditional biking outdoors, you enjoy the added benefit of reducing the risk of falling, accidents, and jarring impacts.
If you use your exercise bike for regular workouts, you are bound to see results within a few weeks. It is not only effective in improving lower body shape and fitness but also helps maintain overall health. It is an excellent practice for improving heart and lung health and can even ward off severe illnesses such as diabetes or even Parkinson’s.