Ready to jump on your home exercise bike? Before you do, it’s important to know how to use an exercise bike the right way. When used improperly, you’ll reduce your overall results and may even cause injury to your knees. If you’re older, you can also add in aches and pains because your bike wasn’t properly setup for you.
Let’s take a look on how to use a bike the right way starting with the basic setup.
Make the Right Adjustments
Making the right adjustments will allow you to pedal fast, hard and without worrying about posture or too much pressure on the joints.
- Seat: The height of your set is very Improper height can put strain on your hips and knees when pedaling. You’ll want a height that ensures your legs are slightly bent when pedaling. You never want your legs to be fully bent or fully straight.
- Handlebars: Some bikes will offer handlebar adjustments. You’ll want to choose a position that enables your arms to be fully extended when grasping the bars.
These two adjustments will ensure that you can maintain proper posture when riding.
If you don’t maintain the right posture, you may cause strain on your muscles or not be able to perform to your maximum level. So, how should you be sitting? It depends.
- Feet: Your feet need to be in the proper position. Don’t pedal with your toes. Instead, you want a flat foot that will allow for equal distribution of pressure on the pedals.
- Back Posture: Your back should be straight. You shouldn’t hunch over to grab the handlebars or pedal. If you do, you’re putting excess pressure on your back and neck, which will lead to pain.
Foot straps should be snug and ensure that your foot doesn’t slip on the pedals. If you maintain proper form, you’ll be building the right muscles while avoiding unnecessary aches and pains.
Note: Always wear a good sneaker when pedaling. You want to be able to maintain good posture and perfect form, so never opt for barefoot cycling.
Now that you’ve made adjustments and fixed your posture, you’re ready to begin your workout. This will be different on every exercise bike, but there are two key elements that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with at this time.
- Resistance: Adjusting the resistance level during your session will help you build muscle and burn fat. Adjustment knobs are usually located underneath the on-board display. However, some bikes will have resistance levels changed on the display itself.
- On-board Display: An on-board display will be seen on most This display will list some important metrics, such as:
- Calories Burned
- Resistance (optional)
- Pulse (optional)
These settings are very important to know and understand. Resistance and pulse may not be included.
Once you understand your display and resistance, you’ll want to follow some of the best practices to ensure that you’re going to reach your exercise goals:
- Cycle at least 3 times per week to boost stamina.
- Cycle 4 – 5 times a week or more for weight loss.
- Aim for sessions of at least 30 minutes, but no more than 60.
- Alternate between weight training and cycling days for maximum results.
Now, it’s up to you to forge a good workout to achieve the results you want to see. Ideally, a workout will include:
- Strength Building: You can further build your leg strength by adjusting resistance levels on your bike.
- Stamina: Long, steady workouts at the same speed help boost stamina.
- Fat Loss: A mix of sprint speeds and resistance adjustments will maximize fat loss.
Adjusting your workout to meet your needs will ensure that you see results.