An exercise bike is a popular indoor exercise equipment that offers low-impact, high intensity cardiovascular workout. It also helps promote strength and endurance. There are people, however, particularly the beginners, who struggle with using an exercise bike. If you are a newbie, who wants to try spinning, here are some tricks on how to use an exercise bike.
Essential Tricks for Using an Exercise Bike
- Have the appropriate shoes. There are actually no special shoes, as any regular bike shoes are fine. Running shoes will also do.
- Adjust the seat angle. The seat angle should be even so it can support your full body weight and allow you to move around on the seat when needed. A too much downward tilt will make you slide forward while riding. It also puts added pressure on your hands, arms and legs, making you prone to injury. A too much upward tilt results to pressure points.
- Adjust the seat height. An appropriate seat height will give you a comfortable riding position. Know your seat height by standing next to the bike. It should be on the same level as your hip bone. A seat that is too low will put too much pressure on your knees, making them sore, while a too high seat will make your leg to overextend and to pull something.
- Ensure that the seats will make you comfortable while cycling. This is especially true if you plan to use the exercise bike for an extended period of time. If you do, buy a bike seat cushion that is available in your local sporting goods store.
- Adjust the distance between the handlebars and the seat. The distance between the two should match the length of your forearm. To check this, place your elbow at the very sharp end of the seat. Your fingertips should hardly touch the front of the bike or the middle part of the handlebars.
- Adjust the height of the handlebars. They should be higher that the seat and not too far away to avoid any tension or strain in your lower back. Find a level that is comfortable for you. A comfortable level should allow you to reach forward, bend at the lower back and hips to reach the handlebar.
- Warm up before cycling on your exercise bike. A good warm up increases the flow of blood to the working muscles that reduces muscle stiffness, improves performance and prevents the risk of injury.
- Adjust the straps or clips. The straps keep your feet in place on the pedals while you push down and pull up on the pedals in a circular motion. This creates a smooth and efficient pedal stroke.
- Adjust the resistance. You can do this manually to control the intensity of the workout, resistance and speed. Exercise bikes feature several programs to help you adjust the resistance, so check your bike’s manual. Adding resistance imitates hills and inclines, engaging your glutes and hamstrings compared with light resistance.
- Pedal using with very little ankle movement. Focus on how your knees and legs feel. Your knee should be approximately at 90-degree angle as you bring it up. Your knee should be slightly bent when your leg is fully extended. Adjust the seat up, down, back or forward if there is tension in your knees to get a more comfortable position. For a better ride, push down and pull up on the pedals.
- Ensure to keep your feet flat while pedaling. Do not hunch your back. Your back should be flat as you reach forward to the handlebars. To increase resistance, rotate the control knob to the right.
- Make sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged to support your back. This will prevent you from getting lower back pain when using the exercise bike.
- Do not lean on the handlebars. They are not there to support your weight, but help you keep your balance. To have a good workout, put your weight on your legs.
- Keep your butt suspended over the seat to keep your weight in your lower body. Release the tension in your shoulders, arms and back. Your shoulders should be relaxed; arms should be loose, while elbows should be soft and bent. Avoid putting your shoulders up to your ears.
- Use your abs to pull yourself up and not your hands when you do sprints. (Sprints refer to the quick sitting and standing in and out of the seat while pedaling.)
- Put some resistance on the bike, especially when standing. Just put the needed pressure, though, to make you comfortable.
- Keep at your own pace. Do not rush. Take your time and gradually increase the resistance if needed. Remember that indoor cycling with an exercise bike is not a competition or a race. It should give you pleasure while achieving your fitness goal.
- Use exercise mat: And you should use the exercise bike mat to protect the floor.
Ensure to have the proper bike set up so you can get the full benefits offered by an exercise bike. This will also help reduce the risk of injury.
Exercise bikes are designed to fit all sizes, shapes and abilities. Remember to used safely and effectively the exercise bike. Because The health is number one!