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A stationary bike is an exercise bike that has been in use for years. This bike provides the best indoor, low impact, high-intensity cardiovascular workout. It helps in building strength and endurance.
A stationary bike is similar to the regular outdoor bike but it lacks wheels.
Types of stationary bikes :
Stationary bikes can be of different types. They are
How to use a stationary bike?
A question that is – how to use stationary bike? may come in your mind. Let’s see how can we use it.
Choosing a stationary bike :
At first, it is most important to choose the right stationary bike for you. You can choose any type of bike. But as per my suggestion, you can try an upright bike or a recumbent bike. The upright bike is just like riding a regular outdoor bicycle. And the recumbent bike lets you pedal with your legs in front of you by letting you lean back.
After choosing which bike you want to buy, measure the space available in your room. If you have a lot of room in your house, then you can choose an electronic bike otherwise you can choose a manual bike. The manual bikes are much smaller than the electronic bike.
Also, don’t forget to take your budget into account. After all, it is the main thing. Electronic bikes are very expensive. If you have money issues and can’t afford the electric bike, then you can choose the manual one. You can also buy a used electric bike if you want.
The stationary bike setup :
Before knowing how to use a stationary bike? we have to know about the bike setup. As it is also a part of how to use the stationary bike?
Bike adjustment :
Set up your riding position carefully and properly. Because your pedaling efficiency and comfort depend on your riding position. The stationary bike allows you to move the seat forward or backward or change the angle of the seat. It also allows the adjustment of the handlebar and saddle height. Make these adjustments according to your comfort level.
The saddle angle adjustment :
Adjust the seat angle so that it supports your full body weight. And it also allows you to move around on the seat when necessary.
The seat height adjustment :
Make the seat adjustment so that it is right for you. Your knees should be slightly bent about 5 to 10 degrees when your front leg is fully extended.
The seat fore or aft position adjustment :
The seat of the bike can be adjusted forward or backward. When your feet are on the pedals, keep your forward knee directly over the pedal axle. Keep your legs slightly bend when your pedal is at the lowest position. Don’t force your hips to pedal. Make sure your knees don’t feel crunched while they are at the top of the pedal stroke. Don’t try to flex your foot or point your toes to stay in contact with the pedal.
Adjust the seat forward and back in the recumbent bike, rather than up and back.
The handlebars adjustment :
Adjust the handlebars in such a way that you can grip them without leaning forward. And for this, your elbows should be bent slightly. That is, adjust the handlebars in a way that you can hold the bar as your arm extend out at the shoulder level.
You can get neck, shoulder, back or hand pain If your handlebars are too high, too low, too close or too far away. By raising the handlebars higher you can reduce the neck and lower back stress. You can also change the handle bar’s width and height.
The adjustment of handlebars is especially for those who are very tall or very short.
The pedal clips or straps adjustment :
The stationary bike has a strap that can hold your feet in place on the pedal. Pedaling with a pedal strap is more comfortable and efficient. The spin bikes have clip in pedals. This allows the cyclist to use their cycling shoes and cleats to clip right in the pedals for a secure fit. Having your feet strapped into the pedals creates a smooth and efficient pedal stroke. It is created by allowing you to push down and pull up on the pedals in a circular motion. But keep a little space between your shoes and the top of the strap. Make the strap close fitting enough so that your feet don’t pull them out accidently.
The resistance adjustment :
After setting up the bike, now you can control your workout intensity, resistance, and speed manually. You can also try several programs offered by the bikes.
Adjust the resistance so that you work hard enough to sweat. For the interval training, adjust the resistance at times when needed.
The display panel :
Check how many levels the bike has. Some bikes have 14 levels, some have 40. Also, check how many revolutions per minute or rpm you are cycling.
Body positioning while using the stationary bike :
To avoid unnecessary twisting of your body during the workout, keep your abs engaged and hips centered over the seat. The effectiveness of your workout can be affected by poor postures. It can also increase the risk of injury.
Climb up the bike and grab the handlebar. Then place the feet on the pedals. Be sure that one of your lower legs is bent 5 to 10 degrees. Adjust the seat as necessary. Then tighten your pedal strap.
Grip the handlebars lightly with your entire hand to avoid strain to maintain a good cycling form. And also keep your arms bent a bit slightly at about a 15 degree angle. While you are pedaling, be sure to make a complete cycle by pushing down and pulling up the pedals. Adjust the resistance in a way that is challenging for you. Make sure to adjust the bike and body position properly.
Don’t overuse the cycling. Overusing can cause tendonitis, calf and quadriceps muscle strain and back pain.
Using the stationary bike :
- Try to wear padded bike shorts or use a gel pad on the seat to make the cycling comfortable.
- While cycling doesn’t move your ankles. Paddles smoothly without bouncing up and down the seat.
- Many stationary bikes have preprogrammed options. This makes the bike easy to work out for beginners.
- You can also join cycling classes for the proper guided workout.
- You can hire a trainer if you are working out from home. The trainer can help you with setting up the intervals for you.
Posture for using the stationary bike :
Posture 1 :
Adjust the seat in a way that it reaches up to your hip. In this position, your knees must bend slightly. Apply all your effort from your legs and torso while cycling. And keep the shoulder relaxed.
Posture 2 :
In this position, set the resistance of the bike high, so that your legs remain in control. When you are cycling, lift your buttocks off the seat and keep your back straight. Keep your shoulder relaxed.
Posture 3 :
In this position, adjust the seat in a way that it reaches up to your hip. Bent your knees a bit. Start pedaling using your legs. Increase the resistance slowly. Lift your buttocks off the seat of your bike and at the same time move your hands further up to the bike. Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.
Stationary bike workout for beginners :
Before starting working out do 5 to 10 minutes warm up. Start working out slowly and increase speed and resistance. At the end of the workout, slow down and decrease the resistance slowly and do a 5 to 10 minutes cool down.
You can listen to music or watch TV or Netflix to keep you entertained while working out.
If you have an electronic bike take advantage of the available programs. Choose how long you want to exercise, monitor your heart rate and set the resistance level.
The stationary bike workout plan:
Steady state workout :
You can do a steady state workout if you want. Steady state workout is working out with a constant intensity for a constant time.
Select the intensity level and time and start working out.
Interval workout :
Interval working out is working out by changing the intensity for different times. Interval working out is better than a steady state workout.
For example :
10 minutes of hill climbing interval:
- 1 minute hill climbing @RPE 8 to 9
- 1 minute easy riding @RPE 3 to 4
15 minutes of speed interval training :
- 2 minutes @RPE 9 to 10
- 1 minute @RPE 4 to 5
This way repeat the pedaling 5 times.
Tabata workout :
In this workout, you can do 20 seconds of workout with an RPE of 8 to 10. Then do the pedaling at moderate intensity.
Note: The full form of RPE is the rate of perceived exertion. It is your workout intensity measuring from 0 to 10.
HIIT workout :
HIIT workout is another type of interval workout. It is a method of 10 – 20 – 30 interval training. In this workout, 1 minute is divided into 30, 20, and 10 seconds at various intensity.
You can also set up your own workout program. Adjust your own resistance and intensity level manually.
Injuries prevention while using the stationary bike:
Cycling on a stationary bike is a safe workout, but using it in the wrong way can cause muscle pain and injuries. To avoid injuring while exercising, you need to keep certain things in mind. To avoid injuring here are some using technique of some common body parts are discussed.
You can get knee pain if :
- The seat is too high
- The seat is too low
- The seat is too forward
- The foot position on the pedal is improper.
- The gear is too high.
Pain in the knee indicates that the seat is not in the correct position. If the pain is in the back of the knee, lower the seat. If the pain is in the front, raise the seat.
Another common cycling problem is neck pain. Neck pain is the result of cycling a bike that is too long or if the handlebars are too low. Neck pain also can be caused by tight hamstring and hip flexor muscles. They create pain by forcing the spine to round and your neck to hyperextend.
The result of wearing soft – soled shoes often causes foot pain. For this, there are special shoes designed for cycling. These shoes have stiff soles that distribute pressure evenly over the pedal. These shoes also help you pedal more efficiently. Also using too high a gear can cause foot pain. Also, check if your shoe straps are too tight or not, as this can also cause foot pain.
Most importantly, don’t pedal with your toes. This can cause foot and calf cramps.
You can get back pain if your saddle is too higher than the handle bars. The tight hamstring can also cause back pain.
You can get pain in hands if your handlebars are too low. To avoid hand pain, raise your handlebars or use hand gloves. You can also use padded handlebar tape.
Sore butt :
If your saddle is too high or your seat is too wide, you can get a sore butt. You can also get sore butt if you are rocking side to side at the bottom of each stroke. Adjust the saddle and use cycling shorts to avoid butt injury. You can also use gel seat covers.
If you are a beginner, consult a doctor before starting a workout and check your health. And also if you face the above problems don’t forget to visit the physician or doctor.
Is a stationary bike a good workout?
Yes of course. The stationary bike has many benefits. Some benefits are listed below:
- Lose weight
- Keeps joint active
- Burns fat
- Improves heart
- Increases brain functionality
- Improves lungs
- Increase life expectancy
- Boost cardio fitness
- Strengthen the legs and muscles.
- Low impact workout
- Reduces diabetes
- Lowers level of cholesterol
- Reduces Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Keeps you healthy and fit
- Helps you live longer
Hope you have got your answer for – how to use the stationary bike? The stationary bike is very useful for losing weight. It keeps the body healthy and fit. It also helps you live longer.
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