When you first start out an exercise program, it’s important to find something that you enjoy doing, but that is easy as well. This makes sticking to an exercise program much easier. That’s why a stationary bike is such a fantastic choice, particularly for people who are novice exercisers or for people who have injuries or problems with their back, knees or. A stationary bike is easier on the joints as opposed to using a treadmill or going for a run on asphalt.
Another huge advantage of using a stationary bike is that it’s much easier to fit into a home. I know many friends who live in small apartments in NYC and it’s much more space conscientious to put in a bike as opposed to an elliptical machine. Being that they fit more easily in the home, you can get your cardio routine in without having to worry about poor weather or not belonging to a gym.
Another advantage of having an exercise bike within the home is that you can exercise while watching television, you can do it at any time that’s convenient for you, and you don’t have to worry about looking good for the gym! Using the exercise bike is still a great way to burn calories, while allowing you to condition your heart, lower body and stamina for more intense cardio routines in the future.
There are a few basic types of routines that you can incorporate into your bike riding workout.
This is great for novices as it will help in providing you with a solid cardiovascular foundation. The goal with a cadence ride is to maintain the same effort and pace throughout the duration of your workout without making any major adjustments to your resistance level. You’ll want to aim for around 80 to 100 RPM (Rotations Per Minute). To figure out your cadence, count how many times you are able to pedal in 15 seconds and then multiple the number by 4.
This routine is ideal for more experienced exercisers and can be used as a standalone move or part of a high intensity interval training program. By training at a higher intensity, you’ll train your muscles to move faster and with great efficiency, as well as burn more calories. While a fast cadence is what defines a sprint, you’ll want to look at adding resistance to the routine as well.
If you’ve ever taken a spin class, you’ll see this move frequently. To simulate a hill climb, you’ll want to keep increasing the resistance to the point where your cadence drops to about 60 – 80 RPM. You may even want to alternate between sitting and standing (assuming that you are able to do so on your stationary bike).
Now that you know a few moves, it’s time to figure out an ideal program for yourself. As a beginner, I would find recommend that you train for approximately 30 minutes doing a steady cadence aiming for heart rate to be at 65% – 70% of your maximum heart rate during the entire ride. Make sure to do a 5 minute warm up as well as a 5 minute cool down. You may also want to do some stretching at the end of your routine to ensure that you keep your leg muscles from getting tight.
Once you become more advanced, I would recommend looking at high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a great way of burning calories while minimizing the amount of time you need to do cardio. It’ll also greatly improve your endurance capabilities. With interval training, you’ll want to incorporate bursts of short, but intense activity followed by a more moderate pace to allow yourself to recover. With a stationary bike, to increase your intensity, you’ll want to look at now only pedaling faster but at increasing the resistance as well. Your sprints should be at 110+ RPM, using your maximum resistance, while your recovery should be closer to 80 RPM.
If you’re just starting out with HIIT, you may want to look at a ratio or 1:4, where you sprint for 15 seconds, followed by a 45 second recovery. You’ll want to work your fitness level to a ratio of 1:2 or even 1:1 in terms of sprint:recovery. You’ll also want to increase the duration of your sprints, getting up to 1 or 2 minute sprints.
Regardless of where you use a stationary bike, whether it’s at home or at the gym, it’s a fantastic way to start getting yourself into shape or for those people who may have lower back issues or joint problems. As a beginner, remember to start out slowly and then work your way up to more intense training.