Exercise Bikes

Exercise Bikes

The exercise bike has long been a popular CV option in home and gyms but since the advent of studio-based indoor bike classes it’s now more prevalent than ever.


Generally speaking exercise bikes are great to get the heart rate going and tone the lower body, although certain exercises can produce an all-over body workout on a bike. 

 
Don’t forget exercise bikes are a no-impact option so the stress on the ankles, knees and back that you’d experience from an impact activity such as running is completely avoided. Also the movement is continuous and smooth, affording greater control and endurance alongside promoting knee stability (make sure you follow the guidelines and set your bike up correctly).


Most exercise bikes that are designed for home use are compact and portable so if you’re planning to cycle in front of Corrie but don’t want the bike blocking the front room the rest of the time, you should be able to find a model that’s easy to stow.


The real thing to consider is which type to buy, here’s the low down....


Upright  - these offer a sitting position replicating that experienced on a road bike, you can also lean forward although obviously you work your core more in the upright position.


Recumbent – Seats on a recumbent bike are reclined with back support, this obviously rests the abdominals and lower back.  But the revised seating position accesses a greater proportion of your back leg muscles (glutes and hamstrings) while you cycle.


Even the basic models  of the above two typically come with a console with a variety of programmes and resistance levels to suit the novice exerciser, competitive cyclist and even astronauts  - exercise bikes are used in space to offset the decline in cardiovascular fitness brought about by microgravity.  


The exception to this is the indoor cycle, the newest variant on the market which is just like those used in an indoor cycling class. They’re upright but use a chain-driven pedaling system that is closer to a real riding experience. Resistance is set by turning a manual dial and if you can’t motivate yourself, there are some great classes online and available on DVD that you can participate in.  An indoor bike is probably the best choice if you’re a cyclist in training.

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