What is an exercise bike good for?

  • Cardio
  • Aerobic
  • Lower body
  • Calorie burning
  • Low impact

What exactly is an exercise bike ?

An exercise bike is a stationary bike that allows for cycling indoors and in a small area, excellent for when the weather outside is bad.

Exercise bikes can provide excellent cardiovascular exercise and have low impact on joints. They have resistance to stiffen the pedalling to mimic riding uphill, controlled by a weighted fly-wheel and some kind of braking mechanism. Often they will include a computer that records speed, distance travelled and calories burnt and some can automatically change the resistance for a varied ride.

Exercise bike workout techniques

Exercise bikes can be used everyday, but because they only use the lower body the should be part of wider workout routine, to incorporate the upper body.

A minimum of 10 minutes per session can provide aerobic benefits and because it is a low impact form of exercise it can be useful for anyone that has joint problems such as arthritis.

Exercise bike varieties

Recumbent bike – this bike is different to the standard upright bike in that the pedals are in front of the seat, at the same level, whereas the upright the pedals are below the seat, as in a standard bike. The seat on a recumbent bike normally has a back which makes it a lot more comfortable to use, especially for those with bad backs.

Direct contact resistance – this braking mechanism places material, usually felt against the flywheel to provide resistance. It can be noisier and does eventually wear out.

Magnetic resistance – magnets are used to slow the flywheel and produce resistance. It is quieter ad longer lasting than other methods.

Fan resistance – this provides a fan that use air for the resistance, with the faster you pedal the harder it is. It does provide a seamless method of transitioning between low and high resistance so is ideal for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

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