Whether you are looking to build muscle or burn fat, there are many stationary bike benefits you should understand.
The stationary bike is often seen as just a useful piece of equipment for pumping out some calories at the end of your workout, or nice and relaxing way to warm up. Although these two uses are very true, you can do a whole lot more with a statuary bike with the proper understanding.
Depending on use, the stationary bike has the ability to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance, as well as actually increase muscle size! Believe me, it’s true!
With innovation at hand, many stationary bikes are now foldable; making them less bulky and easy to put almost anywhere.
Some of them now have unique “virtual” features that will make it very interesting experience to train on! Stationary bikes provide a great platform for you to exercise your body conveniently.
Combine the traditional and well known uses with these extra ones I will provide for you and build your body better than ever with just one piece of equipment! They are not difficult to learn, and they can serve as a great tool for burning calories amongst many other benefits!
Stationary Bike Benefits
There are several advantages of using a stationary bike when compared to traditional biking as well as other forms of cardio; you can find some of the unique benefits below:
Low Impact on Your Joints
There is an immediately seen benefit of less impact on your joints when training on a stationary bike, making it a great tool for people with arthritis, tendinitis or other forms of limiting injuries or conditions.
In high school when I first began suffering from chronic tendinitis in my knees, I did nearly all of my cardio on the stationary bicycle.
When recovering from my two foot surgeries in college as well as a multitude of other injuries, I again turned to the stationary bicycle to stay in shape.
Needless to say, it does not replace the cardio of a basketball game or practice; but it does pretty well, especially while injured!
Excellent for Sport-Specific Conditioning
It enhances sport performance and overall conditioning because it is loaded with tools that will enable you to measure your performance while training.
For example, burning more “calories” on the bicycle in a given amount of time will ultimately show you that you are in better physical condition! Personally, I have always suffered from chronic asthma.
One of the ways in which I can consistently and easily tell how much oxygen my body is able to process at the current time is through Tabata sprints on the stationary bicycle.
I strongly believe in this because doing Tabata workouts on the bicycle is not effected by almost anything except oxygen uptake and total-body conditioning.
Meaning, joint stress, central nervous system fatigue, and muscle power are all not really limiting factors.
Muscle power is actually a factor in a way, but this is also congruent with total body conditioning.
As long as I am using the same type of stationary bicycle for each workout, I can easily judge my level of conditioning by the amount of calories I am able to record on the bicycle during a Tabata interval workout.
It works for me and generally holds true for most people!
A Great Way to Improve Your Conditioning After an Injury
It is also a great way to get back to shape after an injury because it is safe to use and has a low impact on your joints.
This is relatively self-explanatory and is a little different from my previous statement in that one of the more difficult aspects form coming off an injury is working your body to the point you can return to your prior activities.
The stationary bicycle is nice because you can push your body in multiple ways, as well as not risk re-injury very much!
It is Very Easy to Learn How to Use a Stationary Bike, so Anyone Can Do It!
It is quite easy to use and there are several features that will enable you enjoy your workout, as some stationary bicycles now come with virtual bicycle trails that actually have you adapting to different undulations in the world!
On any stationary bicycle there is always the option to increase the resistance level, but these new interactive bicycles make the experience more fun than ever!
Pre-Programmed Training Options
You will have access to several workout programs that have been installed on the stationary bikes, you can also follow along with the advice of a personal trainer. This gives you more options on how to train, and options are always good!
One of the Most Efficient Ways to Burn Calories and Fat Overall!
Stationary bikes provide a great and easy way to lose weight, as you can efficiently burn calories and increase your metabolism regardless of weather conditions! Bicycling outside is awesome, but not when the weather isn’t conducive! Stationary bicycles do not have this problem!
Learn More: How to Lose Weight Fast for Men
Building Muscle Mass – What Muscles Does a Stationary Bike Work?
The quadriceps and gluteal muscles are the main muscles for cycling, while the hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and shin muscles also assist in pedaling the bike. These are truly huge muscle groups in your body.
Many often used forms of cardio are naturally catabolic (muscle eating), and are relatively bad for anyone looking to build a muscular and fit physique. I actually highly recommend against many of them.
Since you need to exert energy to enable your quadriceps pedal the bike, increasing the resistance of the stationary bike will cause the legs to work more and lead to an increase in the development of your muscles.
Not only is this great for the size of your muscles, but will also benefit you in defining the shape of your leg muscles!
Fan Bike vs Spin Bike – Which is the Best Stationary Bike?
Remember the old stationary bikes of the past? What was called an “Airdyne” bike is not the only bike out there that is still popular to this day.
There are plenty of gems full of fan bikes in their cross fit section of training, but even though they are still widely used, the spin bike has come into play and provides a different workout experience that is not only more realistic, but also an excellent option when it comes to cross training and cardiovascular workout.
Today we’re going to pit fan bikes vs. spin bikes, and see which one of these awesome exercise machines comes out on top to provide you the better experience.
Fan Bike Benefits
One of the most common benefits is that it offers a way if positioned properly to keep cool while you’re using the bike. That, and many older fan bikes can actually be adjustable when it comes to resistance as well.
Not only that, but fan bikes have “elliptical-like” handlebars that allow you to push and pull so you get a workout from more than just your legs.
You don’t get this with a spin bike. Therefore, when it comes to core training, the fan bike is more of a prized possession and can do a lot more for your entire body at once, including getting a higher cardio workout.
Fan Bike Cons
Here are some bad things that make the fan bike a little less of an adversary when it comes to numerous issues that don’t compare, especially with home use:
- Fan bikes are a lot more dangerous because of the open-caged fan spinning at high speeds.
- Fan style exercise bikes are ten times louder and can drown out noises that you may need to hear.
- Fan bikes are limited to how much resistance you can achieve.
- Fan Bikes can give you more of a workout than you desire.
- Fan bikes take up a lot more space than a spin bike.
Spin Bike Benefits
The spin bike is literally like riding a bicycle on the road. You actually get a high quality cardio workout that you would get if you were literally riding a cross fit mountain bike. While you aren’t training your entire core completely, you can get a lot of pedaling motion, as well as have better resistance.
Instead of pulling a chain which can get caught on a lot of things, spin bikes use a heavy flywheel operation and a brake system which can increase or decrease resistance for your desired workout.
This is something you are normally limited with when it comes to fan bikes.
Spin Bike Cons
Of course, we have to make this even, so here’s some negatives about spin bikes:
- Spin bikes don’t help you keep as cool as fan bikes can.
- You have to set your resistance to what you want constantly.
- You burn less calories with a spin bike than with a fan bike.
- Spin bikes are more expensive.
What is the Best Stationary Bike Workout Routine?
Some indoor cycling programs recommend a resistance that will not allow you to pedal the stationary bike beyond 60 pedal revolutions per minute, this has some impressive effects on your muscle-growth potential.
One of the most intense cardio workouts I have ever attempted is 5 minutes of continuous pedaling with a resistance that does not allow you to fall below 45 RPMs or go above 60 RPMs.
I did this during the summer years ago with one of my friends at Marist who played football there, and we both were absolutely smoked!
Our legs grew and our speed on the court/field improved as well!
Another one of my favorite ways to train on the stationary bicycle is by using intervals of 2 minutes of speed with 1-minute rest, this time with the RPMs between 90 and 100.
This has less potential for muscle growth but will build incredibly strong legs with great muscle endurance, along with shredding fat straight off of your body!
Try this protocol for 20-30 minutes and see how your legs feel afterwards!
Concluding Thoughts – Benefits of Stationary Bike Riding
With stationary bikes, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to train, you can even watch your favorite programs on the television and use the internet in some models while working out!
In my dream house I have already planned a training room with a stationary bicycle in a room that can be heated as a pseudo-sauna, for an easy workout whenever I need!
The possibilities are many and the benefits are numerous, and I highly suggest you give one of these workouts a try soon.