Information on Stationary Exercise Bikes

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One type of workout that is not dependent on time of day or weather is that performed on a stationary bike. An exercise bike is a very safe workout option, as you cannot fall off the bike. Other benefits of a stationary cycling workout include the fact that it is a joint-saving, low-impact exercise that burns calories and improves your overall health and wellness.

Stationary Bike Features

  • Stationary exercise bikes are available with many different options. When selecting a bike, consider the bike seat. You may be more comfortable sitting on a larger saddle than a smaller one. Also look at the type of adjustable resistance on the wheel of the bike. Some bikes use belts, others use magnets, and many use fans which increase in tension the faster you pedal. More expensive stationary bikes have computer programs that provide predetermined workouts, but that does not mean you'll get a better workout -- you still have to pedal and do the exercise.

Bike Settings

  • Before you use a stationary bike, adjust the bike to properly fit you. The seat should be parallel with the floor and at a height that keeps your knee slightly bent when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Your upward thigh should be parallel with the floor. Adjust the handlebars to a height at which you do not have to lean over too far and cause stress on your lower back. Position your bike in an area that is free of clutter, so the wheel and pedals rotate without obstruction. Try to put your bike on level ground so you are not wobbling as you exercise. Your bike may have cages to put your feet in, or straps that secure your feet to the pedals. Use these for a smoother ride.

Recumbent

  • The recumbent stationary bike differs from an upright bike in the seat and leg position. The seats on a recumbent bike are larger and have a back support, almost resembling a chair. This seat helps support your back and gives you a better balance. You pedal with your legs in front of you instead of underneath you, which also reduces discomfort on your back. The recumbent bike is available for at-home or gym use.

Group Cycling

  • Another type of stationary bike is one used for group indoor cycling classes. These are upright bikes, with narrow seats, adjustable tensions on the flywheels and multipositional handlebars. You'll find these bikes in a group exercise classroom, where you'll participate in an instructor-led workout. The fitness instructor guides your ride through flat roads, up hills and sprints as you exercise on the stationary bike.

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