Using an exercise bike to maximise your fitness goals has become increasingly popular.
It allows you to get a solid and calorie-burning workout from the comfort of one spot. They’re always found at gyms, and easy to install in your own home. If you’re considering hopping on an exercise bike to improve your health then it’s important to consider your options first.
Here is a guide to the different kinds of exercise bikes to help you can make a well-informed decision.
After all, your health should be a priority, and the type of exercise machine you use can make a huge impact on your fitness journey.
- Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike
- Different Kinds of Exercise Bikes
- Turbo Trainers: An Excellent Exercise Bike Alternative
- Which Kind of an Exercise Bike Should You Choose?
Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike
There are many benefits associated with using an exercise bike. Many people decide to go for this type of workout as it is efficient for burning calories and losing fat. However, an exercise bike is much more than that.
Strengthen and Tone Leg Muscles
Exercise bikes apply resistance to your leg muscles, allowing you to tone and strengthen them. It can greatly improve the look of legs as well as help prevent muscle loss for those suffering from old age or illness.
The quadriceps (front of the thighs), glutes (bottom), hamstrings (back of the thighs), calves (back of the leg below the knee), and hip flexors (bottom of the stomach) are the key muscles engaged when using a gym bike.
Cycling is a simple and effective cardiovascular activity. Another benefit of using an exercise bike is that it can prevent or delay the deterioration of heart functioning. Many people who suffer from cardiovascular issues are advised by doctors to keep exercising on a daily basis, often for 30 minutes at a time.
While keeping active with exercise bikes can also reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower high blood pressure, it has the added bonus of protecting the heart over time.
Low Impact Exercise
Exercise bikes can be a great choice for people with joint issues. Also, static gym bikes are a good choice if you want to reduce your risk of injury or strain due to their low-impact nature. Because your gym bike takes the pressure off your knees and ankles when correctly set up, it’s a popular alternative to higher-impact activities like running.
Convenient and Cost-Effective
Exercise bikes are also designed to be highly practical. You can find them at most gyms, but the best part of owning one is that you can use it in your own living room! A stationary bike doesn’t take up a lot of space and it costs much less than other fitness equipment, such as treadmills or rowing machines.
Different Kinds of Exercise Bikes
Upright Stationary Bikes
When you think about the different kinds of exercise bikes, an upright design likely comes to mind. They are one of the most popular exercise machines and for good reason.
They resemble typical outdoor bicycles and mimic the motions of riding a basic bike. So, they’re pretty easy to get used to. They offer an easy-to-use and convenient workout.
With an upright stationary bike, you have plenty of workout options and versatility to choose from. Padded seats and comfortable handlebars make it an easy machine to get used to.
They often measure different metrics, including speed, heart rate, and calories burned. You can also sit or stand whilst biking, and go as fast or as slow as you’d like.
Whether you’re looking for a calorie-burning, cardio workout or a strength-building routine, an upright stationary bike will allow for it all. With the ability to change resistance levels at ease, you’ll have no problem using this kind of bike at all levels of fitness.
Recumbent Stationary Bikes
Recumbent stationary bikes are pretty similar to the upright stationary bike. They both allow for multiple levels of resistance and are comfortable and versatile workout machines.
However, with the recumbent exercise bike, you won’t feel like you’re on a regular bike. When sitting on a recumbent bike, you’re further back from the pedals and made to sit down.
While many have handlebars on the side for comfort and convenience, you can go entire workouts without needing to touch them.
Recumbent exercise bikes are perfect for the multi-tasking gym-goers. You’ll often find fitness fanatics reading books or using their smartphones while using a recumbent bike.
Because handlebars aren’t necessary you can easily go hands-free, making it easier to pay attention to your phone. For those who prefer the design of the recumbent bike, but don’t want to sacrifice arm-training, it’s always possible to hold weights while biking.
Dual-Action Stationary Bikes
Upright and recumbent stationary bikes can offer a great full-body workout depending on your level of intensity.
However, they’re best for a great leg workout. If you’re looking for a better all-around workout, a dual-action stationary bike might be the better choice for you.
They allow for a combination of other exercise equipment, like stair-climbers or ellipticals. So, not only do you get the comfort of being in a seated, comfortable machine, but you can work out almost any part of your body.
Most combinations on dual-action bikes target your lower body, with a focus on legs, and the upper body, with a focus on arms and shoulders.
Like the other bikes on this list, the dual-action bikes will allow for different levels of resistance and speed. So, depending on the type of workout you’re after, you can go as high-intensity as you’d like.
Because movement depends on leg movement, you can also opt-out of using any arm equipment if your daily workout doesn’t require it.
Interactive Stationary Bikes
Some stationary bike users are happy to work out at their own pace, or by following their own customised workout plan. Others, though, like to be kept interested by interactive elements.
Many more recent stationary bikes have a built-in interactive screen that shows you things like mock spinning classes, outdoor biking paths, or race videos.
With an interactive stationary bike, you can get so into the zone that you forget you’re biking alone! It can also help those with a competitive spirit, as some interactive screens allow you to participate in virtual races.
Aside from the interactive element, these bikes function the same as any other stationary bike, depending on which model you purchase.
Air bikes, like ellipticals and dual-action stationary bikes, allow for an upper body workout to go along with your leg workout.
It combines arm actions that resemble cross-country skiing while keeping the leg workout that you’d expect from any other stationary bike. While most stationary bikes allow you to program your resistance levels, the air bike goes by how fast you’re moving.
So, the faster you go, the higher the resistance. This resistance is based on the wind generated by your movements.
Air bikes are a great option for those looking for a high intensity, full-body workout.
Because you have to work harder to find a higher resistance, you’ll find yourself burning more calories, sweating more, and working out more body parts, including your core.
It’s great for those looking to build their endurance, increase muscle strength, or lose weight.
Folding Exercise Bikes
Because stationary bikes are so popular to keep in the home, a common concern is whether or not you have the right space in your house to keep one.
Of all of the different kinds of exercise bikes, it can be hard to find one that is spacious in your own home. This concern can be managed by choosing a folding exercise bike.
There are many different features that you can choose from when selecting a foldable exercise bike.
The main similarity?
They’re all foldable, collapsable, or have the ability to change in size. Most options will come with a feature to change resistance levels. So, no matter what type you go for, you can rest assured that you’re still getting in a great workout despite using a smaller machine.
Spin Stationary Bikes
The obsession with spin classes has become increasingly common. While they’re a great way to get your energy pumping in a room full of like-minded fitness enthusiasts, they also allow for great bikes. And with spin bikes, you can even buy one for your home!
Spin bikes aim to match the body position that you would be in when using a regular outdoor bike. The handlebar is lower and your body will naturally hunch, as you would when outdoors.
Like with most indoor stationary bikes, a spin bike allows for a similar progression model. So, you can increase the resistance levels, and make your workout more intense.
One of the most popular features for spin bikes is the ability to stand and cycle at the same time, which can help give you a better, full-body workout.
Turbo Trainers: An Excellent Exercise Bike Alternative
Turbo trainers come in a variety of forms and sizes, but one thing is certain: most turbo trainers are significantly smaller than even the greatest exercise bikes, making them easier to store when not in use. When not in use, most turbos can be folded and stowed out of sight, which is something exercise bikes cannot do.
What makes turbo trainers different from the majority of exercise bikes is that they let cyclists ride in ‘virtual worlds’ using apps such as Zwift and Systm, which is more entertaining than simply riding an exercise bike and staring at the wall. Smart turbos modify the incline and resistance as the terrain on the screen changes, giving the impression that you’re truly riding those imaginary hills.
Which Kind of an Exercise Bike Should You Choose?
Depending on your fitness goals, health, and mobility, exercise bikes are available in a variety of styles and functionalities. While upright, recumbent, and indoor bikes are all great for a cardio workout, they aren’t all suited for everyone.
Given its broad seat and back support, the recumbent bike is perhaps the most comfortable type of bike. Also, it places the least amount of stress on the joints for a safe workout. However, this machine isolates the lower body without exercising much of the core, and it can be bulky to store at home.
The upright bike not only works your core muscles but also allows you to stand for a more intense workout. The rectus femoris, a vital quadriceps muscle, is also worked. The disadvantage is that the pedals are immediately under the body, putting additional stress on the joints. The seat, which is narrow in size, can become unpleasant during lengthy rides.
Spin bikes are designed to be fast and have a smooth transition between resistance levels. They come in a variety of styles, with some featuring built-in screens for on-demand workouts. These bikes are a terrific muscle recruiter and calorie burner, but they are not ideal for anyone with mobility, back, or joint concerns. It’s critical to adjust the bike to fit your body’s shape and maintain proper form throughout the workout to avoid injury or burnout.
Air bikes are an excellent choice for those who want an upper body workout to go along with their leg workout. The fan which is placed near the pedals will blow harder the more you pedal, adding more resistance. These bikes are an excellent choice for those who get bored easily and want to diversify their workouts with some HIIT action.
Regardless of what option you choose from all of these amazing different kinds of exercise bikes, you’ll find yourself with a great machine that works at all levels.
Another benefit of indoor exercise bikes is their low-impact options. So, if you’re recovering from an injury, or just taking a slow day, you can adjust your settings to allow for a low-stress workout.
The type of stationary bike that you go after will depend on your current level of fitness, and what kind of fitness goals you have for yourself.
But, we can say with confidence, that trying out a stationary bike for the first time is one of the easiest, most simple exercise machines that you can find.
It may seem like there are too many different kinds of exercise bikes, but they’re all a perfect choice. So, find a bike, hop on, and learn for yourself!