How to Use an Upright Exercise Bike - The Right Way
Good news! You are making the first steps to becoming a fitter healthier version of yourself. Maybe you have recently purchased and upright exercise bike, or have decided to get one in the near future.
However, how do you set up and use your upright exercise bike the right way?
Here’s a step by step guide to help get you started on your fitness journey;
STEP 1: How to Get the Right Foot Position
Step onto your upright exercise bike gently gripping the handlebars to help stabilise yourself. Ensure your legs are fully extended with no bend in your knees. If your upright bike incorporates toe cages slide your feet in ensuring that the straps are not too tight. Otherwise you risk discomfort later during your workout.
Whether or not your bike has toe cages this rule still applies. Position the balls of your feet to the most central point of the pedal.
Note: the ball of your foot is not to be mistake for your heal. The ball of your foot is the hard sole of your foot directly below your big toe.
STEP 2: How to Adjust your Seat for the Perfect Position
Getting the right seat position is vital in ensuring correct form as well as protecting your lower back and knees. Therefore, take extra care when adjusting your seat.
Your optimal riding position is to have a 25-35 degree in your knees while seated. In this position your knees should be positioned directly above your bikes pedals. Therefore, your vertical and horizontal seat position should be adjusted accordingly.
From this position you should be able to reach your upright exercise bikes handlebars comfortably.
STEP 3: Grip the Handle Bars
Once you have adjusted your seat position to your specific needs gently grip your handlebars. If you cannot reach your handlebars without bending more than 20 degrees, refer back to step 2. As ideally you should be in a straight upright position.
Begin to pedal gently, activate your control panel and place your hands on the upright exercise bikes pulse sensors. Most of the best upright exercise bikes will feature these sensors which are typically located in the mid-section of the handlebars.
These sensors should allow you to identify your resting heart rate; this is the starting point for tracking your workout.
STEP 4: The Warm Up
Start pedalling at a gentle speed for 5 to 10 minutes to prepare your body for exercise and warm up your joints.
If your upright exercise bike incorporates pre-programmed workouts, after your warm up is the time to select one. If you prefer not to use pre-programmed workouts or your bike doesn’t have any. There are literally hundreds of workout variations available on YouTube.
STEP 5: The Workout
Once you feel you are sufficiently warmed up and can comfortably move all of your lower body it is time for your workout. As a rule of thumb it is recommended that if you want to improve your health and general fitness you should do cardiovascular activity for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. If you are unable to do 30 simply break those 30 minutes into more easily managed 10 or 15 minute chunks.
There are hundreds of different pre-programmed workouts available on upright exercise bikes. As well as workout videos available on DVD and online.
However, generally the most important factors which will ensure a great workout are;
Firstly, the posture of the rider. Ensure your back is as straight as possible and refrain from slouching no matter how tired you may be. Sloughing not only takes away from your workout it can also damage your lower back.
Secondly, try to maintain a workout that makes your body work within 70 percent of its maximum heart rate. Many quality upright exercise bikes will be able to calculate your maximum heart rate for you. However, if your particular model does not incorporate this feature, a simple calculation to follow is 220 – your age = Max Heart Rate. To work out 70% of your max heart rate, simply multiply this figure by 0.7.
For example if you are 40 years old, (220 – 40) x 0.7 = 126
STEP 6: The Cool Down
A commonly forgotten stage of any workout is the “cool down”. A cool down is essentially a slowed down less intense variation of you workout which allow your body to return to normal.
This stage of the workout is as important as your warm up period and helps your heart rate to return to its normal level. This also reduces the risk of fainting and speeds up the removal of lactic acid.
To perform a cool down simply continue cycling at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes until your body returns to its natural rested state.
STEP 7: Write It Down
The final stage of the process is tracking your workout progress whether it’s writing it down on a notepad or storing it on your phone. This step is often overlooked however, it vitally Important in tracking your progress and helping you continuously improve.
Ultimately, what is the point of doing your workout if you cannot measure if its working or not?
Therefore, track everything from workout duration to recovery time. It is even helpful to write down how you felt during the workout to gage whether you are finding it easier over time.
This will ultimately help keep you motivated, especially if you can see small changes in your performance every week.
We hope you have found this step by step guide to how to use an upright exercise bike helpful, now it’s time to hop on your bike and pedal your way to fitness success!