Maybe you are a fitness buff looking for a regular dose of cardio, or you looked in the mirror a few times and figured you could lose some pounds. So you signed up at your closest Fitness First, and you hit the exercise bike in tune with that pumping workout jam. Unbeknownst to you, you may not be getting all you can out of cycling. So to help you along here are a few ways to ensure that you are leaving calories behind when you step of the cycle.
1. Always Do Your Stretching
It cannot be said enough, always stretch before and after any workout and the same applies for the fitness bike. This reduces strain injuries and it increases flexibility a ton. Next time you feel like your hips are a little too tight on the incline or your thighs are cramped at the end of a session it means a good stretch is due.
2. Don’t Hold The Handlebars Too Tight
Sometimes while cycling we cling to the handlebars a little too tight in a bid to maintain balance. We assure you this is unnecessary, and it means that you place your weight over your upper extremities instead of your lower ones. The bike is stable and will not tip over or go off, so focus on balancing your weight on your midsection, downwards towards your feet.
3. Don’t Tense Up
As resistance goes up, our legs feel like they cannot do all the work and so we recruit our upper body to push those pedals. We pull our shoulders up in a bid to put more energy into our legs. This does not help, and it just predisposes you to needless strain. Loosen your upper body, and this way you can redirect your energy to getting the most out of that bike.
4. Push and Pulling
A lot of times we think that the bike is all about the push. How much can we drive those pedals down to burn more calories? In doing this we neglect to pull up the pedals and this is the second part of cycling. When you pull up you engage those hamstrings and burn extra calories.
The key to all work out routines is intensity. To achieve this in your cycling routine, at the start cycle really fast for approximately 15 to 20 seconds then slow cycle for 5 to 10 seconds and switch it up again. Keep this pattern up for about 4 minutes.
Resistance is what burns calories while you cycle. At the start of your session cycle and take the resistance settings up until you feel your legs fighting back. This should be your baseline setting for the rest of the workout.
7. Get Up
When you are doing a fast cycle, keep seated, this tends to happen when you are on a descent. When you are doing a climb and the resistance is higher, lift slightly of your seat. This increases the intensity and it makes the most out of those hills.
These are just a few tips to make sure you bust that stubborn layer of fat and burn a whole lot of calories on your next trip to the gym. It goes without saying that a balanced diet, proper hydration and dressing the part go a long way in enhancing your workout. So next time you are in Soul Cycle and you get aboard that bike and your instructor barks instructions you know why, and you can get the most out of that workout.