Like any sport, cycling also has contraindications. These include:
– Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
– High blood pressure.
– Varicose veins.
– Injuries and damage to the lower extremities, particularly the knee joints.
– Viral infectious diseases.
– Postoperative period.
In addition, even if you regularly attended a cycling workout, but at some point, going to the next class, felt weak, it is better to stay at home. The fact is that a weakened body simply will not be able to withstand the intense load received during cycling, and the consequences can be the most unpredictable – up to the loss of consciousness.
As already mentioned, intensive cycling, even at the highest level of exercise, will not provide you with muscle growth, but will make your legs slender and sculpted.
What muscles work?
Working on a stationary bike works out first of all lower trunk muscle groups:
– The gluteus muscles
– Thigh biceps
– The inner thighs
– Calf muscles
But the miraculous effect of cycling exercises on the body does not end there, as not a single centimeter of muscle tissue is left without work:
– The muscles in the lumbar region and the abs contract intensely.
– The load is distributed to the muscles of the back.
– The muscles of the chest are well worked out.
The main muscle of our body is the cardiac muscle. During intensive cardio workouts our heart gets an optimal load, thanks to which its work in transporting blood in the body normalizes. As a result, blood circulation improves, organs are saturated with oxygen, and metabolism is normalized.
Types of cylcling
Talking about the types of cycling, instructors often mean the varieties of cycling exercises, which differ in intensity and execution technique:
– Standard simple riding. You simply pedal in a seated position as if you were riding on a flat bicycle path.
– Speed Riding. This exercise simulates a fast descent down the mountain. Performed while sitting.
– Riding with load. To perform this technique, you must increase the load on the exercise bike by changing the appropriate settings. Loaded riding simulates going uphill.
– High Speed Riding. The main condition for this exercise is the standing position on the exercise bike. This technique is indispensable for a clear workout of all muscle groups of the lower body.
– Riding with a load at a slow pace. This exercise is also performed standing and simulates climbing a mountain. In this position, the load is significantly increased, which provides an optimal level of intensity of the exercise.
– Acceleration. This technique implies a fast ride while sitting or standing, but at certain intervals you need to increase the tempo of pedaling: for example, 30 seconds of fast ride followed by 10 seconds of acceleration work.
– Resistance. This technique involves slowly twisting the pedals while periodically setting the maximum load. This exercise simulates going uphill at a high angle.
– Change of position. The tempo of the ride – slow with a high load or fast with an optimal load. At certain intervals (20-30 seconds is optimal) you should change your body position, for example from “sitting” to “standing”, change the torso tilt, etc. At the same time it is very important to maintain the pace of movement.
In addition to the above options, you can use weights (special vests and weights, dumbbells).
For optimal workout of all muscle groups during cycling exercises, various fitness movements are used: push-ups from the handlebars, torso rotations, pelvic abduction.
How does a workout go?
In fact, it’s hard to describe how a cycling workout works – the fact is that workout programs have to change regularly. Nevertheless, the course of the class is usually as follows:
- Warm-up – 3-5 minutes.
- Riding in a standing position. This periodically changes the load – 10 minutes.
- Work in the technique of changing position. The ride can simulate descents and ascents, periodically changing the tempo and load – 10 minutes.
- Combined exercise. Here, in addition to direct work on the exercise bike, work of the trunk is added – push-ups from the handlebars, “jumping” technique, abduction of the pelvis – 7 minutes.
- Riding with load. Here, the load can be periodically changed, from time to time speeding up and slowing down the pace of the ride – 10 minutes.
- Warming up. During the warm-up it is best to use a standard simple ride at a comfortable pace with a minimum load – 3-5 minutes.
As we said, a cycling workout can last from 40 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the total time of the workout, the duration of its individual stages varies.
What is the difference between a stationary bike and an exercise bike?
A standard exercise bike is a stationary device imitating a bicycle and equipped with numerous devices for monitoring body condition during training (heart rate, blood pressure, calorie expenditure, etc.).
The design of a cycle trainer differs considerably – it does not have such a detailed screen, the construction of this device is lighter. The main objective of a cylinder trainer is to provide optimal loading of all muscle groups.
In addition, exercise bikes are much heavier and bulkier.
That said, if your goal is to burn maximum calories, it is best to choose a stationary bike workout. If, however, you want to strengthen all muscle groups, improve the cardiovascular system, and slightly correct your figure, you might prefer a group cycling workout.
Tips for beginners.
If you are planning to start a cycling workout in the near future, you should listen to the advice and recommendations of experienced trainers:
– Before going to the gym, instructors advise you to reconsider your lifestyle: give up bad habits, start eating right, drink water in the right amounts, form a healthy daily routine – get good sleep, rest regularly.
– You should also have the right set of clothes. It is recommended to buy special cycling shorts – they will help to avoid unpleasant feelings during training (the saddle of a spin-bike is very and rigid, so beginners find it difficult to endure the first training without the appropriate equipment).
– It is categorically not recommended to eat before doing cycling. It is best to eat one and a half to two hours before training.
– Most likely, when you come to the gym, you will meet some experienced athletes, who work out in an intensive mode. It is not necessary to chase their results, to exhaust yourself and on the first trainings to give too high load. The intensity of training should be increased gradually, based on the capabilities of your body.
– Some people mistakenly think that light fitness activities, such as yoga or stretching, will help you better adapt to the workout. In fact, over-stretching or relaxing your muscles won’t be good for the high-intensity workout that follows on the exercise bike.
If you are planning to buy a spin bike and do cycling at home, experienced instructors strongly recommend to attend several group cycling workouts under the supervision of a professional coach, so you can develop your own program and avoid mistakes that can cause irreparable harm to your body.