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Indoor cycling is one of the most popular fitness trends. Sales of indoor exercise bikes nearly tripled in the U.S. by 2020, and the boom is expected to continue. Their popularity is easy to understand. Not only can you be socially distant, but you can also get a great cardio workout without worrying about bad weather and dangerous drivers. With so many price tags and features to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which style is right for you. These tips will help you when buying your indoor bike, as well as tips for safe and effective use.
Tips for buying your indoor trainer
You can spend less than $200 or more than $2,000 on an exercise bike. Your first decision will likely be choosing between a traditional stationary bike or a spinning bike. The main difference is that spinning bikes have a heavier flywheel, so you’ll have to apply more force. They are also designed more like road bikes and feel more like cycling
in the great outdoors.
Keep these tips in mind as well:
Consider your goals. Your training plans will determine the type of bike you need. Maybe you just want to warm up before doing other exercises, or you want to train more intensely.
Check the adjustment options. Most bikes allow you to adjust the seat, the handlebars, and the resistance. Some give you a fixed number of settings, while others allow more precision.
Understand the resistance. Lower-end bikes usually have belts or friction resistors. Higher-end models use electromagnetic resistors, which are more durable and offer a smoother ride.
Collect data. Want to track your progress and program your workouts? How about online classes and streaming entertainment? Look for bikes with consoles and connectivity options, or maybe you can add your own tablet and speakers.
Recline. Recumbent bikes are another option to consider. They are especially helpful if you have joint problems or lower back pain.
Read the warranty. Compare warranties to see what replacements and repairs will cost you. Ask questions to make sure you understand the details. Some brands warranty the frame for three years or longer.
Tips for using your exercise bike
Exercise bikes are relatively safe. However, you still need to know how to use it properly to avoid injury.
Follow these practices:
Pay attention to your posture. Set up your bike so the seat is level with your hip bones. Keep your back straight. Relax your shoulders and straighten your spine. Keep your head up and feet flat.
Maintain your pace. Gradually increase the time and resistance, especially if you have been working in a seated position. Take days to rest.
Go easy on your knees. Indoor biking is a low-impact activity, but you can still suffer overuse injuries. Warm up thoroughly and listen to your body. You may need to decrease resistance or stick to upright and recumbent bikes.
Activate your core. When you gently tighten your abdominal muscles, you also protect your knees and the rest of your body. Imagine lifting your belly button and pulling it toward your spine. Remember to apply gentle pressure instead of pulling your belly in.
Wear gloves. Do your wrists and hands hurt after cycling? Try applying lighter pressure on the handlebars. You may also want to buy padded gloves.
Balance your workout. Supplement your cycling workout with other exercises that will increase strength and flexibility. Also, alternate between other cardio endurance exercises for variety.
When choosing an exercise bike, you have many more options today. If you are well-informed, you can make better use of your investment and have more fun biking at home.
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