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How to Use a Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes are a great way to improve your strength and gain cardiovascular endurance without harming your joints. Although it may seem simple enough to hop on a stationary bike and start your workout, there are many things you should learn about properly using a bike to maximize your experience.

Below, you’ll learn how to use a stationary bike to get the best possible workout.

Stationary Bike Types

There are two major types of stationary bikes: upright and recumbent.

Upright bikes are similar to regular bicycles. There is no back support and your legs extend under your torso as you pedal. Recumbent bikes allow you to sit in a more relaxed and supported posture during your workout. Your back is supported and your legs extend forward as you pedal.

Adjust Your Seat Height

Setting up your stationary bike the right way will ensure that your workout is as effective as possible while decreasing your potential for injury.

First, adjust the seat height. If your bike is an upright model, the seat should be approximately the height of your hip. Sit on the bike and put your feet in the pedals. Extend your leg fully so your foot is flat and parallels the floor. In this position, your knee should be only slightly bent between 5 and 10 degrees and you should be able to easily pedal in a fully extended position without having to overextend your feet by flexing or pointing. If necessary, readjust your seat to make sure this is the position you’re in.

If you’re using a recumbent bike, make sure your legs nearly fully extend with just a small knee bend. Move the seat forward and backward to get in the right position.

Adjust the Seat Fore and Aft

Now that your seat is the right height, you can begin to move your seat forward and backward to improve your comfort on an upright bike. Pay attention to your knees as you pedal. They should stay in line with your ankles. If they are pressing forward toward or beyond your toes, move the seat back.

Adjust Handlebar Height

Handlebar position on an upright bike can make a huge difference in your comfort level. It should be easy for you to reach the handlebars with slightly bent elbows. Raise the handlebars higher to eliminate any lower back stress you feel from leaning forward.

Adjust Foot Straps

Foot straps are terrific features as they let you push and pull the pedals for an efficient stroke. Adjust the straps so they’re snug enough that your foot doesn’t slip out, but avoid cinching them too tightly.

Start Your Workout

As you begin your workout, try out the features by adjusting your incline, resistance, and speed. Also try out a variety of programs while adjusting the resistance. Remember that by increasing resistance, you’ll simulate the experience of biking up hills and give your hamstrings and glutes a more challenging workout.

As you pedal, keep your ankles stable and use your ability to both push and pull the pedals.

Now that you know more about how to use your stationary bike, you can make the most of each and every workout. Download our latest promotions to save.