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December 07, 2022 5 min read

A phrase we've all heard many times is that regular exercise can bring multiple benefits. It can not only help you achieve the goal of losing weight and gaining muscle, but also be very beneficial to your health. But if you're like many Brits, you're busy and you have a sedentary job, then it's time to change your habits and incorporate physical exercise into your life. One of the best ways to get a nice cardio workout and burn calories on a busy schedule is to ride a bike. But if you don't want to ride outdoors, you can also choose to buy an indoor cycling bike for your home gym for safer and more private exercise. However, when you exercise on it, you may make some mistakes unconsciously. These mistakes may not only reduce the effectiveness of your workout, but may even lead to your injury, which is definitely not what you want. Don't worry, in the following article, I will list 8 common mistakes that you may make when exercising on the fitness bicycle and my top tips for how to correct them.

1. Not warming up before you ride
Before you are ready to start exercising on your fitness bicycle, warming up is essential for preparing your body for the workout ahead. This will help to increase your blood flow and preparatory muscles for exertion. By warming up, you will avoid any potential injuries while riding and help to maximize your workout.

2. Not adjusting your bike correctly
When you first start using your fitness bicycle, it is important to adjust the position of the seat and handlebars. Having an improperly adjusted bike can throw off your whole ride. Therefore, in order for you to ride more safely and effectively, you should set up your exercise bike correctly before you start riding. Ensure your seat height is even with your hips when you’re standing on the floor. If the seat is too high, your knees will be forced to overextend, potentially injuring the joints as well as your hips and back. If it’s too low, you risk straining your lower back and knees. Besides, when it comes to your handlebars setting, I always advise adjusting based on your comfort level. The ideal handlebars height for you is the setting that you feel most comfortable at. But make sure they aren't lower than your seat, which can place unnecessary strain on your hips and back.

You Should Set up Your Exercise Bike Correctly Before You Start Riding

3. Not riding in the correct posture
Using poor form while riding can cause soreness and muscle fatigue. Poor riding posture can also prevent the muscles in your body from getting all the oxygen they need to burn glucose. The correct posture is that maintain a relaxed posture while sitting on your indoor exercise bike. Keep your buttocks on the seat and bend your knees slightly. Rest your hands gently on the handlebars ensuring that your neck, arms, and shoulders remain relaxed to avoid soreness and muscle fatigue. Your body has an easier time drawing air into your lungs when you are upright. Leaning squeezes your lungs to decrease the amount of air you can inhale. Rounded shoulders and a forward head posture also cause the muscles around your chest to tighten, further restricting airflow into your lungs.

You Should Maintain a Relaxed Posture While Sitting on Your Indoor Exercise Bike

4. Not breathing properly
Proper breathing is the foundation of all aerobic exercise, including riding a fitness bicycle. Every time you inhale, your lungs bring in oxygen that the muscles of your body use as fuel. I suggest that you inhale and exhale through your nose during low-intensity to moderate-intensity riding exercises, and breathe through your mouth during high-intensity riding exercises. Deep, slow breaths helps calm your body and aid in recovery during cool down and stretching.

5. Not using the resistance or using it too much
Using the right amount of resistance helps you build muscle mass. Many people working out on the exercise bike prefer speed to resistance, so they avoid using resistance altogether. The main drawback is that they miss the muscle-building potential of using resistance on a fitness bicycle. Other people working out on the fitness bicycle use too much resistance and put themselves at risk for injuring their knees or damaging their bikes. Adding too much resistance also makes the pedals difficult to turn, which takes all the fun and benefit of riding a fitness bicycle.

6. Not wearing proper riding gear
Jeans and flip-flops might be appropriate for a bike ride in the park, but they are a bad choice in clothing while riding your fitness bicycle. Jeans can prevent you from moving your legs freely enough to move the pedals; flip-flops may slip off the pedals completely. You’ll need a light, breathable top or t-shirt to keep you cool and non-baggy clothing (tights or shorts) that allow you to pedal freely. Wear shoes that grip the pedals. Ladies may opt to wear a good sports bra. You’ll also want to keep a towel and a bottle of water handy.

7. Not hydrating during your workout
Water regulates your body temperature, helps transport nutrients to working muscles, and lubricates your joints. A dehydrated body cannot perform at optimal levels. In fact, losing just 2 percent of your body weight to dehydration can impair sports performance, according to Human Kinetics, and losing just 5 percent of body weight to dehydration can cut performance by as much as 30 percent. Your body loses a lot of water during the course of a normal day, and particularly during intense exercise. To avoid dehydration while working out on an indoor cycling bike, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.

8. Not stretching after riding
Cooling down from a workout is just as important as warming up for one. Skipping the post-workout stretch could increase your risk of blood pooling in your lower extremities and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Cooling down reduces your risk of injuries and improve muscle recovery. Your cool down session should fill the final 15 minutes of your workout, according to ACE. Include static stretches, where you hold the stretch for about 30 seconds; focus on your leg muscles and other muscle groups used while riding a fitness bicycle.

In conclusion, before you hop on your exercise bike, take a moment to adjust and maintain your bike, put on the right clothes, and drink the appropriate amount of water. While you ride, maintain correct posture and breathe deep and end your exercise with a proper cool down. When exercising on your fitness bicycle, avoiding these 8 mistakes can help you optimize your workout, avoid injuries, and feel good all around for achieving the ultimate workout experience!

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