Biking as the total workoutMonday, August 02, 2021
WHETHER you ride a bike for fun or use it for daily transport, you'd be surprised to know how much of a total workout it can be. In fact, studies indicate that working those pedals can get your lower body into tip-top shape, especially if you ride uphill. Your legs, hips, glutes — you name it — biking has you covered.
Here are some raw statistics from personal trainer Lennox Richards, who shared the app-recorded stats from his client after just 15 minutes of biking, going at a moderate pace, on her first day working out with him.
Client: Female, age 42
Weight: 151 pounds
Biking time: 22 minutes
Goal weight: 131 pounds
The client completed 3.52 kilometres by riding at an average 9.4 kilometres per hour, and managed to burn 83 calories in that session.
In practical terms, this involved just four rotations on a stretch of roadway with no inclines.
“She combined that with walking, for a total combined session of 35 minutes, and in total burned 132 calories,” Richards said. “That may not seem like a lot, but adding that to eating right and walking and biking consistently, she will surely see the weight loss and tightening of her thighs and butt that she's looking for.”
Biking also provides the following benefits:
Strengthens your core
Your core muscles are activated once you maintain a normal spinal curve by pulling your navel into your spine and keeping your hips in neutral position. Biking up hills is a bonus as you use more core muscles, therefore burning calories and fat around your waistline. This workout will allow you to have a more toned core.
Tones your legs
When you place the balls of your feet on the pedal, cycling strengthens your upper and lower leg muscles, especially when you ride uphill. If you are outdoors, ride up hills by shifting to a lower gear and standing up. Add three or four sets of hill intervals by riding up a hill for one minute, followed by easy riding for two minutes. You can do at least five sets of uphill biking once a week.
Builds your glutes
Biking helps to lift and strengthen the glutes. This can happen by riding uphill and getting out of the saddle. Steep hills force you to work harder to start each pedal stroke and will place large amounts of stress on both your glutes and quadriceps.
Works the calf muscles
Even though your calf muscles play a small role in biking, as they hold the feet stable on the pedals, you can find ways of boosting them. This will work based on your pedal strokes. Move your feet in a downward motion away from the body — almost in a tip toe position — to work those calf muscles.
Boosts mental health
While cycling can help with physical development, it also helps mentally too. Biking can ease feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety. Biking helps to improve your concentration and awareness, as you will be mainly focused on your journey. If you ever feel lethargic, just 10 minutes of biking a day might help to boost your mental health.
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