Exercise Bike for Weight Loss: are they effective?

Having a home exercise bike is an excellent way to stay mobile, increase your endurance, and improve your cardiovascular capacity. Besides, it’s very convenient to hop on that bike anytime you want to, without driving yourself all the way to the gym and back.

You don’t even have to choose a different outfit every day!

That said, many people purchase exercise bikes for weight loss. In this article, we’ll decipher things like calories, sustained weight loss, belly fat burn, and how you can improve your progress.

Read more below!

Are Exercise Bikes Good for Losing Weight

are exercise bikes good for losing weight?

Yes, exercise bikes are good for losing weight. Pedaling on your stationary bike burns between 300 and 700 calories per hour, depending on how hard you’re working and the type of indoor bike you choose.

Here’s a breakdown of what that means:

  • For 45 minutes: 225-525 calories
  • For 30 minutes: 150-350 calories
  • For 20 minutes: 100-233 calories

Of course, personal factors also dictate how many calories you will set fire to on your indoor cycle. For instance, it’s agreed that younger people, biological males, and those already carrying some extra pounds will shed weight faster.

Not happy with that assessment?

You don’t have to be. Below, we’ll discuss some tips to accelerate that weight loss:

Choose the Right Exercise Bike

Recumbent bikes have the lowest caloric burn from all the stationary bikes, but it’s more comfortable to pedal on them. So, if you’re a beginner or mobility challenged, it’s better to exercise 30-45 minutes on a recumbent bike than 0 minutes on a spin bike.

Conversely, spin bikes and assault bikes are excellent for high-intensity training that will melt those fat stores.

But even if you choose the right type of exercise bike, you also want to compare models.

Upright bikes, for instance, aren’t created equal even between them. Some upright bikes feature higher resistances, which means they’re better for building lean muscles, whereas others are better equipped for fast pedaling at low resistance.

Choose the Right Routine

stationary bike weight loss

You should vary between workouts to keep your body guessing. So, you shouldn’t push yourself at high intensity on your exercise bike every day.

And, when you start cycling on your indoor bike, pick a good program for fat loss. Most fitness experts advise you to try HIIT because alternating between high- and low-intensity intervals keeps your body guessing. As such, your metabolic rate doesn’t slow down once it gets used to a particular exercise.

But sure, you can do plenty of steady-state cardio too.

The key is to alternate between programs. And, if you’re not sure how your workout should look like, choose an indoor bike that features multiple built-in routines.

How Long Should You Ride a Stationary Bike to Lose Weight

Indoor cycling is good for weight loss, but not if you’re overdoing it. Or underdoing it, for that matter.

So, looking at the numbers tells us you need 5-7 hours on your indoor bike to lose one pound of weight, which is the equivalent of 3500 calories.

Warning: Don’t try to do those 5-7 hours in one stretch.

It’s not even wise to exercise for an hour every day the whole week in the hopes of shedding that pound.

Personal trainers and fitness coaches agree that people should work out longer than three-four times per week on their stationary bikes. That means you’d need the equivalent of two weeks to burn one pound of fat on your exercise bike.

Can Exercise Bikes Reduce Belly Fat?

can you lose belly fat on an exercise bike?

Yes, exercise bikes can reduce belly fat because they burn calories quickly and engage your core muscles. However, you have to pick the correct type of indoor bike for the job and the right exercises.

For example:

  • Spin bikes engage your core a lot because you can adopt a whole range of positions. 
  • Assault bikes activate your abs and your transverse abdominals.
  • Recumbent bikes activate your lower abs primarily.
  • Upright bikes create moderate functional core strength.

The type of exercise is also essential, and HIIT is proven to burn belly fat faster because it makes your body get in and out of subsequent aerobic/ anaerobic zones. 

To accelerate that belly fat reduction, remember to:

  • Maintain a correct posture that keeps your shoulders away from your ears and your back straight. You want your core to hold that posture correctly, which means you’ll have to squeeze your abs. Otherwise, your lower back takes a lot of the pressure, and that leads to injuries.
  • Squeeze your core. Each time you’re pedaling, or twisting, remember to squeeze your abs a little bit more. That squeezing and releasing motion accounts for increased muscle strength.
  • Do other exercises and workout routines. You can try strength training, but also Pilates, Yoga, or swimming. Sprucing up your workout routine ensures that your abs are targeted from all possible angles, strengthening them.
  • Eat healthily. Stick to fibers-rich foods instead of empty carbs and change your trans-fat for healthy fats. These foods (e.g., fruit, vegetables, and nuts) help you lose weight faster and reduce bloating. As such, you can show off your six-pack every day – except maybe not after your Thanksgiving or Christmas lunch.

In Conclusion

Exercise bikes help you lose weight, but you have to do your part. That means working out regularly (but not too much!), eating healthily, and varying your workout routine. Of course, you also need to choose the right indoor bike for your goals.

If your objective is losing weight fast, you want to look at factors that include resistance levels, built-in programs, and tracking options. Otherwise, you’re just fumbling in the dark.

Mary D. Brown
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