Four ways to better your stationary bike workout

January 10, 2013

Stationary bikes are a great way to build endurance and burn fat at the same time. TRUE Fitness has a line of stationary bikes that provide you with comfortable gel seats as well as aero bars for leverage during longer workouts. But in order to get your body in tip-top shape and ensure you're getting the best workout possible, there are a few things you can do to burn more fat even faster.

Enter your information
By entering your height, weight and age into the bike, you can help to create the best exercise plan for whatever level of fitness you may be best suited for. As you build up endurance and muscle, you can add more intensity by bumping up the resistance and speed.

Adjust your form
The way you sit on your bike can make a big difference in how effective your workout is at burning fat. If a seat is too high, you won't be getting a proper workout because your legs will have trouble reaching the pedals. If the chair is too low, you're putting unnecessary stress on your knees and your legs are likely to get fatigued much faster. Men's Health magazine suggested adjusting the seat of your bike so that your legs are fully extended when the pedals' furthest stretch.

Vary your pace
When sitting on a bike, it can be easy to maintain a steady pace without realizing it – especially if you're reading a magazine or watching TV. Changing up the speed at which you pedal can really amp up your workout. Plan to incorporate bursts of speed followed by periods of recovery to get your heart pumping and cut calories. Joe Friel, author of, "The Cyclist's Training Bible," says standing up can also be very beneficial.

"Standing requires more muscle not only to push the pedals, but also to support and balance your body," said Friel.

Cool down
When you're done with your workout, make sure to cool down before getting off of your bike. You need to give your heart the chance to get back to its normal resting heart rate. Often times, the cool down period is just as important as the exercise itself. Immediately getting off of the machine after an intense workout can be dangerous.

"A sudden stop in physical activity can cause blood pooling in your legs, your blood pressure could drop and you could get very dizzy," explained Jenn Burke, personal training manager at Crunch gym.

Give yourself a few minutes to slow down your pace at the end of your workout. Men's Fitness suggested stretching as well to prevent your muscles from stiffening. Stretching relaxes the muscles and even helps you to feel less sore the next day!