Yes, cycling is both a cardio workout and strength training sport. Resistance training cause muscles to contract against an external resistance to increase strength, power, or endurance. For resistance training, you will need materials such as dumbbells, exercise tubing, your body weight, and other objects that cause the muscles to contract.
Cycling for about an hour helps you burn roughly 400 calories and strengthens the lower body, including hips, legs, and glutes. People with problematic backs, hips, knees, and ankles should incorporate cycling into their daily routine.
Cycling can be done outdoors or using a stationary bike. Beginners are encouraged to use a flat bike path or road, and when ready for more challenging workouts that engage their upper body and core, go for mountain cycling. Off-road cycling can be done on trails and rough terrains.
Which Areas Does Cycling Target?
Cycling targets the core, legs, and glutes and will help you get a firmer body. It is an essential workout for the legs, especially the quads and hamstrings.
The glutes and hips also get a challenging workout from cycling.
Cycling is a strength workout that will help your lower body get a boost in strength. Moreover, cycling does not put stress on the joints. Every pedal stroke activates different parts of the legs, thus giving you a fantastic leg workout.
Why Is Resistance Training Important?
It is essential to push your muscles hard by engaging in activities that contract your muscles. Resistance training improves muscle strength and tone to help in protecting the joints from injury. It also helps to maintain flexibility and balance, which is essential when aging to help remain independent. Other benefits of resistance training include
1. It helps manage weight and increase muscle to fat ratio
2. It helps in reducing and preventing cognitive decline in older adults.
3. It helps build more incredible stamina where you grow stronger and don’t get tired quickly.
4. Prevents and controls chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and depression.
5. Helps to manage pain
6. Decreases the risk of injuries
7. Enhances bone density and minimizes the risk of osteoporosis
8. It leads to an improved sense of wellbeing
9. Improves sleep and prevents insomnia
10. It helps to increase self-esteem
Is Cycling A Perfect Option If You Have A Health Condition?
Cycling is a low-impact exercise; therefore, it is ideal for people with arthritis in the hips, knees, and ankles. It is also fit for persons who are recovering from joint injuries. Moreover, it helps build strong leg muscles and provides more support for the joints, which reduces pain.
If you have back pain, you can also include cycling in your workout routine, although you may need to incorporate another workout form to strengthen the core and make you more flexible. Suppose your doctor advises you to shed some weight to help in diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol management. In that case, cycling is an excellent addition to your cardio workout, making your heart stronger.
How To Increase The Difficulty And Intensity Of Your Bike Ride
Since you will be sitting down when cycling, this does not mean that you can’t engage in a challenging workout. You can pull different levers and level them up or down when cycling. This may be done in the form of resistance, hills, or speed. Using all these three varieties in intervals will help you increase intensity.
If the climb is steep, you will feel more resistance on the pedals. If you do not have a physical mountain to climb for resistance training, you can shift into more complex gear on flat roads or add resistance to the indoor bike.
How Long Do You Need To Cycle To Notice The Benefits?
There are no set rules on the amount of time you can cycle to see the benefits because it will depend on individual fitness levels and goals. The best way to get optimum benefits is to do a HIIT workout on the bike as you do short bursts of high-intensity movements resting in between.
The key to results in any exercise is consistency. Cycling a few times every week and doing strength and cross-training on alternate days will bring better results and improve strength. Moreover, you will notice a considerable improvement in VO2 max, coordination, cardio functioning, and core stability.
Remember not to overdo anything as you may get an overuse injury. Ensure that you fit well to your bike to gain more benefits. It’s impossible to build strength in a day; therefore, you should start slow and build gradually with a few hours of weekly cycling, which will help build a base for significant improvements.
Choosing The Right Bike For Cycling
High resistance cycling offers numerous benefits, and you can also find different types of bikes for purchase. It is essential to select the right option to ensure that you cycle comfortably and consistently.
One of the most common cycling equipment is stationary bikes. The equipment resembles a regular bike and allows the user to pedal like an outdoor bike. Stationary bikes enable users to activate and strengthen their glute muscles better since the hips can extend when cycling. You may choose a stationary recumbent bike that places you in a more comfortable sitting position since it has a backrest resembling a chair. Recumbent bikes can be easily mounted and dismounted for people with poor balance and a limited range of motion in the legs.
Avid outdoor cyclists can invest in an indoor training stand. The stand hooks up to your road bike’s rear axle and uses a roller mechanism in your rear tire to make it easy for you to cycle in place in your home’s comfort. This equipment allows the rider to add resistance by changing the biking gears as they would when cycling outdoors.
Cycling is an excellent cardio and strength training exercise enjoyed by many people. If you enjoy cycling, you should push for strength training as a few sessions every week will help you improve fitness and strength. Moreover, you will improve performance measures, poor posture, and imbalances of the muscles.