The pursuit of one’s fitness goals is never easy. The reason is that it requires a lot of discipline. And while there are a lot of ways to exercise, there are some methods that are way more effective than others.
We all want to get the best possible results for the time that we spend working out. Cardio has always been an integral part of fitness — it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to bulk up or lose weight, we all want to be healthy. Read on to get to know what are the best types of exercise bike that best suit you.
Bikes vs Bike Trainers: Which is Better for Exercise?
And one of the most popular ways of doing cardio is with a stationary bike. But this begs the question, are bike trainers better, if not equal to real bikes in terms of exercise? Read on as we compare bike trainers to traditional bikes.
First, let’s talk about the main differences between regular bikes and stationary bikes. Stationary bikes come equipped with a flywheel that provides resistance. This is the component which makes it so that the pedals feel much heavier versus regular bikes.
Regular bikes don’t have a flywheel that provides resistance. Rather, they have gears that allow for more power per exertion. This component allows outdoor cyclists to coast downhill or even on flat roads. These gears are designed in such a way that once you’re able to get the bike rolling, the bike would be much easier to power.
With indoor bikes, you might be surprised that the environment here is actually much more conducive to focused training. Because you don’t have to have a constant level of heightened awareness of your surroundings, you are able to focus more completely on the task of cycling. This also allows you to put on motivational music because you’re in a safe environment where the dangers of the road are nowhere to be seen.
Now, with outdoor bikes, while there are potential dangers at every intersection, the variety of terrain allows for some variety in your workout. Couple that with the beautiful scenery — as long as it isn’t raining — and you’ve got a motivating environment.
Muscle Group Exertion
Although it may not be apparent at first, indoor and outdoor cycling have different muscle groups involved. Indoor bikes primarily focus on the hamstrings and the quadriceps. This is because there isn’t any shifting terrain that requires you to exert extra effort.
On the other hand, outdoor cycling makes use of the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins, and calves to power the bike uphill as well as to constantly maintain the bike’s balance. Some studies show that because of this, outdoor cycling causes users to burn 30% more calories versus when they train with indoor bikes.
So, which method is better for exercise? It really depends on what you’re aiming to develop. There’s a reason that indoor bikes are paired with weightlifting training sessions. They are meant to complement each other. Each exercise is designed to focus on a certain muscle.
On the other hand, outdoor cycling can be considered more of a compound exercise that works on multiple muscles at once. Typically, indoor cycling is great as a component to a program, while outdoor cycling is the program itself. If you’re going to consider these as singular workouts, then outdoor cycling wins hands down.
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