Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that works your heart, lungs, and major muscles. It is a good way to shed off some fats and tone both your arms and legs. Many would resort to cycling instead of going to the gym.
They believe that cycling can significantly help tone muscles and improve physique. However, is cycling good for abs? Cycling may help tone your muscles in the legs, butt, or stomach, but it is not the most effective way to achieve six-packs. You must accompany cycling with stomach exercises off the bike to build strong abs.
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Cycling Your Way to Six-pack Abs
Biking may not be the most effective way to build six-abs, but it can do wonders in toning your stomach muscles. Bumping up your speed when cycling uphill also challenges your stomach muscles. Various body positions like standing upright and leaning towards the handlebars create instability that pressures your core.
As a result, your muscles will work harder. The more pressure and instability you put on your core, the better your chances of achieving six-packs.
You should also keep your ribs steady and draw your legs up toward the ribs in every pedal you make. It adds pressure to your stomach and helps tighten your core, especially the stomach muscles.
There are ways you can improve your abs with cycling. Check out these tips and cycle your way towards better abs.
1. Keep tight abs
When you sit on the saddle, ensure that you keep your abdominal muscles contracted to tone your midsection. Even though you are not making any sit-ups or crunches, you can still tighten your abs by putting more pressure on your core. Ensure that you constantly contract your stomach muscles when pedaling your bike.
2. Go one-handed
Pressure and instability can help enhance your core muscles. As you put more stress on your core and keep it unbalanced, your stomach muscles will do double work. It will force your muscles to contract more, and thus work out your abs.
The best way to do it is going one-handed. In this way, more weight is added to one side of your body. With this position, your stomach and lower abs muscles will contract more.
You can also lift one arm off the bike handlebars and place it at your back. Then, switch to the other side for an instant ab workout.
3. Sit up straight
By following a good posture, you can also work out your stomach muscles. Maintaining a correct posture can also significantly tone the right muscle groups in your body including the abs. Ensure that you are always sitting up straight on your bicycle, and keep your stomach in. You should also avoid slouching position as this does not help contract your core muscles.
4. Choose a recumbent exercise bike
If you want a more intense bike workout, choosing a recumbent exercise bike is the way to go. The semi-reclined structure of this exercise bike allows you to work on your abs while pedaling. With a recumbent exercise bike, your lower abs and obliques receive more strain.
5. Bike up and down the saddle
You can level up the intensity of your cycling activity by moving up and down your bike. You can achieve this by lifting your bottom off the seat and pedaling afterwards. Then, change position by sitting back down and pedaling once again.
The stand-up technique can also sustain contraction on your abdominal muscles. Using it repeatedly for a prolonged time puts strain on your core, and helps enhance the core muscles. Doing this simple trick can also do wonders for your abs.
6. Crunches on a bike
Crunches do not necessarily mean exercises using an abdominal crunch bed or crunching on the floor. You can also do crunches even when you are biking.
You can still complete a variation of crunches when you are on a bike saddle by simply pedaling and contracting your abs inwards repeatedly. With this simple exercise, you can tighten your core, and tone your abs.
More Helpful Tips
As we have mentioned, the cycle cannot entirely build six-packs alone. You need to supplement it with other exercises outside the bicycle. Thus, we also included these helpful tips to help you achieve your desired body shape.
1. Choose the best time of the day
You can maximize your cycling experience when you choose the right time to go on a bike. Ensure that you have an empty stomach before cycling for abs. When you have blood sugar, your body will resort to using energy stored in fatty tissues.
This is the desirable moment to ride on your bike. Pedaling on an empty stomach can force you to burn fats even more, and keep you going on the exercise. Cycling before breakfast is also ideal.
It is one of the best ways to achieve lean and toned muscles. Even when you cycle for just about 20 to 30 minutes, your body will still burn fats easily.
2. Exercise on the bike
Cycling must also be accompanied by off-bike exercises. This will generate more positive and significant results, especially for your core muscles. You must do core exercises every two to three weeks for better results.
You can choose a complete body workout plus plank hold and mountain skater exercises. Shin balance lowering exercises are also perfect to build your six abs.
- Be in an all-four position with your shoulders over your wrists.
- Then, tuck your toes and lift both your knees off the floor following a push-up position.
- Ensure that your hips are in line with your shoulders and contract your abdominal muscles inward.
- Hold this for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat the process.
Shin balance leg lowering
- First, you must lie on your back while your legs are lifted. Form 90-degree angles at your hips and knees.
- Then, use a small stability ball on top of your shins. Gradually extend your legs out while maintaining the balance on the ball. Also, ensure that your lower back is in contact with the floor.
- Repeat the process 10 to 15 times.
- In an all four position, lift your hips until they are higher than your shoulders.
- Then, you can bend both of your knees while you contract your abdominal muscles.
- Next, draw the right knee towards your left elbow, and bring it back to the original position. Repeat the process to the other knee.
- Do this 10 to 20 times on every side.
3. Engage in HIIT exercises
High interval training or HIIT can also facilitate the burning of a tremendous amount of calories and eventually get abs from biking. By putting a high level of intensity on every ride, your body is forced to keep up with the fast-paced ride. Intense workout requires more energy which creates more calorie consumption.
You can easily benefit when you do this regularly until you see significant results. You can burn more fats even on the abdomen area. As a long term result, abs might start appearing too.
Exercising means burning a lot of energy. The more you burn calories, the higher the potential of craving and eating a lot. In order to avoid overeating, you can take water instead of solid food. In this way, you need not put an extra amount of calories in your body and spend more time cycling.
The key to building and toning muscles to get cyclist abs is removing excess fat from your body. You cannot do this, if you constantly follow your cravings, and disregard all your hard work in exercising.
Taking water every once in a while will help fill your stomach, and reduce your cravings. Water and biking good for abs are perfect combinations to achieve positive results.
Can riding a bike give you abs or is biking good for abs? Well, cycling is a good form of exercise but it cannot directly build abdominal muscles. It is an excellent way to shed off some fats and burn calories. You should supplement cycling with off-the bike exercises if you really want to achieve six-packs.
This guide on is cycling good for abs provided the necessary information to get abs with the help of biking. There are several tips and techniques which you can apply during your cycling exercise.
“I ride my bike to work for years, but is that enough? Our carelessness towards our surroundings has taken a toll on the environment. And now, everyone is responsible for changes; even the most minor contribution is counted. With this hope and spirit, I started with my partner to establish Biketoworkday to help more individuals commute to their work sites on their bikes.”