Combining Arm Exercises With Stationary Cycling

by Marnie Bii | May 29th, 2014 | Cardio, Indoor

bike (400x400)You can turn your stationary recumbent bike rides into a full body workout by incorporating arm exercises. Using your entire body during workouts increases the efficiency of cardio routines.

As you move your arms while pedaling furiously, your heart rate climbs higher. This results in a more efficient workout, which burns more calories in a short period of time. Extend your workout length to help the pounds melt off without leaving the comfort of your bike.

Arm Circles

You’re nearly guaranteed to break a sweat just holding your arms straight out in front of you or to the sides while pedaling at a good clip. Add some small circular movements to activate your biceps, triceps and deltoids. Pick a low number of circles to start, or simply set your timer.

You may want to focus on doing 30 circles, or two minutes, at a time before resting between reps. You can increase this demand as your arms grow accustomed to these movements. However, strength in not your goal here, warm muscles and an increased heart rate is the true target.

Free Weights

If arm circles grow tiring, or feel too easy, move onto using free weights. You can do the arm circles while holding on to two to three pound weights to start. From there, consider incorporating:

  • Bicep curls: Hold the weight firmly in your palm. Keep your arm bent, elbow to your side and hand next to shoulder. Slowly lower the weight to extend your arm, and then bring back up.
  • Tricep curls: Much the same as bicep curls, except hold the weight behind your shoulder. Extend your arm above your head, and then bring it back down to your shoulder.
  • Shoulder presses: Hold a weight in each hand near your shoulders. Keep your arms bent and away from your sides. Raise your arms straight up, and then bring back down to the starting position.
  • Lateral raises: With one weight in each hand, keep your arms straight down at your sides. Extend your arms straight out to shoulder level, and then lower back down again.

Repeat all of these exercises for 5 sets of 10 reps to begin. Raise or lower this number as needed. You can also increase the amount of weight as your arms build muscle. However, remember your main goal is turning your pedaling action into a full body workout.

Admire The Results

As you admire your toned arms in the mirror, remember that they were earned just by adding a few extra steps to your workout. You can also do these arm exercises on their own, but they will lack the intensity without your pedaling effort.

However, if you have a few spare moments in the day, it sure doesn’t hurt to work in some arm cardio. Arm circles are the easiest to sneak in, but you could also keep a spare set of free weights by your desk for impromptu sessions.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.