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How to Turn a Simple Exercise Bike Ride Into a Massive Workout

By: Jason Markum

People are always asking me how to turn simple exercises into more complex ones so I though I’d write a quick little article about it.

Before I get started, it’s important to note that you should consult with a doctor before engaging in any sort of exercise routine of any kind, no matter what your age is and no matter what your health history is.

Ok, now right to it. This is a little trick that I use when the weather is too nasty outside to jog (yes, I like to jog as my main exercise method of choice most times). The exercise bike. The old faithful exercise bike. Solid, useful, boring.

But not any more. The next time you step on up to the old exercise bike try this out. Instead of holding onto the handle bars while you ride, instead hold your arms up like you were jogging.

You can swing your arms like you were jogging too, but you don’t have to go overboard. You can also hold small hand weights in each hand if you really want to boost this workout. But actually you don’t have to do either. Starting out, just hold your arms like you were jogging. You don’t have to swing them and you don’t have to hold them steady. Just let the natural rhythm do its thing.

What’s the point of this (besides looking absolutely ridiculous)? Easy, by holding your arms up and not using the handle bars, you turn the entire workout into a super charged body blast.

You wouldn’t think that something as simple as holding your arms and not using the handle bars would increase the workout by so much, but it really does! First off, it’s a great workout for your lower back and abdomen area. Keeping your balance as you sit on the bike without holding the handle bars is a lot harder than you might think. That strain works wonders on the lower back.

It also does a nice job toning your upper chest area (think pecs) and upper back. The act of holding your arms up like you were jogging for the entire workout might not seem like much, but it really does a nice job working those muscles.

Finally, your legs get a greater workout as well because it’s harder to peddle when the bike itself is not supporting most of your weight. Normally you sort of drape yourself over the handle bars and those handle bars take a bunch of your weight. When you hold your arms up and not use the handle bars, a bunch of that weight gets transferred to your legs and the peddles.

Hence it’s harder to peddle and hence you get a better workout.

The only downside to this is that you really do look silly. If you work out in your basement that doesn’t really matter, but if you work out in a gym with others, you might get a few stray looks.

But it’s worth it to turn that old stodgy exercise bike into a massive workout machine that really boosts your cardio workout all around.

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