Pedaling a bike is a popular exercise and health maintenance activity. Bike riding is a convenient way to get around, but exactly how much effort are you really putting into your abs?
Performing aerobic exercises will raise your heart rate and keep it elevated for a while and your abdominal muscles will benefit from this. It’s true that biking can make you sweat and use some of your abdominal muscles, but it won’t give you a tight, toned stomach with six pack.
To learn more about how biking affects your abdominal muscles and how you can maximize the benefits, continue reading.
What are Abs and are they Important?
They are a group of six muscles located in the front of the pelvis just below the bottom rib cage and you use them for lifting, moving, and breathing.
Having a toned abdomen will help improve your body’s appearance and prevent sagging (loss of tone). Fat may also accumulate in a weak abdominal region.
Effect of Biking on Ab Muscles
Despite being less strenuous than other forms of aerobic exercise, bicycling still works your muscles to burn fat and exercise your heart as well as lower body. How does cycling works on your abs? Well, it depend on certain things such as:
- What you’re doing with your core while biking
- The amount of resistance you feel when pedaling
Riding a bicycle encourages you to sit up and straighten your abs. Your abs may benefit from cycling as long as you stick with moderately hard levels, but they probably won’t start to become strong until you start to incorporate higher levels of intensity through cardio workouts.
As you work your way up to higher levels of intensity, more of the muscles are used and, as a result, you may start seeing a stiffer and toned core and may even lose weight.
However, if you’re just sitting on the bike seat and pedaling without engaging your core muscles, then biking won’t strengthen the abdominal muscles.
What can you do to Maximize the Benefits?
If you want a tight stomach with six pack, there’s a lot of things you can do to make it happen. Here are a few tips to help you get the abs you want:
Choosing the Bike
Look for a bike that you can easily balance on and that can hold your weight comfortably. You will be spending a lot of time on your bike and if you’re uncomfortable, it’s not going to be fun for sure. An appropriate bike will get you the most bang for your buck and help you reach the muscles you desire. You can also use a stationary bike for indoor training sessions.
Just like other kinds of exercise, cycling won’t work your abs until you’re warmed up. A warm up helps your body and muscles prepare for what is to come. This is a good time to make sure that you are eating enough protein and consuming the appropriate amount of calories.
Focus on form
Stabilize yourself by slightly raising your butt off the saddle, and find a spot where your knees don’t wobble while your feet are firmly planted on the ground. When you’re ready to speed up or slow down, do it by shifting your weight slightly onto the seat of the bike. Make sure that your upper body is still balanced and your arms are relaxed to make sure you tone the right muscle groups.
You can ride a bike on a flat surface, but be sure to add hills to your ride for more challenge or increase the friction of your stationary bike. You can also increase your training by biking faster for a very high exercise intensity. The faster you can go, the more you will work your six pack ab muscles.
It’s probably a bit of a stretch to say that biking gets your stomach muscles ready for your next beach vacation, but being consistent along with other resistance training workouts can certainly help you get a killer beach body, trim those excess body fat levels, and even works some major muscle groups in lower body.
If you bike because you want to improve your abdominal muscles and get some health benefits from riding your bike, then it is a great cardio workout to get started. However, to get a tighter, defined stomach you’ll need to incorporate some other abdominal exercise to help burn more calories and engage your core muscles.