Using Cycling for Effective Fitness Regimes
Cycling in general is an excellent way to get fit or just stay in shape. It is excellent for both improving muscular endurance as well as being exceptional cardiovascular exercise. However, depending on what kind of fitness kick you are on you might want to consider different types of cycling options.
There are a variety of different cycling pastimes and even specific exercises that are fine tuned to fit with specific fitness needs. If you are looking to improve in one specific area then you might want to consider one of the following options…
Sprint cycling such as that performed in a Velodrome is one of the most efficient methods of cycling for cardiovascular improvement. Powerful rotation that is focused on use of one cycling gear get the lungs working hard and the heart beating faster. Spinner bikes found in gyms used for spin classes are specifically developed for heart health and weight loss and are a great training method for sprint cycling.
Muscular density and physical strength can also be dramatically improved through cycling. Of course to develop strength in these areas for cycling it is best coupled with a regime of weights based leg exercises.
However, while this will build size and general strength, definition can be achieved more effectively through certain cycle based exploits. In the gym you will almost certainly find an array of bikes which offer a host of settings. The best option in this case is to use either the more relaxed pedal seat or the upright bike. These can both be applied higher resistance settings so that as opposed to endurance you are focusing on fewer harder rotations.
Outside of the gym, mountain biking is an exceptional means to build this physical strength on the open air. Constant uphill cycling gives you that natural resistance that will really push your leg muscles in the most natural way. Plus, you will have a more blatant target of reaching the top with the reward of the easy cycle back down.
Improving stamina and endurance comes down to a variety of areas. This includes the cardiovascular and muscle strength but also circulation and even mental strength. Some of the most common and challenging forms of true endurance sports are long distance running, swimming and of particular note… road cycling. This is why triathlon events including these such as The Iron Man are so notoriously gruelling.
As such a great deal of training has to go into improving your overall endurance, but in general road cycling and repetition at higher levels of difficulty is the best sure fire way to improve. Starting out you may want to take part in cycling classes at the gym for instance as the positive feedback and motivation will drive you on.
However, once you reach a stage of higher competence these kinds of classes will only hold you back. You will have to strike out on your own and set your own targets while maintaining your mental fortitude.
James Maxwell owns his own bike store. He focuses on providing high quality children’s BMX bikes.
Image Credit: 1.