Summer is here! I looooove bike riding and wanted to share with those of you out there who also like to bike an awesome way to enhance your bike riding experience while also burning extra calories!
(The following bicycle workout is based on a 10-15 miles flat surface bike ride-such as asphalt–but you can adjust the segments to any ride length.) NOTE: Always display caution when trying some of these moves for the first time!
Warm up: Get into the groove. Mount your bike and plant your buttocks firmly into your seat. Put your weight into your hips and angle your upper body forward to 30 degrees. Leisurely start to pedal on your bike; You’re warming up. Do this for 5-10 minutes. Take in your surroundings. Tune into your muscles, your breathing.
Pick Up The Pace: After about a mile to a mile and a half, start to pick up your pace. Switch up gears and increase the resistance a bit. Keep this pace up for the next 3-5 miles or so, adjusting your gears to the incline/decline as needed. (If you’re on a flat surface, try to power through without changing gears.) Alternately, you can shift up the gear and slow your pace, or shift down into a lower gear while keeping your former pace.
Power Glide: For the next 3-5 miles, just steadily bike along. Practice deep breathing (in for 7, hold at the top, breath out for 7) several times. Do this 3-4 times during your ride.
Try doing some bursts: Switch to a high gear and stand on your pedals with your feet centered. Do this interval for 30-60 seconds every few miles, then sit back down and resume normal biking. This gives your butt a break while increasing your metabolism. Do this 2-4 times.
(If you brought an energy bar or carb snack, eat half or take a few bites now. Drink water every mile or two.)
Mix in some fUN sTuFf: A few of the following exercises require ‘hands-free’. (Make sure you can easily do this.) *Note: Don’t try these on a busy street; best for a low traffic trail.
A) Contract your abdominals, bend your arms at the elbow close to your body and twist from side to side for a count of 60. (This is a small movement-your core remains still.)
B) Begin with both hands on the bars. Facing forward, slowly move your left hand from the bars, and twist your upper body to the left halfway around and tuck your fingers-palm
side down and centered-under your butt. Return both hands to the bars and switch sides.
C) Alternate muscle focus. If you’ve been focusing on the ‘push’ of the pedal by applying more force on the way down (which works your quads) switch to emphasizing the ‘pull’ which works your hamstrings/butt and gives your quads a rest. Always maintain even pressure between feet and pedals so feet don’t slip off.
D) Change hand position, alternating with finger-grip, palm-forward grip and fingers to the outside grip.
E) Maintaining steady pressure on soles of the feet, try shifting your weight. Spend some time sliding from centered, to heels, to balls of feet and finally back to center. Again, pressure on the balls works the quads/pressure on the heels works the back of the legs/buttocks.
Home Free: For your last mile (more or less)–your cool down–bring your pace back to normal. Just enjoy the endorphin-high, do a few shoulder rolls, neck rolls while keeping your balance.
After dismounting, don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings and quads with back and side lunges. Do a few squats, arm stretches, stretching your wrists-forward and back and rotating your ankles clockwise and counter-clockwise.
Of course, always re-hydrate and eat a high protein/complex carb snack to replenish your energy.
Be a courteous and safe rider. Give a ‘On your right/left’ heads-up when passing and be mindful of traffic in populated areas and at crossroads.
Enjoy Your Workout!