All of us who are bicycle lovers, or simply love a good bike ride from time to time, have experienced rainy days that do not let us go out or simply times when tiredness or lack of time overcomes us and we prefer not to go out. from home with the bike and avoid the hassle that this entails. For us, having the best stationary bike at home is a way to ensure that daily dose of low-impact physical activity for the joints and that sweet feeling of cycling, which is like nothing else.
What is an exercise bike?
It is a type of bicycle with which almost all of us are already familiar, since surely a friend or family member had one at home to exercise, or you have gone to a gym where they had this type of bicycle. These bicycles are used as a normal one, pedaling and turning a wheel, only that, in this case, the bicycle remains static in the same place, it does not move. In this sense, it is like using a bicycle in normal conditions, but without having to leave the house.
That is why they are also known as best magnetic spin bikes or spinning bikes since they are widely used in this type of physical activity.
The issue is that on a stationary bike you don’t have the resistance of the terrain or the movement itself, since you are always staying in the same place. To achieve this resistance and give you a similar feeling to what you can have with a normal bike, they are designed so that you have to exert more pressure on the pedals to make the suspended wheel turn.
Now, if you are a connoisseur of physical activity, you will be interested to know that it is possible to vary this level of resistance in order to exercise at different intensities and make your routines more effective. This way you will be able to increase the resistance of the bike as you improve your own physical resistance and vary the intensity to do more powerful intervals, alternate them with other softer ones and thus achieve better results. In fact, at the highest levels, you can even work abs and cardio at the same time.
The history of the exercise bike
To understand a little about the history of these bicycles that revolutionized the world of exercise and physical activity, we have to go back to the 18th century. At that time, Orthopedics was quite popular in Europe since Nicolas Andry had invented it as a science in 1741, so much so that people began to be very interested in physical therapy and everything that involved it back then.
Well, in 1796, Francis Lowndes patented an invention called the Gymnastic. This machine worked with two wheels connected to wooden bars that the user turned using his hands and long pedals that he pressed with his feet. In fact, it was quite similar to modern elliptical bikes in terms of mechanics and operation, which is why it is often considered the forerunner of today’s exercise bikes.
The issue is that it had many negative aspects, starting with the backrest, which was nothing more than a simple wooden bar on which the user had to lean. Needless to say, it was really awkward. Apart from that, it was a huge device – taller than a person of average height – and very heavy, which made it difficult to move around.
However, this did not prevent it from becoming widely popular. The Gymnastic ceased to be a machine made for the rehabilitation of people with some type of illness or disability, to be used as a new method of exercise. In fact, many people who had sedentary jobs used this machine to get some physical activity.
Uses of the exercise bike – For exercise and rehabilitation
Currently, best exercise bikes have many varied uses. However, they continue to maintain the use mainly of machines dedicated to exercise and also to the rehabilitation and strengthening of muscle tissues, joints, and bones. In fact, its use is highly recommended for weight loss, training prior to competitions and cycling events, and improving our physical condition in general.
The issue is that the stationary bike is very beneficial for those who are overweight or have similar conditions since it is an exercise with little stress on the joints, it is low impact and it also serves as a cardiovascular exercise that helps improve endurance and user capacity. However, it is believed that its prolonged use can have negative effects on sexual functions, as also happens with the use of traditional bicycles due to the prolonged pressure exerted on the genitals.
For physical measurements
This type of bicycle is also used to make physical measurements of a user’s ability, strength, and general condition. It is used by placing sensors on the device that measure both the resistance of the bicycle and the force that the athlete is capable of exerting. It should be noted that most exercise bikes on the market today have this type of sensors and screens that show measurements.
This utility also applies to a slightly more surprising area, that of space exploration. It is that in places like the International Space Station, a stationary bicycle model is used to measure the physical condition of astronauts and avoid the cardiovascular deterioration that is generated in these microgravity environments.