A week or so ago I tweaked my knee a bit. It wasn’t too serious, but enough that I replaced my running workouts with stationary biking workouts to help my knee recover. Obviously my knee doesn’t need the extra shock of running while healing, but cycling also has the added benefit of increasing the blood flow to the knee, helping to speed up recovery times, or so I was told by a doctor. As a result, I biked every day last week.
Stationary biking can be kind of boring on its own, so I’ve added different elements to it to help make it more interesting.
1. Combining biking with hand weight exercises. Stationary biking is pretty much entirely a leg workout, so I like to combine it with hand weight exercises to make it a more well-rounded workout. When I do a 45-minute workout, for example, I would do a set of hand weight exercises every 5 minutes or so. I do a wide range of them, including bicep curls, shoulder flys, tricep extensions, chest squeezes, shoulder presses, straight punches (jab-cross), and 2-arm bent over seated rows.
2. Using music or video to change up your pace. I usually watch action TV shows while I’m doing my stationary biking, which means there are always a few action sequences in each episode. Every time there is an action sequence, I’ll pick up my pace and ride hard until the sequence is over. Alternatively, you can do this listening to music and speed up during the chorus parts of each song. Obviously, this works better if you’re listening to faster paced music of course.
3. Biking and burpees. One of the reasons I prefer running to biking is that it’s easier to push myself when I’m running and really get my cardio going. I find it much harder to get that kind of pace when I’m just biking. So once my knee was stable enough, I started adding burpees to my biking workouts. Basically when I do a 45-minute workout, I do 15 burpees before I even get on the bike, then do another 15 for every 10 minutes of biking. This keeps me more mentally engaged and helps work my cardio more when biking.
Do you ever exercise on a stationary bike? If so, what exercises have you found useful for making it more fun and interesting?