does stationary bike work abs

How to Tone Your Abs on a Stationary Bike

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Stationary bikes are a brilliant way of getting your daily exercise in.

You don’t have to worry about traveling past cars on busy roads, and you can watch some TV while working out to pass the time (it helps, trust me).

Here’s the thing, though, stationary bikes can be a bit of a one-trick pony. They are brilliant for aerobic exercise, and they will work your legs, depending on the resistance you’ve set. However, it can sometimes be a struggle to work out how to tone your other muscles, specifically your abs.

To help with this, I have put together an easy, how-to guide to get some ab work in while cycling.

Toning your abs on a stationary bike isn’t necessarily about doing specific exercises. Instead, it involves a range of positions and variations of the typical stationary bike workout. Read on to find the best ways to work your abs on a stationary bike!

What Muscles Does a Stationary Bike Use? 

As with cycling in any form, a stationary bike will focus on strengthening all of your leg muscles. Your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps will be worked particularly hard if you amp up the resistance of the pedals!

lady learning how does stationary bike burn belly fat

If you lower the resistance, then a stationary bike will simply be a cardio workout.

While a stationary bike can help you lose belly fat without any extra adjustments, this will take time. Any form of cardio will reduce belly fat, but you will need to do extra exercises to tone the abs. Here’s the secret. 

How to Tone Your Abs on a Stationary Bike

Tip 1: Posture

It might seem like a very small change that won’t do much at all, but a lot of abs toning does come from your posture and sitting up straight. 

When you engage your core by sitting up and tightening your stomach, you are training it to burn fat. This is because you are making sure that the abs are doing the hard work, rather than relying on other muscles to do the job – like your arms or your back if you are slouched. 

Tip 2: Sitting Crunches

This form of crunches will be slightly different from the floor crunches, but you will still activate the same muscles. Also, learning how to adjust to the new position will make your abs work harder than they would if you were doing floor crunches! 

All you have to do is contract and loosen your abs, as you would on the floor, while you are pedaling on a higher resistance.

Aim to do this for 1 minute and then alternate between normal cycling and crunch cycling – 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Do this for the whole stationary bike workout (or as long as you can).

If you want to push this even further, you can try and do a crunch hold for 30 seconds while cycling. This would mean you would hold the contracting ab position non-stop, without releasing it, until the 30-second timer is up.

This can be quite difficult to achieve while cycling, so you might need to work your way up this!

Tip 3: Draw Your Legs Up

I get how this sounds – surely you are going to naturally draw up your legs while you are pedaling! 

However, all of the exercises mentioned above will mainly focus on the upper abdominal muscles. If you want to engage your lower abs too, make sure to keep your ribs and stomach steady while pedaling normally. 

Now, you need to focus only on how your legs are being drawn up to your chest. Tense your stomach as you pull your legs up while cycling. As the hips move closer to your stomach and ribs while you are in a stationary position, your lower abs will be working incredibly hard! 

Tip 4: Stand Up

Practice another type of interval training by periodically lifting your bottom from the seat while cycling. Standing up while cycling forces you to engage your core because you will be balancing your body on uneven levels.

You will need to adjust your core and stomach each time you pedal to make sure that your hips and shoulders aren’t rocking about, and this will significantly tone your abs! 

Tip 5: One-Handed Workout

Interestingly, only using one hand while pedaling on a bike can tone your abs. This is particularly effective when you’re leaning forward and keeping your core engaged. 

When you cycle one-handed, you’re forcing your abs to adjust to the imbalance. They will then engage much tighter to make sure you stay upright. Here’s how you do it. 

Put one hand behind your back for 1 minute, and then switch to the other hand for another minute, carrying on this alternation for at least 10 minutes. Not only will this train your abs, but it will also engage your shoulder and arm muscles! 

Tip 6: Up and Down Movements

This one might make you feel a little bit silly – I, too, have been there – but this exercise will burn your stomach and tone your abs an incredible amount.

For this, all you have to do is go up and down while you’re cycling. This means that you should lift your bottom off the seat and bring your chest up so that it is leaning over the bike handlebars.

Tense your stomach, making sure to draw your belly button in as tightly as possible.

Slowly lower yourself back down onto the seat – the slower you do this, the more it will burn! Repeat this exercise only a few times at the start, as you don’t want to push it too far and damage your muscles. 

The main thing to do is keep your posture tight. Don’t let any muscles sag, or you will risk not seeing the toned results. 

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How Long Does It Take to See Results From Cycling? 

Cycling requires consistency. The more you practice on a stationary bike, the more you will be able to push yourself and start to train all of your muscles. 

Does stationary bike work abs

You should notice some changes after a couple of weeks of using the bike – the change will be most apparent in your fitness and stamina. However, it will take at least a month of regular cycling before you see changes to your muscles, specifically the toning of your abs. 

Summing Up

To tone your abs on a stationary bike, you should work on engaging your core and keeping your posture as tight as possible. If you don’t work on tightening your stomach muscles, you won’t see the results! 

You can also try cycling standing up, or doing a variation of sitting up and down to increase the burn. Feel free to experiment with trying to pedal with one hand behind your back and even doing some sitting crunches on the bike.