The short answer to the question is yes, cycling is good for the abs. While cycling has a range of benefits including toning and exercising the entire body, this article is all about abs.
Even though cycling will not result in rock hard abs it is good for the core. Cycling will not produce enough movement that would provide sufficient exercise for abs when biking but the abs will definitely get a good workout with increasing intensity of a ride.
The very nature of cycling means that you get to improve leg strength above everything else. However, as it strengthens the muscles in the legs, it also helps tone the hips and the bottom which is one thing the ladies may be looking for. Cycling motion which involves gentle side to side rocking usually helps to tone and condition abs.
To develop strength as a cyclist you will have to engage core muscles such as the abs. The abdominal muscles will thus provide stability by constant contractions which will help tone these muscles over time even as you improve endurance and strength.
As such the development of abs through cycling is something of a side effect though it does contribute to the tightening and strengthening of abdominal muscles.
Cycling also strengthens core muscles including abdominals and the back. Since cycling requires y that you keep the bike and the body upright, you require core body strength and all these help tone muscles in the abdominal area.
Strong back and abdominal muscles help increase stability and support the spine which improves comfort on the ride.
Can You Get a Flat Stomach From Cycling?
Most people have a thick layer of fat otherwise known as adipose tissue in the belly where you would rather have a flat and nice washboard. So how does cycling which hardly works the abdominal muscles help tone the abs?
- Cycling gets the heart pumping and this increases the metabolic rate thus burning calories and resulting in weight loss.
- Cycling activates the abs so that you can remain stable while pedaling. Abdominal muscles which are part of the core muscles provide added stability and allows for smooth steering and better use of the upper body for support.
- Abdominal muscles which also include posterior muscles will typically provide stability via isometric contraction. The constant contraction in the core is what helps tone the muscles in the abdomen.They also help with the development of endurance and muscle strength.
How Cycling Helps with Revealing Abs
While it is easy to build muscle through targeted exercise of a muscle or muscle groups, it is impossible to achieve targeted weight loss for a given body part,. It is impossible to lose weight form your thighs, abs or stomach alone. Weight loss usually happens all over the body as it is your body that determines where to draw energy from. As such cardio remains the best way of burning calories as it elevates the heart rates and forces the body to burn more energy.
There are two ways to get the body to lose weight which are:
Ingest less calories – eating less
Burn more calories – do more exercise and move more
Cycling is an excellent form of cardio that burns a lot of calories if done consistently. Most people will use 300-400 calories in half an hour of cycling Since a pound of fat has about 3500 calories cycling for five hours a weeks will burn a pound of fat.
As compared to running, cycling is a low impact sport that most people did since they were children. Running which is also an excellent form of audio can put undue stress on the knees and as such it is not for everyone.
If you are thinking of commuting on a bike, it is possible to spend at least an hour every day in the saddle which could be enough to get rid of a pound of fat every week. Even if you do not achieve maximum speeds, you may still burn between 2500-3500 calories every week which can add up over time.
For people that ride over the weekend, it is possible to spend 3-5 hours riding every week. Since you do not have to worry about sweating and getting your clothes dirty, you can go all out and burn between 3000-4000 calories over the weekend.
Of course these numbers are not cast in stone and different people will burn calories at different rates. Nonetheless, the more you ride your bike, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose over time.
How to Work Abs While Cycling
For many people biking is all about getting some cardiovascular exercise part of a daily commute or a competition. Regardless of what you intend to achieve, you will be getting a workout when you power you bike along the road, beach or mountain path. While biking is not the best core workout, you can still get a stomach workout using cycling by using the following techniques.
Ride in the Correct Position
A good stomach workout while cycling comes from correct positioning. You need to have your hands and arms relaxed on the handlebars with your head facing forward rather than down. The spine should be in a neutral position without any curving or slouching. You should sit on the bones of your butt rather than the meaty part and keep the knees pointed straight ahead rather than out to the sides.
Shake it Out
When you have been riding for long, your arms will start to tense up and take on more body weight which prevents a good stomach workout. The best way to get in a good stomach workout is to take the weight off the arms and maintain a proper body position. One of the best ways of doing this is to hold the handlebars lightly or to take off one hand at a time.
Lift Your Butt
Get off the saddle and stand on the pedals especially when you take to the hills. By lifting your butt your core will help generate power but this is only possible if you do not rock your shoulders and hips all over the place. If you stand straight you will be using stomach muscles to generate more power, and maintain stability thus getting a good stomach workout.
How to Work Abs with a Stationary Bike
While cycling outdoors is an excellent way of doing cardio,. riding a stationary bike can be one of the best ways to tone the abs. Even though they are excellent for toning the legs, arms, and back, exercise bike equipment can be used to do core strengthening exercises to build endurance and burn calories. The following are some of the moves to do on an exercise bike.
Keep your abs tight
While doing the workout, ensure that the abdominal muscles are contracted so as to tone the belly area. While you are not doing specific exercises, just tightening the abdominal muscles will significantly strengthen the core muscles over time. Since forgetting to keeps the abs tightened is very real, Fox News recommended focusing on the abdominal muscles that contract when one coughs.
Ride One Handed
By riding one handed you are taking your fitness regimen to higher levels. This is usually done by lifting one arm off the handlebar and keeping the abs contracted. You will then place the free arm behind the back and switch arms after several minutes.
By switching arms, you are getting a quick ab workout and also working to tone your arms without even realizing that you are doing it.
Sit up straight!
Simply riding with good posture is one of the most effective ways to get a good cardio in. It is always recommended to sit up straight throughout a workout as opposed to slouching. Colorado Adventure has asserted that siting up straight gives your abs a more defined look.
Get a recumbent exercise bike
If your require an even more intense workout, get rid of the upright bike and get a recumbent. The semi reclined riding position means that you use the abs more in pedaling particularly the obliques and the lower abs according to AZ Central.
Do not ride the bike sitting on the saddle for the entirety of the workout but instead stand up and lift your bottom off the saddle from time to time.This works the core as it forces you to strengthen the core muscles and work on your balance.
Yes you can do crunches even though just a variation while riding a stationary bike. Contract your abs and then pedal the bike for a minute or more which is a great way to get a an excellent cardio workout while toning the core muscles.
Does Biking Give You A Bigger Butt
Overall. cycling as an activity is great as a fat burner of the fat around the glutes but it will hardly enlarge the butt. However, regular riding at high resistance and challenging speeds will result in a stronger butt aside fro less ankle, knee and hip pain.
In fact cycling is one of the recommended exercise activities since it provides moderate to intense cardio with only about 150 to 300 minutes of exercise a week. However the Physical Activity Guidelines do not list a bubble butt as one of the benefits of riding your bike. However, it is important to note that while cycling is not a way to get a bigger butt,it will give you a more shapely one as it burns fat.