Does the Exercise Bike Make Your Legs Bigger?
The exercise bike does not automatically give you big legs. Your results all depend on your routine on the bike. However, if you go about your biking routine and eating routine wrong, you could end up with large, broad hips and thighs. That does not mean you need to give up your bike; instead, understand which workouts you should choose.
Your body type plays a role into how you carry your weight. You may be able to develop muscle fast or you might naturally have a leaner build. A more muscular frame may develop more muscle from riding a bike. However, the average bike rider, whether you commute or ride for cardio, will not get bulky legs. Professional cyclists have larger leg muscles because of the type of training they do, both on and off their bikes.
The routine you create on your exercise bike plays a role in the development of your legs. Riding at a steady pace and burning calories will help you melt fat and will not bulk up your legs. However, riding up hills places a greater demand on your lower body and develops the muscles of your legs more. Adding small hills into your routine can raise your heart rate and burn calories, but long hill climbs may affect the size of your legs.
Biking burns calories and can help with weight loss. The Harvard Medical School explains that biking at a leisurely pace of 10 to 12 mph can burn 7 calories per minute for a 155-lb. person. Going at a faster pace will increase your caloric burn. Intervals are another routine you can add to your workout by working hard for a short period of time and then working at at moderate speed. Interval training will also increase the rate at which you burn calories. MayoClinic.com explains that interval training burns more calories than a traditional cardio routine.
Keep your muscles long and lean by stretching after your ride. Your quadriceps and hamstrings work to push and pull your pedals around. Lengthen these muscles by doing static stretches like a runner's lunge, standing quadricep stretch or a forward fold to elongate your muscles. You could also incorporate yoga into your routine to keep a sleek frame.
Roger Cahill has been a health and fitness professional since 2004. Cahill holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Arizona State University. He also has excelled as a professional runner and was a former Sun Devil Student Athlete. Cahill has earned his American Council of Exercise personal training certification and has trained many professional athletes.