Slowly and gradually, people are becoming health and fitness conscious. Some are hitting the gym to lose weight, while others prefer working out from home. No matter when and where you are exercising, make sure to include useful, challenging, and practical exercises. Whether you want to strengthen muscles or build abs – give a shot to bicycle exercises. It is a full-body exercise, targeting your upper and lower body. It activates the rectus, abdominal, and obliques, working up your entire body.
Since it involves raising the legs, you also engage the transverse abdominal muscles that are super hard to target. In addition to the abs, they tone your thighs as bicycling involves quads and hamstrings. After a few weeks, it would strengthen the core, helping you maintain an excellent posture at all times. Similarly, this exercise improves performance in physical activities because it engages your muscle in different ways. Therefore, if you want something quick and intense, include bicycle crunches in your workout routine.
You can either manually perform these crunches or invest in a machine to train your ab muscles. Both types have their advantages and drawbacks. If you can’t decide, here’ we are listing a few machines and manual exercises for bicycle crunches.
Usually, people think of getting a bicycle machine to build abs. Pedaling on a stationary bike enhances cardiovascular fitness and burns calories but doesn’t train your ab muscles. Thus, step out of this conventional fitness world and look for machines that can have a real impact on your ab muscles. You can look for an incline bench to cater to your upper body or a ski conditioning workout to target your quadriceps. After all, a ski machine can have a direct impact on most primary and secondary muscles.
It increases core strength, slims down your waist, and improves stability. It keeps your body moving consistently, boosts heart rate, and burns more calories. Alongside performing bicycle crunches on a machine, you can also try some manual exercises at home.
When it comes to building abs and eradicating love handles, nothing beats bicycle crunches. Manual crunches don’t require equipment; you only need a yoga mat to get started. It strengthens the abdominals, obliques, and hips, letting you level up your core game. If you are ready for this total-core workout, let us help you with manual bicycle crunches. Here is how you can perform a bicycle crunch.
- Lie on the floor with your lower back pressed against the ground. Bend your knees a little and make sure your feet are on the floor.
- You must keep your hands behind the head to avoid taking support from them.
- Push your upper body from the floor and try touching the knees by contracting your core muscles. You can draw in the abdomen to stabilize the spine and maintain posture.
- Use your hands to hold the head and tweak your shoulder back. Gradually raise your knees at a 90-degree angle and lift your feet from the ground.
- If you feel exhausted already, take deep breathes. Bring one knee towards your armpit and straighten the other leg. Remember to elevate it higher than your hips while maintaining a straight posture.
- Rotate your torso to touch the elbow to the opposite knee when the other leg comes up. You have to keep alternating between twisting the other side and bringing the knee towards your armpit.
- Perform these 12 – 20 times in three sets to get the best results.
Usually, people face a lot of trouble in lifting their legs during bicycle crunches. Some might complain of lower back discomfort, while others can’t keep up with quick movements. Don’t worry because we have got something for beginners. Here is how you can perform a modified bicycle crunch.
How to do Modified Bicycle Crunch?
Making some modifications in bicycle crunches can ease the discomfort level on your lower back. Likewise, it also supports your neck without compromising on effectiveness. Here is how you can perform a modified bicycle crunch.
- Lie down on the floor and keep your hand behind the head with your arms straight.
- Gently lift your head with your hands in a 45-degree position and start bending the knees with heels touching the ground.
- Lift your right knee to the floor and bring your left elbow towards it.
- Instead of having your feet in the air, you can keep them on the ground to relax your back.
- Switch the opposite sides in the same motion to keep your core muscles engaged the whole time.
Once your body adjusts to this routine, opt for standard bicycle crunches to get quick results.
Usually, people have preset assumptions about every exercise. When it comes to bicycle crunches, people rush over the knee and elbow movements, resulting in injuries and strains. Similarly, people tend to rotate their entire body when only your torso should be rotating. You have to ensure your hips are firm on the ground with legs forward and lower back pressed into the ground. Moreover, you have to stay careful of neck straining. Instead of pulling your head forward, let your torso do the rotation work.
The fitness world is exploding with new exercises and machines, but some workouts are irreplaceable. Bicycle crunches put your entire body at work while helping you build abs. Determine your fitness goals and endurance level. If machines seem more comforting and flexible, don’t mind coughing up some money on it. At the same time, you can try manual exercises and see how it works for you.