Don’t let silly mistakes make your time on the Airdyne less effective. The next time you park your butt on a bike, right these wrongs to make the most from your training.
1. Not setting up your bike. While admittedly there’s not much to adjust on an Airdyne, seat height is one of those thing you do have control over. Too low and you’ll limit the power of each of your pedal strokes, as well as possibly aggravate your knees. Too high, and your hips will rock back and forth to reach the bottom of each pedal stroke, which slows you down and sets you up for other possible issues. To get the correct seat height, simply sit on the bike and place the pedals in the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock position. Your bottom leg should be fully extended when the heel is placed on the lower pedal. If it’s bent you need to raise the seat. If you have to rock your hips to reach or simply can’t reach, then lower the seat height.
2. You use a death-grip. The handgrips are there not to bear the weight of your entire upper body. When you grip the handgrips too tight, you end up with unnecessary tension in your shoulders and back. Shift your weight into your lower body by bringing your hips back and just lightly grip the bar to reduce tension. Proper seat height can also influence grip issues. Remember, that unique to the Airdyne, you can not only push but also PULL the handgrips as part of your training to vary the demand on the body.
3. You don’t use the handgrips at all. If you don’t use them, you are losing out on engaging the upper body in your workout and on some extra power. On a typical bike, you will either clip into the pedals or your feet are strapped in. You get extra power from pulling up and push down. With the Airdyne, using the hand grips will give your pedal stroke extra power, just like you would with the pulling up motion on a regular bike. So make use of them!
4. Your knees track poorly. This also comes back to proper seat height. You want to make sure your knee tracks consistently over your foot, not caving in or bowing out as you pedal.
5. You sway from side to side while you pedal. Remember that swaying challenges your balance, so you have to hold on to the handgrips extra-tightly. This puts harmful pressure on your shoulders. Instead, focus on the cadence of your pedal strokes, and focus on keeping your hips and body balanced over the seat.
6. You totally neglect your core. Just because your abs don’t touch the pedals doesn’t mean they’re not involved in every stroke. The core plays a major role in cycling — which means actively engaging it could help you benefit from your workout even more. To do so, lengthen your spine, roll your shoulders back, and envision lifting your ribs off your hips, belly button pulled back toward the spine.
7. You Overdose on the intensity. This is suuuper easy to do on an Airdyne. Once in a great while in our training session, we’ll ask for an ALL OUT EFFORT. At that point the time domain is usually quite short, and we want you to get after it. With that said, many of the above points still need to be considered so you can maximize your effort. More often however our Airdyne work is part of a larger goal within a training session to teach pacing at various time domains/intensities and movement combinations. With that, “Flaming Out” on your first round on the bike serves no purpose. Learning to find that perfect balance of effort while staying within your abilities is the goal of the game.
8. You skimp on the intensity. This one is on you…and in the end you’re only cheating yourself.
Try some of these ideas out the next time you’re training on the Airdyne to make your efforts pay off into better results!
Trouble putting some training elements together on your own?
Having a hard time getting to the gym?
We’ve got the perfect next step!