Are you frustrated with being unable to exercise for fitness and weight loss?
Stationary bike might be the solution!
Stationary cycling provides low impact cardiovascular fitness and weight management exercise that helps avoid pelvic floor overload.
In this video Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway shows you how to set up your stationary bike and ride to help protect your pelvic floor when cycling. Michelle also discusses the best stationary bike exercise regime for weight loss.
Scroll down below this exercise video for video suitability, stationary bike tips and stationary bike weight loss guidelines.
Video duration: 3 minutes 40 seconds
Suitability: This video is suited to women seeking effective pelvic floor safe fitness exercise that minimises pelvic loading (i.e. women with pelvic prolapse diagnosis, previous prolapse surgery, hysterectomy, incontinence problems). This information is not intended for women with pelvic pain or pelvic floor muscle tension problems.
Benefits of Stationary Bike
Potential benefits of stationary bike exercise include:
- Pelvic floor friendly cardiovascular fitness exercise
- Weight management
- Pelvic floor protection
- Joint protection (i.e. knees, hips, ankles)
- Lower limb muscle strengthening
- Lower limb muscle endurance
- Stress reduction
- Mood elevation
- All weather
When to Avoid Stationary Bike
Avoid stationary bike:
- With pelvic pain or
- pelvic floor muscle tension (usually aggravated with sitting)
- Some lower back conditions (e.g. acute disc injury, sciatic nerve irritation)
- With tingling or numbness in or around the area where you sit on the bike seat
Stationary Bike Set Up
When setting up your stationary bike for pelvic floor safe exercises:
- Position the bike seat so your hips are positioned higher than your knees throughout the entire pedal revolution
- Ensure that the extended leg is never completely straight
- Position the arm rests so you can sit upright in the saddle
- Start with the gears low so that resistance is low
- Use a gel seat cover and/or bike pants for extra seat cushioning if desired
Stationary Bike Techniques to Avoid
Some stationary bike riding techniques can potentially increase pelvic floor loading.
- Cycling using heavy resistance that causes straining when pushing the pedals
- Standing out of the saddle when cycling which usually involves heavy resistance through the legs
Stationery Bike Techniques to Choose
- Stay seated in the saddle where possible
- Keep leg resistance manageable
- Alternate cycling speed with low, moderate and high speed spinning
Best Stationary Bike Exercise for Weight Loss
Stationary bike can help women lose weight by allowing them to exercise for longer duration than they might otherwise be able to with pelvic floor problems such as prolapse.
Stationary bike can help some women exercise at a higher intensity than they otherwise may not be able to achieve (particularly helpful for women with prolapse and running problems).
Using the stationary bike with alternating high and low intensity provides for effective weight loss exercise – specifically abdominal weight loss. Abdominal weight loss has the added bonus of reducing the load on the pelvic floor.
Most Effective Stationary Bike Weight Loss Regime
Research at the University of NSW has investigated stationary bike and most effective weight loss exercise using a regime known as “Life Sprints”.
The Life Sprints regime of alternating high and low intensity exercise resulted in significant abdominal fat loss in women (who didn’t change their diets) over 3 months.2
This following Life Sprints stationary bike regime resulted in more weight loss than women who performed 40 minutes of moderate intensity stationary cycling.
The most effecting weight loss training regime involved:
- Stationary bike exercise on 3 alternate days of the week
- 20 minutes alternating high and low intensity exercise (following 5 minutes warm up)
- Alternating 8 seconds high intensity vigorous cycling with 12 seconds low intensity cycling known as “interval sprinting”
- Total 12 weeks of stationary bike exercise
Key Points for Stationary Bike and Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise
- Set up your stationary bike so your hips are higher than knees and you are seated upright where possible
- Choose light to moderate resistance; avoid heavy gears or high resistance and standing out of the saddle when cycling
- Cycling with short sessions of alternating high and low intensity can provide more effective weight loss exercise than longer sessions of moderate intensity cycling
2D.J. Chisholm, J. Freund and S.H. Boutcher “The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting levels of young women” International Journal of Obesity (2008) vol 32, no. 4, pp. 684-691.
with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
Learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your prolapse and reduce your risk of repeat prolapse.
Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.