Bicycle Exercise & Hips

Bicycle Exercise & Hips

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The bicycle exercise helps tone the hips.

Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

The bicycle exercise is often included in a workout to tone the abdominal muscles, but it's beneficial for the hips, too. If your goal is to get thinner, toned hips, you'll want to make the bicycle exercise part of your fitness plan. Before you begin any new workout, see your health-care provider to ensure the plan is right for you.

The Bicycle Exercise

The bicycle exercise is an effective muscle-toning exercise that targets the abdominal and oblique muscles, but also engages the muscles of your legs, hips and back. Start by lying on your back with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle with your calves parallel to the floor. Place your fingertips behind your ears while pointing your elbows out to the sides. Alternately bring your right elbow and left knee toward each other while lifting your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor. Switch between one side and the other in a fluid motion, similar to what you would do when pedaling a bike.

Toning Benefits for the Hips

Two or three weekly strength-training sessions are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As you work toward getting toned, slim hips, you can include other hip exercises in your 20-minute strength-training sessions. Include hip-toning exercises such as front squats, dumbbell stepups and glute activation lunges. Perform glute activation lunges by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step your right foot forward and across your left foot in a cross-lunge motion, while extending your left leg behind you. Push off with your right foot to return to the start position. Alternate both sides for a total of 12 repetitions on each side. When working with weights, use one that's heavy enough to tire your muscles by the 12th repetition.

Losing Weight around the Hips

No matter how many times you do the bicycle exercise, you can't lose fat specifically located on your hips. Spot-reduction doesn't work, but an overall approach to weight loss will help you get thinner hips as you lose weight all over. Adding 150 to 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to your fitness plan alongside your hip-toning exercises can help you slim down as you tone up. If you enjoy the bicycle exercise, you might also enjoy burning around 500 calories per hour by riding a bike outdoors. Alternatively, tennis and swimming also burn around 500 calories per hour. Walking, a less vigorous form of aerobic exercise, burns approximately 250 calories per hour. A caloric deficit of 3,500 is needed for a pound of weight loss.

Add a Healthy Diet

Fuel your body with healthy foods to have more energy for exercise. Include lean sources of protein, whole-grain products, fresh vegetables and fruits, and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Reduce your daily caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories to lose an additional .5 to 1 pound per week.


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