Riding a bicycle will help you burn calories while toning the muscles in your lower body. If you're looking for a workout that will also help strengthen your arms, you'll need to make an adjustment. As long as your arms are still while you're holding the bike's handlebars, you're not giving them much of a workout. By adding wrist weights and hopping on a stationary bike, you can create some burn in your arms and shoulders while exercising your legs.
Strap wrist weights to your wrists and ensure they're securely in place so one won't fall off during your workout. The weight you choose depends on your experience with weightlifting, but the American Council on Exercise recommends keeping within the 1- to 3-pound range.
Begin riding the stationary bike normally, but instead of holding onto the handlebars, pump your arms vigorously as though you're running. The wrist weights create resistance for your arms, and help you strengthen them while performing an exercise designed to help your lower body.
Consider other arm movements as an alternative to pumping your arms. As you pedal, hold your arms at your sides and swing them so your hands meet above your head, similar to the hand movement in a jumping jack. To isolate your triceps, reach both hands high above your head, and then bend at the elbows so your hands are just behind your neck. Lengthen your arms and repeat this exercise to develop your triceps muscles, which are located in the back of your upper arm.
- American Council on Exercise: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks if Individuals Hold Dumbbells in Their Hands While Doing Step Aerobics or Other Cardio Activities?
- Diet and Fitness Resources: Ankle/Wrist Weight Exercise Review
- PhysioAdvisor.com: Triceps Strengthening Exercises
- FitDay: Working Out with Wrist Weights
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Exercise, Activities, Sports and Work
- If you don't have wrist weights at your disposal, hold small dumbbells and perform the same exercises.
- The American Council on Exercise suggests using wrist weights or dumbbells no heavier than 3 pounds, as doing so can create muscle strain and joint pain.
- If you have blood pressure issues, avoid using dumbbells for this type of exercise, as the constant tight grip can elevate your blood pressure.
- Resist the temptation to use wrist weights while riding a traditional bicycle. Even if you can ride with no hands, it's not a safe idea.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.