Exercise bikes can be used to increase muscle mass in the legs.
When it comes to increasing leg size, many individuals opt for traditional forms of resistance training - such as lifting weights. However, the American College of Sports Medicine reports that weightlifting is not the only option available for individuals who want to increase leg size. In fact, by incorporating certain techniques, an exercise bike can be used to increase leg size. Consider including high resistance levels, sprint interval training and "hovers" for optimal results when it comes to building leg size with an exercise bike.
Up the Resistance
Set the resistance level high. According to the American Council on Exercise, pedaling against high resistance levels can be effective when it comes to building muscle mass in the quadriceps and hamstrings. For best results, set resistance at a level that prohibits you from cycling at speeds faster than 60 revolutions per minute, says ACE. The higher the resistance level, the harder the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles will have to work - resulting in muscle growth and physiological changes similar to those which occur during weightlifting.
Sprint it Out
Include sprint interval training. During a sprint, the muscles in the legs must put out a great deal of power to maintain high revolution speed - producing increases in cross-sectional muscle fiber area and greater overall mass. Alternating between 30-second all-out sprints and 60-second slower recovery periods has been found to be most effective when it comes to building muscle mass in the legs, notes ACE. Those who are new to the activity or have a low fitness level may need to start with shorter sprinting intervals, and increase time gradually as exercise endurance builds.
Hover in Place
Perform "hovers" while cycling. In a "hover," you pedal while holding your bottom an inch or two above the seat. To maintain this position, the quadriceps must support most of the body weight - while still having to work against the resistance offered by the stationary bicycle. ACE encourages cyclists to incorporate "hovers" into interval training for optimal results when building muscle mass.
Get Your Rest
Get adequate amounts of rest. As with all forms of resistance training, gains in muscle mass in the legs will be greatest for those who incorporate rest days into their exercise routine. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends two to three days of resistance training per week for best results when building muscle mass. Failing to follow these recommendations can result in an inability of the muscles to adequately recover from the stresses placed upon them during the strength training.