Riding an exercise bike is an effective way to get in shape when the weather isn't conducive to riding your bicycle outdoors. Virtually all gyms have exercise bikes, also called stationary bikes, to allow members to burn calories and tone their muscles. Because you're using your lower body to pedal the bike, this type of exercise is beneficial to your buttocks and legs.
Unlike an aerobic sport such as swimming, cycling uses your lower body, rather than your entire body. To propel the exercise bike, you use the muscle groups in your legs and buttocks. In some exercises, you can place one hand on a muscle to feel it contracting, which helps you understand that you're using that muscle. Doing so isn't easy when you're riding an exercise bike, but it's possible. Another indicator that your leg and buttock muscles are working is that they'll feel sore after a long period of exercise.
To add a challenge to your exercise bike workout, try standing up while you pedal. Doing so isn't possible on all exercise bikes, so check with a gym staff member first to ensure the bike can support you while standing. When standing, pedal hard and you'll feel even more of a burn in your buttocks and throughout your legs. Another way to increase the challenge of the exercise is to increase the bike's resistance setting.
Before you hop on the exercise bike for a workout, devote a few minutes to stretching your lower body first. If you begin to pedal vigorously while your muscles are tight, it's easy to strain something, which will likely leave you in pain for a few days. A basic stretch for your glutes is to lie flat on your back and cross the lower part of your right leg over your left thigh, and then wrap your hands behind your left thigh and pull it toward your chest. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat it with the other leg. Light jogging on the spot or jumping rope will help you loosen your thigh and calf muscles.
In addition to working the muscles in your buttocks and legs, regular workouts on an exercise bike provide a wealth of other benefits. These benefits include better endurance, greater lung capacity, losing weight, improving your mood through the release of endorphin hormones and even lessening your risk of developing cancer and helping you live longer.