By Mojabeng Dorcas Senekal
Rest your hands lightly on the bars only for balance. Keep your body upright, with just a slight lean forward. Go slow, with challenging resistance. You’ll give yourself a tougher workout, increase your heart rate and maintain your time in the training zone longer.
Take a tip from rowing crews to create a fluid motion: Think of the stroke as a dance, counting 1-2-3 and 3-2-1. On 1, you push with your legs; on 2, “swing up” your body by leaning back; on 3, draw your arms to the bottom of your rib cage, spinning the flywheel. The reverse it: 3, extend your arms; 2, swing your body forward from the hips; 1, bring your legs up after the handle passes your knees.
Everybody’s favourite toy. Work towards improving your flexibility to smooth out your stride. Try leg swings- hold the handlebar, stand on one leg, and swing the other back and forth, keeping your upper body still. This will loosen your legs. Run shorter and harder, mixing speeds and inclines to create intervals. Start with a 2 percent incline, and over several sessions work up to 10 percent. (Just walk at steep inclines.)
Adjust the seat, people! Sit on the seat and place your heel in the middle of the pedal, where the ball of your foot would normally go,. You want your leg fully extended, at the lowest point of the pedal rotation. By moving your foot to the correct position on the pedal, you’ll have the right amount to bend. Vary the intensity, with 2 to 3 minutes of high- cadence pedalling and a 3 minute recovery, and then repeat for 15 minutes. Stand occasionally, which will add another dimension to your workout. Standing requires more muscle not only to push the pedals, but also to support and balance your body.