Upright Bike (Air Bike): Techniques, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Upright Bike (Air Bike) - Sharp Muscle
9 min read
Updated: March 1, 2023

The Upright Bike (Air Bike) is great for cardio workouts that help you burn calories faster. All you have to do is fasten your feet to the pedals of the bike and start cycling!

The upright bike is a great steady-state cardio option because it is very knee-friendly, making it especially valuable for people whose knees can become sore from steady-state running.

What is Upright Bike (Air Bike)?

An upright bike, also known as an air bike, is a type of stationary exercise bike that uses air resistance as the main form of resistance. These bikes typically have large fan blades located at the front of the bike, which are turned by the rider’s pedaling motion. As the fan blades turn, they create wind resistance that the rider must work against, providing a challenging and effective workout. These workouts typically involve a combination of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and steady-state endurance training.

Benefits of Upright Bike (Air Bike)

This bike is a little different from other exercise bikes you usually see. They have handles that move with pedaling, ensuring a full body workout.

The upright bike (air bike) works both the upper and lower body, providing an aerobic routine that works your heart and many other muscles.

This bike workout can improve your posture and balance. Because of the two-way motion, the handles that you push forward and pull back with the arms and shoulders require more core involvement to maintain balance when seated.

The upright bike (air bike) is a great way to practice high-intensity interval training (HIIT), as it quickly and automatically reacts to changes in effort. You can shorten the high-intensity intervals to 10 seconds, and the Air Bike will follow your lead and provide maximum resistance.

Because of the limitless resistance benefits, you can easily use an air bike by setting it to a higher intensity level to build muscle. It can build multiple muscle groups including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, biceps, triceps, shoulders, abdominals and obliques.

The bikes workout may be for someone whose fitness goal is weight loss, or fat loss, or maintenance. They are a fast road to increasing daily aerobic movement and are among the highest calorie-burners of any type of exercise machine. 1

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The number of calories you can burn is a variable associated with your age, gender, weight, muscle mass and activity. In general, you can burn about 250 calories every 30 minutes at a moderate intensity and up to 380 calories per 30 minutes at a high intensity.

By engaging the whole body, Upright Bike provides a faster route to aerobic activity, while helping you avoid overtraining through the reactive nature of fan resistance. The heart has no choice but to wake up all the muscles involved in the upright bike and pump the much needed blood.

There are many studies related to heart health and cycling, but the most surprising is a recent study at Purdue University. According to their findings, cycling for 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 50%. 2

The upright bike (air bike) is a popular rehab and physical therapy option. Because it allows you to isolate one part of your body while you gently move the rest of the body, and it has less impact it doesn’t put stress and pressure on the joints. Provide resistance based on your strength, making it difficult to accidentally re-injure yourself.

A ubiquitous form of aerobic activity and cycling, everything you get from aerobic activities or riding your bike, you will experience many times over on an aerial bike. It improve brain power, stress levels, mental health, sex life, metabolism, lung function, cholesterol levels, sleep quality and length. 3 4

Upright Bike (Air Bike) Technique and Common Mistakes

The bike comes with a built-in fan that produces air resistance, hence the name ‘Air Bike’. As you pedal harder, you’ll find yourself pushing against the high resistance.

As a result, as you increase the level of resistance, the back, legs, arms, abs and obliques will get a strenuous workout. It provides you with interval training like HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), which strengthens the muscles without putting extra strain on the joints.

Make sure you hold the handles firmly as you will need a lot of force to push and pull them as you start pedaling. To generate more speed, pull the handle of the bike faster.


Upright bikes are a staple piece of equipment in most gyms, and some facilities will even have airdyne bikes that also allow you to use arms.

On a scale of 1 to 10, run 10 as fast as you can, stay at a pace that puts you around 4 for 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Adjust the seat position so that when standing next to it, it aligns with the hip joint.
  • Avoid bending over when doing the Air Bike exercise.
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Common Mistakes

For the most part, how you ride an upright bike will be pretty intuitive. But using this bike is a specific skill, as is all, with a few form tips he recommends before and during the ride.

And assuming you don’t want to be put off by injury or pain, you’d be wise to learn that skill before you begin.

Be sure to adjust the seat to hip height. For most people, this is the height that allows them to pedal without placing their feet in a locked-out position or overly bent position, which is ideal.

You don’t have to look like a Hunchback of Notre Dame when carrying this cardio tool.

Once on the board, think about sitting up straight. Not only will this make it easier to get air into the body, but it will also give you more distance to push and pull the handle than if you were leaning forward.

What you do with the feet also matters here. If you try to use only your upper body during a workout, you’ll wear out faster.

Think about keeping the knees in a straight line, not letting them flare butterfly-style at the top of each rotation. This will allow you to exert maximum force on the pedal and thus increase power output.


You can also replace your cardio workout sessions with other types of interval training that require a combination of high, medium and low intensity.

The upright bike (air bike) targets a full body workout while burning belly fat. It is also a great option for people with lower back pain.

While interval training is the most effective way to burn fat on a Upright Bike (Air Bike), like other cardio-machine workouts, master the intervals below to burn fat at the gym.

TimeRMPResistanceSpeed &
6:00-6:30100-11010speed up
7:00-7:45100-11011speed up
8:30-9:30100-11012speed up
10:30-11:00105-11511speed up
11:30-12:15105-11512speed up
13:00-14:00105-11513speed up
15:00-15:30110-12012speed up
16:00-16:45110-12013speed up
17:30-18:30110-12014speed up
19:30-22:30cool down

When and how to incorporate Upright Bike (Air Bike)

Upright bike (air bike) can be incorporated into your fitness routine in a variety of ways, depending on your goals and preferences. Here are some tips on when and how to incorporate this type of workout:

  • As a warm-up: This bike can be a great way to warm up your body before a strength-training or other type of workout. A short, low-intensity session on the bike can get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, priming your muscles for a more intense workout.
  • As a standalone cardio workout: If you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness or burn calories, a bike can be an effective choice for a standalone cardio workout. Depending on your fitness level, you might start with a 20-30 minute workout and gradually increase the duration and/or intensity as your fitness improves.
  • As part of a HIIT routine: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular way to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories in a shorter amount of time. The bike can be a great option for HIIT workouts, as you can easily ramp up the intensity of your pedaling during short, high-intensity intervals.
  • As a low-impact option: If you’re recovering from an injury or have joint issues, this bike can be a good choice for a low-impact workout that won’t put stress on your joints.
  • Plan your workouts: To make sure you’re getting the most out of your bike workouts, it can be helpful to plan out your sessions in advance. Decide on your workout duration and intensity, and make a plan to gradually increase your intensity or duration over time as your fitness improves.
  • Mix it up: While this bike workouts can be a great way to improve your fitness, doing the same workout over and over can quickly become boring. To keep things interesting, mix up your workouts by changing the duration and intensity of your intervals or trying different types of workouts (such as steady-state rides or longer endurance sessions).
  • Monitor your heart rate: Monitoring your heart rate during your bike workout can help ensure that you’re working at the right level of intensity for your fitness goals. Many upright bikes have heart rate monitors built in, or you can use a wearable fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate during your workout.
  • Don’t forget to cool down: After your bike workout, it’s important to take some time to cool down and stretch your muscles. This can help prevent soreness and injury, and can also help you recover more quickly for your next workout.
  • Consider working with a trainer: If you’re new to this bike workouts or want to improve your form and technique, consider working with a personal trainer who can help you develop a workout plan that’s tailored to your goals and fitness level.
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  1. J Obes. 2011; 2011: 868305. doi: 10.1155/2011/868305. “High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss.” Available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/.[]
  2. BMJ 2017; 357 doi: 10.1136/bmj.j1456. “Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study.” Available here: https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1456.[]
  3. National Cancer Institute. “Physical Activity and Cancer.” Available here: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet.[]
  4. July/August 2012, Vol 43, No. 7. “What are the benefits of mindfulness.” Daphne M. Davis, PhD, and Jeffrey A. Hayes, PhD. Available here: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.[]

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