Updated: Jan 18
Airbikes, also known as fan bikes or Assault bikes, are a popular exercise machine for CrossFit training. Best described as an elliptical crossed with a spin bike, air bikes work with a fan wheel and independent handlebars that move front to back as you exercise. Users don’t set a resistance level like with spin bikes; instead, air bike users up their resistance by working out harder. Air bikes are a great option for those looking for a bike that doesn’t rely as much on technology like many spin bikes while still getting an excellent full body workout. Read on to learn about the benefits of an air bike, getting started and an easy beginner’s workout.
There is a plethora of benefits to using an air bike, but here are some of the top reasons:
Fan bikes provide an excellent cardio workout that can’t be beat. Cardio gives users healthier skin by increasing blood circulation and helping the body to expel toxins, but the benefits aren’t just skin deep. Because it relies on oxygen intake, cardio strengthens the lungs and allows one to breathe easier and have better oxygen intake in their everyday lives. It also allows improves blood sugar and decreases organ stress and one’s risk for diabetes. Men who include cardio in their workout routines can decrease their risk of developing erectile dysfunction (or see an improvement if they already have it). Finally, cardio has been shown to facilitate better sleep being it promotes falling asleep easier and promotes REM.
Air bike users can set a high resistance level when working out which means they receive a great strength training workout. Just like cardio, there are an array of benefits to strength training that allow one to live longer and become stronger. For example, strength workouts increase bone density (meaning reduced risk of fractures and osteoporosis) in addition to muscle mass. It also boosts resting metabolism, meaning that one will continue to burn fat even when not working out. Finally, strength training allows users to boost their stamina, meaning they can do everyday tasks quicker and easier and get more work done than ever before.
It can be easy to think that low impact means low benefit, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Low impact exercise is just as beneficial for one’s body as high impact, it’s just gentler on the body—perfect for those who have joint issues, beginner exercisers and those recovering from injury. Air bikes are an excellent tool for those who need a low impact exercise because it puts next to no stress on the hip, knee and ankle joints while still allowing users to get a great strength and cardio workout.
Fan bikes promote weight loss even more than a spin bike because one is actively moving their arms just like when running (i.e. a full body workout). This means less time exercising with more benefits. While it’s impossible to give an exact number for how many calories a person can burn when using an air bike due to differences in body composition, weight and height, it’s very possible that someone can burn as much as 75 calories a minute when using the bike to get a high intensity workout.
Better Brain Health
Cardio has been shown multiple times to improve memory and brain health, which means it may help starve off debilitating conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. However, it’s also great for short term brain health as well by lowering stress levels and combatting anxiety and depression in those who may suffer from these conditions due to the increase in endorphins one receives when working out.
Easy to Use
Spin bikes require some tech knowledge to get started and often require a power source, but air bikes are almost as simple as set up and get on (more on that in the next section). Using one’s body to set the pace and resistance level means they’re the perfect fit for someone who doesn’t want to deal with a lot of dials and settings to get the perfect workout.
Getting started on an air bike is incredibly easy, but there are a few factors a person should take into consideration before jumping on and getting started.
Find the Right Size
Whether looking to ride an air bike at the gym or purchasing one for home use, an exerciser needs to make sure their bike fits correctly. The seat should come up to the hip which allows the knees to remain slightly bent when the pedal is all the way down. Most air bikes feature an adjustable seat, meaning they fit people between 5’ and 6’5”, although there are larger and smaller models for those outside of the range.
Keep Good Form
Just like spin bikes, air bikes require the user to practice good form when using the bike. Knees should stay in line with the feet and one’s back should be kept straight when exercising to get the most out of the workout while also preventing injury.
Itching to get on and start pedaling? Fitscope understands. Look at our air bike workouts for more personalized instruction and try this quick 20-minute workout to get started on an air bike:
Step 1: Warm Up – 30 RPM – 4 minutes
Step 2: Push/Pull – 80-100 RPM – 1 minute
Step 3: Pace Yourself – 30-40 RPM – 3 minutes
Repeat steps 2 and 3 twice.
Step 4: Cool Down – 30 RPM – 4 minutes
Air bikes are an excellent workout machine for those looking to have a strength and cardio routine rolled into one. For those who want more personalized instruction or to take their workouts to the next level, Fitscope has workouts for cyclists of all fitness levels, including some of the best HIIT cycling plans in the industry. Want to vary your workouts? Fitscope offers a variety of airbike, HIIT, treadmill, elliptical, yoga and many more exercise videos for those who want to get the best workout possible. Click here to learn more and receive a free one-week trial.