Are you using the exercise bike to lose belly fat? You’re probably wondering if it is effective or whether you are cycling properly for a flatter tummy.

Exercise bikes are excellent machines for weight loss. They are low-impact and easy to use. But no fitness equipment can specifically target the fat from your belly. The key to toning your stomach is to lose excess weight and fat through regular exercise and a healthy diet.

To lose belly fat effectively (and for good), you have to understand what it is and its causes.

And while cycling can help you trim down your waist, it helps if you know how to optimise your stationary bike routine for this goal.

Here are the crucial things you need to know.

What is Belly Fat?

There are two types of belly fat. The subcutaneous fat is the jiggly type you can pinch between your fingers.

On the other hand, the visceral type is a deeper fat that surrounds the organs within the abdomen, like the liver and intestines.

Fat has several vital roles in the body, including energy storage, insulation, transport of vitamins, hormone regulation and organ protection.

However, excess fat, particularly visceral type, is dangerous and can lead to various health problems like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

What causes excessive visceral fat?

Here are factors that contribute to belly fat build-up:

  • High-fat and sugar diet. Too much intake of sweet and fatty foods can lead to excessive fat production. Extra fats then accumulate in the cells.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical activity lessens the amount of fat you burn into energy. Ideally, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly and strength training.
  • Alcohol consumption. Alcohol, like sugary beverages, is high in calories and easy to overdo. Fatty foods that go with alcohol drinking also lead to excessive calorie intake.
  • Hormonal changes. Studies show that constant exposure to stress can trigger the release of the cortisol hormone. This hormonal reaction, in turn, encourages increased visceral fat storage. The same effect happens among post-menopausal women, too. Experts also correlate visceral fat accumulation to cigarette smoking and cortisol release.
  • Genetics and sex differences. Genetics dictate our body shape and how we store visceral fat. Also, men and women have different fat deposition patterns and health consequences.
Riding an Exercise Bike to Lose Belly Fat

Based on this list, it is clear that visceral fat can build up naturally in the body whether we like it or not.

However, there are also factors, like better eating habits and increased physical activity, that we can do to control excess fat accumulation.

How do I know if I have high visceral fat levels?

Unless you undergo an MRI scan, it is hard to tell whether you have excessive visceral fat.

A protruding belly or large waist is one sign, though.

But a more objective way of knowing is to measure your waist circumference.

To do this, position the measuring tape at the centre of your rib cage and belly button.

Wrap the tape around this area and measure its circumference. Make sure not to pull your stomach.

The ideal waist circumference for women is below 88 cm (35 inches), while it should be below 102 cm (40 inches) for men.

Values higher than the ideal waist circumference mean you have high visceral fat stores.

Can an Exercise Bike Burn Belly Fat?

Now that you know what belly fat is and what causes it, it’s time to do something about it. And one way to do that is through exercise.

Any form of exercise, whether through sports or a fitness machine, can burn calories, build muscles and, eventually, trim your belly.

And if you love indoor cycling, you’ll be happy to know that using a stationary bike is one of the best methods to lose weight and fat.

Specifically, you can burn 210 to 294 calories per 30-minute moderate cycling session. Indoor cycling also tones the upper and lower-body muscles and boosts cardio health.

All types of exercise also encourage the release of happy hormones endorphins and serotonin. These can significantly reduce visceral fat and stress levels.

But remember. An exercise bike can help with belly fat if you use it regularly.

Also, complementing your cycling routine with better food choices and a well-balanced diet is a must.

Waist Circumference

How Do I Tone My Stomach Muscles Using an Exercise Bike?

Ready to cycle for a flatter belly but not sure how to get started? Here’s a stationary bike workout plan you can follow:

  1. Create a 2-month program. It’s good to start exercising to flatten your belly. But it’s better to have a timeline to ensure your progress. For example, depending on your fitness level, you can start with a 30-minute moderate session for the first two weeks. Then, gradually increase your exercise duration and intensity weekly.
  2. Identify your monitoring system. A digital body scale can give you all the necessary data to determine your cycling workout progress. Note helpful metrics like BMI, body fat percentage and muscle mass.
  3. Start cycling. Warm-up first for about 3 to 5 minutes to prep your body and increase your flexibility. Next, boost your speed or resistance and do intense cycling for 3 minutes. Switch to a moderate pace and recover for 2 minutes. Continue these alternating intensities until you reach the 30-minute mark. Make sure to allocate time to cool down.

More Tips for Successful Belly Fat Loss

Here are a few more things you can incorporate into your belly-busting program:

  • Do the 80/20 method. Start slow and give your body time to adjust to your more active routine. Once ready, level up your ride by allocating 80% of your time to moderate pedalling and 20% to intense cycling.
  • Check your bike settings. Air, spin and upright exercise bikes are the best machine types for burning calories and fat. A recumbent bike is not that ideal for this fitness goal due to its lower workout intensity. But whichever exercise bike you are using, what’s important is that you set it up for proper ergonomics.
  • Add off-bike exercises. Yoga, planking and strength training are some great options. Adding variety to your exercise routine should keep you motivated and avoid a fitness plateau. Also, doing other exercises lets you target body parts that biking cannot.
  • Walk more. Walking promotes better fat metabolism than biking due to higher muscle impact. It is also more effective in boosting bone health. So, skip the car ride whenever possible and incorporate walking exercises into your day.
Toning Core Muscles with a Stationary Bike


Without a doubt, riding an exercise bike can help with your belly fat problem.

And aside from getting you into better shape, cycling also provides other health benefits.

Just remember that shaping your core muscles, like weight loss, takes time.

So, design a cycling routine that you can do regularly for several months.

And don’t forget to switch to a more balanced diet and apply the other tips I’ve shared.

With discipline and perseverance, you’ll get that slimmer belly in no time! Did you know you can pedal backward with a spin bike? Learn more here.

Also, check out this exercise bike review and buying guide so you’ll work towards your goal with the perfect machine.

1. Is it better to bike faster or with higher resistance?

The choice between cycling speed and resistance level depends on your fitness goal. For example, if you pedal faster, you reduce the load on your legs and transfer it to your heart and lungs instead. That means boosting your pedalling speed is best for enhancing cardio health and burning calories. But if better muscles and strength are your goal, cycling at a higher resistance is the way to go.

2. How do I work my arms on a stationary bike?

You can pedal at a steady pace, then use dumbbells, resistance bands or a medicine ball to move your upper body while biking. Non-equipment moves like bike push-ups and arm circles are good options, too. You may also work out on an air bike with movable handles.