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Old 2019-03-14, 08:01 AM   #1
zeusophobia1
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Best type of unicycle for muscular exercise?

Hi, I read that muni gives your abs a hell of a workout. I also, read that both hands on the seat works your entire upper body.

With this logic, it makes sense that the best way to get a workout on one of these is a muni with both hands on the seat or handlebars.

I also read something about if you go fast enough on a 36'' you can get a crazy ab workout. It would make sense that a 36" with handlebars would give you a full body workout as well.

All I've ever ridden were cruisers on the sidewalk. I don't know jack about the other stuff other than that I want to try something new and get a good workout.
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Old 2019-03-14, 08:15 AM   #2
finnspin
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Originally Posted by zeusophobia1 View Post
Hi, I read that muni gives your abs a hell of a workout. I also, read that both hands on the seat works your entire upper body.

With this logic, it makes sense that the best way to get a workout on one of these is a muni with both hands on the seat or handlebars.

I also read something about if you go fast enough on a 36'' you can get a crazy ab workout. It would make sense that a 36" with handlebars would give you a full body workout as well.

All I've ever ridden were cruisers on the sidewalk. I don't know jack about the other stuff other than that I want to try something new and get a good workout.
If you want a workout, I'd recommend a classic gym or bodyweight workout. I personally love slingtrainers (crosscore or similar) for core excercises.

Unicycling is fun, but a workout designed to train specific muscle groups is better if fitness is your main goal. I'm relatively fit, and it takes a lot of hard unicycling for it to be a workout. I'll only feel my core the next day if I ride for hours. With a good bodyweight routine, I can get that in half an hour.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Go unicycling for fun, and to get better at unicycling, and do workouts to get fit. Unicycling will help you get/stay fit, but I see no point in trying to make unicycling a better workout.
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Old 2019-03-14, 08:37 AM   #3
zeusophobia1
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If you want a workout, I'd recommend a classic gym or bodyweight workout. I personally love slingtrainers (crosscore or similar) for core excercises.

Unicycling is fun, but a workout designed to train specific muscle groups is better if fitness is your main goal. I'm relatively fit, and it takes a lot of hard unicycling for it to be a workout. I'll only feel my core the next day if I ride for hours. With a good bodyweight routine, I can get that in half an hour.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Go unicycling for fun, and to get better at unicycling, and do workouts to get fit. Unicycling will help you get/stay fit, but I see no point in trying to make unicycling a better workout.
What if I want to have fun while working out instead of lifting something a bunch of times or being in a weird position for a while? There's something to be said for enjoying your workout.
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Old 2019-03-14, 11:26 AM   #4
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Climbing steep hills builds great stability around the core and very strong legs. Before I became a uni rider I had a weak lower back but soon fixed that.

Start by riding up easy hills and move to steeper ones as you succeed. When you run out of steeper hills and can accelerate up the grades, get a bigger wheel.

I did this on a 24, getting up to about 18% grades then repeated the sequence on a 26 then a 29. The feeling of power is really invigorating when you realise you are accelerating up a steep hill. So often I looked down in the shower after a ride and wondered whose legs I had swapped with.

I was getting up some of the grades on a 36 and was still working at it when I had an extended illness and a too busy life. Lost the strength but never lost the lower back poise.

Starting again now on the 26. My technique on it is so much better now and I just need to rebuild leg strength and stamina. The last two rides I began to know I can get back there again.
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Old 2019-03-14, 11:07 PM   #5
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Unicycle riding may not be able to match a gym for overall fitness, but it is pretty good for some things. For me, riding uphill off-road is about the hardest thing there is. It's a harder cardio workout (for me) than anything else.
I also find it good for balance and leg strength. (It was these two things that motivated me to ride to begin with.) As mentioned above, it's also great if you have back problems. (I do, and the more I ride, the less back problems I have.) (I've never noticed my abs being stressed very much, so I can't comment on that aspect.)
I'm lazy and hate exercising, but I love to ride the uni, so for me the exercise is great!
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Old 2019-03-15, 04:33 AM   #6
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Another vote for "one hell of a workout".
It's what you make it.

29'er with handlebars is my all mountain ride.
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Old 2019-03-15, 08:33 AM   #7
finnspin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeusophobia1 View Post
What if I want to have fun while working out instead of lifting something a bunch of times or being in a weird position for a while? There's something to be said for enjoying your workout.
Definetely. I guess I would never look at sports like unicycling as a workout though. It being exercise is just a part of it, I do it because it's fun.

What I'm getting at is:
I don't think anyone looks at whether they want to ride a mountainbike or a roadbike from the perspective of which is the better workout. You choose one depending on what's fun for you, or what your friends are doing, or what is available around you. I recommend you doing the same, it will become exercise (or not) by the way you do it.
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Old 2019-03-15, 10:38 AM   #8
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I don't think anyone looks at whether they want to ride a mountainbike or a roadbike from the perspective of which is the better workout.
Really, you don't think anyone considers this?
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Old 2019-03-15, 03:36 PM   #9
tholub
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Road riding, once you're good, doesn't work out your abs very much. It can be a good cardio and quad workout but not as good as a bike.

MUni on difficult terrain will work both your legs and your core, as you have to twist a lot to correct your line.

Probably the best workout for your core is something like uni basketball or hockey where you're constantly twisting. But they're not as good for cardio or leg strength.

Do it all!
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Old 2019-03-16, 09:14 PM   #10
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If your primary goal is exercise on one wheel, get an Ultimate Wheel.

If you want the day to day practicality of a conventional unicycle, try uphill muni or cross country.
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Old 2019-03-17, 06:19 AM   #11
johnfoss
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So sad, the state of our beloved Unicyclist.com Forums. Virtually all the Trials and Street riders are gone!

I believe the correct answer to your question, as far as unicycling goes, would be Trials, with Street as a secondary. Basketball should also be mixed in for some muscle balance in the core, shoulders and arms. Muni is good as well, but doesn't compete much with trying to leap up high things, over and over, until you can leap up even higher things.

Probably not as effective as a balanced and even workout routine with free weights and other tools, but unicycling is much, much more interesting. As with any singular activity, there is risk of muscle imbalance that can lead to injury. That is, working muscles in one direction a lot, but the opposite direction very little. This is true for many/most sports.

Don't believe me about Trials? Look at pictures of people who are good at the "Urban" disciplines of unicycling. Ripped!
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Old 2019-03-24, 07:25 PM   #12
slamdance
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Great Workout

Once, we get past "beginners" phase it all get's easier and takes less muscle. However, to pursue more "basic" workout intensity try these:

1.) Ride on grass. The surface is hidden and unpredictable. It really forces you to "feel the ground" with each pedal. Feel and adjust power/stroke for dips and gopher holes. Bend and hurl your body center fwd/back for control. If you fall it doesn't hurt so much(a good time to practice judo roll falls...for future hard surface falls). Free-mounting is a great challenge, also. Try to idle. Find a slight uphill and it get's even more challenging.

2.) On smooth road/concrete, ride "off seat". Try to stand-up or keep your butt off the seat. Tremendous leg workout in a short distance and slow speed.

3.) If you can idle? Try a full rotation idle(alternate foot) or 1.5 rotation idle(same foot, easier). It takes more power to stop/reverse doing those, than the regular idle.

4.) Ride "steep" uphills on smooth surface. For added challenge "hold" onto your seat. This forces you to really perfect your balance until you can't, then let go and use your arms/upper body to do more.

Enjoy, keep on...T

Last edited by slamdance; 2019-03-24 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Reason:
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Old 2019-03-25, 05:48 AM   #13
Pinoclean
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Do trials wearing a 5-10kg weight vest. That will be decent resistance training for you.

or do long road hill climbs with a 5-10kg weight vest on.

or play hockey with a 5-10kg weight vest on.





Really just add weight to make it much more difficult lol.

Or do resistance training at a gym.
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Old 2019-03-25, 08:16 AM   #14
finnspin
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Originally Posted by Pinoclean View Post
Do trials wearing a 5-10kg weight vest. That will be decent resistance training for you.

or do long road hill climbs with a 5-10kg weight vest on.

or play hockey with a 5-10kg weight vest on.

Really just add weight to make it much more difficult lol.
How to unneccessarily risk ankle injury, lesson 1. Terrible idea.

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Do trials wearing a 5-10kg weight vest. That will be decent resistance training for you.
If trying to jump your max height isn't enough strain for you, you are not at your max height.

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or do long road hill climbs with a 5-10kg weight vest on.
Find a steeper road.

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or play hockey with a 5-10kg weight vest on.
No easy solution from me, I guess I'd say try shorter cranks.

If you unneccessarily add weight to your body, you increase your chance to get injured. As I pointed out, there are better ways to increase the strain on your body, to get better training results.

Weight vests are for doing training exercises (like burpees or pullups) in gyms, where there isn't anything unforeseen happening. If you play hockey with a weight vest, you can get into a collision, step on someones unicycle, and your ankle breaks because of the 10 kg you added.
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Old 2019-03-25, 08:23 AM   #15
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Is zeusophobia1 even real?
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