Hi, when performing the exercise bicycle crunches, does your

Patient

Q: Hi, when performing the exercise bicycle crunches, does your back have to be as flat against the floor as possible in order to burn calories or can your back be slightly cushioned (not completely flat against the floor). In other words can you perform the bicycle crunches on a mat or padded surface etc and even if your back isn't completely flat/ straight against the floor are the calories burnt still the same as if your back was completely flat/ straight against the floor. Is it the back being as flat as possible against the floor that determines the calories burnt or the raising of the legs to the chest that burns calories. Also, if you perform the bicycle crunches slowly and with rest eg performing 2 bicycle crunches and then resting for 10 seconds will the calories burnt still be the same compared to performing the bicycle crunches at a faster pace and without rest, or will the calories burnt when performing the bicycle crunches at a faster rate and without rest only result in slightly more calories burnt (ie not a significant increase in the calories burnt) when compared to performing the bicycle crunches at a slower rate and with rest in between. Thankyou for your help and kind regards,
Kelly.

Doctor

A:   Hello, Welcome to ATD
During bicycle crunches back should be flat. Exercise mat & thinly padded mat/sheet is fine but if cushioned surface is used, there will be a slight change in curvature of lower back causing more stress and that area. The flat back has no relation to calorie burned, it's to protect the back from undue stress.
Energy burnt is directly proportional to work done in a given time. You should focus more on what your body can handle, rather than going after calorie burnt. Once your body can cope up with exercise rate slowly the rate of exercise will increase along with the duration of exercise. Generally speaking, faster bicycle crunches means more energy spent with duration being constant.
Feel free to discuss.
Regards

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Hi, thankyou for your reply and help. Does the back being pressed as low to the floor as possible result in more calories burnt or can it be raised above the floor (eg not floor level) and still burn the same amount of calories. In other words does the level/ height of the back to the floor determine the number of calories burnt when performing the bicycle crunches or does the back not being pressed as close as possible to the floor not determine the number of calories burnt. Thankyou for your help and kind regards,
Kelly.
Doctor: I have already mentioned that there is no or neglible relation of back and floor to the calories burnt.
Although on lifting back, there will be further work & theoretically more calorie burnt but the stress over lower back will certainly affect the daily workout. The increased calorie burn by this way is also negligible.
Hope I have made my point clear.
Warm Regards
Patient: Hi, thankyou for your reply and help. Thanks again and kind regards, Kelly.
Doctor: Thankyou for posting your query at ATD.
Warm regards.

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