5 great stationary exercise bike exercises for beginners
There is an endless stream of workouts you can choose from on a regular basis, from cardio dancing and running to weight lifting and cycling. Each comes with its own set of benefits and challenges, but if you’re looking for a fitness mod that is guaranteed to raise your heart rate and put a smile on your face, look no further than indoor cycling.
Not only does indoor cycling help improve cardiovascular fitness, helping your heart and lungs work better overtime, it’s also impact-free. In other words, if you have an injury that keeps you from going about your regular routine, a few sessions on the bike could provide your body with the respite it needs, without the forces of impact.
There are many indoor bikes to choose from, including turbo training bikes used with your regular bike, spin bikes that let you pedal against different levels of resistance with an emphasis on speed, and smart bikes that can do both – precisely recreating the feel of road cycling, or allowing you to participate in an intense spinning session.
âThe spinning bike is a great piece of fitness equipment because it offers cardio workouts as well as strengthening the legs,â says Lauren Wilson, NASM CPT and senior master instructor for CycleBar. âIt’s low impact too, so it’s easy on your joints and doesn’t create a lot of wear and tear on the body. “
Ready to get in the saddle? Before doing so, a few things to note: First, most indoor bikes allow users to âclipâ on or wear cycling-specific shoes that clip directly onto the pedals. Clipping will help you make better use of your muscles and get more punch from your workout.
Second, there are two things you can control on a spin bike: resistance and how fast you move your legs. The resistance is controlled by a small button between your legs. The less resistance, the faster your pace – or speed – will be. This is often articulated in RPM – or rotations per minute. A faster RPM would be north of 75, while a slower RPM (with higher resistance) might be between 40 and 65.
For a smart bike, you will have a lot more options. Check out the instructions for how to tune your bike so you can adjust resistance manually on the fly, but these have the added benefit of being able to pre-schedule sessions in advance.
If you really like not touching the button and just focusing on pumping out as many watts of power as possible, you can hook up most smart bikes to a platform like Zwift to get resistance changes in real time. or more powerful units. will have screens on board for you to create your own perfect workout.
Here, experts offer bike workouts based on your individual goals – or whatever flavor you crave that day.
Your goal: endurance
The training: Thirty minutes on the bike, oscillating between 60 RPM and 80 RPM with medium to heavy resistance.
The expert says: âWhen you need to work on your endurance, pace-based cycling is the way to go,â says Dan Cooney, co-founder of Torrent Cycle. “Riding to the beat of the music makes even the longest workouts go off in a flash and climb up to the perfect song is sure to bring out your best performance.
Your goal: to hurtle down the hills
The training: Thirty minutes on the bike, with four âhillsâ mixed together. Each rib can last from 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. (or the length of a single song on a playlist) and the resistance should be high. After the intermission, flesh out the legs by decreasing the resistance and increasing your pace, north of 90 RPM.
The expert says: âThere is no greater satisfaction than getting to the top of a hill after a long, arduous climb, but training for hill climbs can be intimidating,â says Cooney. âAs the hill continues you will find that your body starts to move with the rhythm. You control the amount of resistance you add, allowing you to climb heavier and heavier climbs as you get stronger.
Your goal: heart pumping intervals (1)
The training: Five minute warm-up to warm up the muscles, followed by a decreasing scale of intervals – all performed at light to medium resistance:
The expert says: “For some, a total interval could be between 75 and 100 RPM,” says John Fawkes, NSCA certified personal trainer and certified nutrition consultant. âThe more advanced you are, the more you can increase the resistance levels of the bike. HIIT workouts like this give you what you pay for. When it’s done right, you only need to spend up to 20 minutes exercising to reap the benefits. It’s a great way to introduce people to regular training when the time limit seems overwhelming.
Your goal: heart pumping intervals (2)
The training: Ten-minute warm-up, followed by four 30-second bursts of effort with slight resistance – 30 seconds of rest in between. Then perform 20 bursts of 30 seconds between 90 and 110 rpm, with medium resistance.
The expert says: âIf you have to, shift down to a lighter gear to maintain rpm in the second burst of intervals, that’s okay. Don’t let the intensity of the interval drop, âsays Wilson. âBy dividing the power intervals into short 30-second segments, with relatively short recovery, you can optimize your VO2 max with better results and improved muscle recovery time. In addition, your endorphins will increase and you will likely experience mental clarity and improved energy.
Your goal: to have fun
The training: Five-minute warm-up to warm up those muscles, followed by a four-song playlist featuring your favorite upbeat tunes. Try to select songs that vary in RPM, so think about one in the 60’s, one in the 80’s, one in the 90’s, and one around 105 or higher!
For the chorus of each song, step out of the saddle. When you get to the last song, just pick up your pace as fast as you can during the chorus, keeping it in the saddle.
The expert says: âIf you really enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to follow it,â says Emily Abbate, ACE certified trainer and former spin coach at Swerve in New York. âTry your luck in a different position by lifting her up and out of the saddle during the chorus, making sure to keep your shoulders back and down and your core engaged. Tightening your core will reduce your bounce between pedal strokes, making everything smoother. In the last song, come home and be proud of yourself for introducing yourself to the bike in the first place. ”
This article is part of TechRadar’s Get Fit in 2022 series – a collection of ideas and guides to get you started on your health goals for the New Year, regardless of your current fitness level.