- Back it Up With Backward Cycling
- Workout Example
- 4 Ways to Turn the Stationary Bike Into a Fat-Burning Machine
- Cycling For Weight Loss – Tips To Burn Fat With Indoor Cycling
- Just tell me straight up: Can you lose weight by cycling?
- Okay, I have to ask…is cycling worthwhile if I want to lose belly fat?
- How many calories are we talking here, realistically?
- So, cycling should just be one part of my exercise routine, huh?
- Should anyone avoid take cycling classes?
- Indoor Cycling What It Is, How It Works, and More
- Indoor Cycling: Maximizing Your Training Time
- Biking: How to Make It a Workout
- Yes, you can lift weights on the bike (an explanation)
- Can You Lose Weight Riding A Stationary Bike? Let Me Tell You Here.
- Look For Thes Two Things
Back it Up With Backward Cycling
Stationary bikes are ideal cardiovascular tools to improve heart and lung function, burn calories, rehab knees, and reduce stress. Most people know how to pedal a bike and cycling offers an intense, low-impact exercise that is safe for the majority of fitness participants.
Using a stationary bike does not offer many workout options, though. Un a treadmill on which you can walk, run, walk uphill, walk on tip-toes, or jog, a stationary bike is limited, whether an upright or recumbent.
Yes, you can pedal faster and increase or decrease the resistance to simulate hills, but the motion is the same. Fitness professionals will tell you that you need workout variety to keep challenging your body to respond and to reduce injuries.
If the stationary bike is your go-to piece of equipment, vary your workout with backward pedaling.
Many stationary bikes, whether they are upright or recumbent, can be pedaled backward. The same is not true for indoor cycling bikes which operate on a flywheel system.
These bikes may not have the ability to go backward, or it may be harmful to you or the bike, so check with gym staff before you try the workout on an indoor cycling bike.
Otherwise, add in a backward cycling time to your workouts to improve your cycling skills, burn calories and enhance your heart-health.
The American Council on Exercise, ACE, studied backward cycling in comparison to forward cycling. ACE found no differences in responses between females and males, but the differences between backward and forward cycling were identified.
When subjects pedaled backward, their heart rate was higher by approximately eight beats per minute. Subjects also felt as if they were working harder, but the workload and pace was the same as when they pedaled forward.
For the muscles, the groups in the fronts and backs of the lowers legs, the backs of the upper legs and buttocks, recorded the same amount of energy usage. The muscles on the fronts of the upper legs, the quadriceps, showed a higher involvement during backward cycling.
Researchers said that the higher quadriceps usage was expected since subjects had to pull up on the pedals when cycling backward.
A higher heart rate response during backward cycling helps to improve aerobic capacity. When you add backward cycling into your workout, you are strengthening your heart for forward cycling.
This means that when you pedal forward, your heart is more efficient and you will be able to pedal faster, longer or at a higher intensity level. The same is true because of the increase in quadriceps strength.
Your forward cycling benefits because each push on the pedal will be stronger and more efficient.
You can perform sustained bouts of forward and backward cycling such as 15 minutes forward followed by 15 minutes backward for your 30-minute workout sessions, or mix it up and alternate every one to two minutes.
As the strength and power of your legs increases, you will be able to pedal backward, and forward for longer durations, so increase the resistance level to keep challenging your body.
Soon, the workout will not feel as difficult and you will see the body-changing benefits.
4 Ways to Turn the Stationary Bike Into a Fat-Burning Machine
ClarkandCompany / Getty Images / Graphic by Zackary Angeline
Unless you're in a pounding-beats, heart-pumping group class, stationary bike workouts don't exactly scream excitement.
No matter where you are—from a health club to a dinky hotel or apartment complex gym—you're bound to find at least one stationary bike.
If you're inclined to walk right past that lone bike and hop on the treadmill instead, consider giving it a chance next time. Done right, stationary bike workouts are no joke.
“Stationary bikes are great for everyone of all fitness levels,” Jennifer Tallman, indoor cycling instructor at New York Sports Clubs, tells SELF. “Workouts on the bike build your cardiovascular endurance and strength in your legs, which translates to benefits off the bike, too.
” Since biking is a relatively low-impact workout, these machines are helpful for those recovering from injuries—just be sure you get fitted properly to help avoid knee issues, and always check in with your doctor if you're dealing with a specific injury.
With very few bells and whistles, they're also great for beginners or anyone looking to simply add some diversity to their fitness regimen.
If group workouts aren’t your jam, you don't have to join a class at your gym, or book a spot in a SoulCycle or Flywheel class to log great stationary bike workouts.
You can ride solo and kick your own butt on the machine, too.
Since you can control the speed and resistance levels on the bike, you can decide how to challenge yourself—it’s completely customizable to your fitness level and goals.
Working out regularly is great for your body and mind, and is and should be a goal unto itself.
But if you have another specific goal— losing weight, or lowering body fat percentage, or building muscle—you'll need to pair your workout routine with a strategic and healthy nutrition plan.
For certain goals, weight loss, that means creating a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume in a day), which requires making sure to eat quality calories and watching portion sizes.
For anyone who has a history of disordered eating, even if you're in recovery, you should speak with a doctor before you pursue any weight-loss goal, including starting a new exercise routine.
And even if you don't have a history of disordered eating, it's really important to have realistic expectations and make sure you're pursuing weight loss or body composition changes in a healthy way.
The truth is that weight loss, fat loss, muscle building, or other body composition goals are never just about one thing—in order to make changes, you need to look at your life and habits in a holistic way. And it can take a lot of time to see results.
Many factors come into play— getting good sleep, managing stress levels, genetics, health conditions, and the medicines you take. And your fitness routine itself has to be varied and include both cardio and strength training for real change to occur.
Cycling For Weight Loss – Tips To Burn Fat With Indoor Cycling
Cycling classes feel pretty dang intense most of the time. They're typically fast-paced and interval-based. You come out *dripping* in sweat and riding an endorphin high from the heart-pumping beats and ball-of-energy instructor on the mic. So you'd think that cycling is a perfect workout for weight loss, right?
The answer is both yes and no. Indoor biking classes (or cycling outdoors or on your own in the gym) can certainly be a part of your overall weight-loss plan, but they shouldn't be the only thing you care about if you're looking to get stronger and shift the scale number. There are a ton of factors that play a role in successful weight loss, and we'll get into those.
But there are some major pros when it comes to choosing cycling as your cardio method of choice for weight loss—if you peddle wisely. And alllll of the answers you've been dying to know about how to cycle for total weight-loss success are ahead.
Just tell me straight up: Can you lose weight by cycling?
Great news, Soul Cycle and Peloton lovers.
Cycling is basically just as effective as running when it comes to its cardio benefits, says Charlie Seltzer, MD, an obesity medicine physician and ACSM-certified exercise specialist.
Regular cycling may help lower your blood pressure, insulin levels, and your resting heart rate if you do it frequently enough (as can running), Dr. Seltzer explains.
Where cycling gives you a leg up on other forms of cardio? It’s an *awesome* lower-body workout.
Your hamstrings, calves, and glutes will all feel the burn during a cycling class, especially during portions where you have the resistance turned up.
Your leg muscles are some of the biggest in your body; so the more lower-body muscle mass (and muscle in general) you have means the more calories you'll burn during your workouts and at rest, Dr. Seltzer says.
So if you push yourself during those sprints and hill climbs and turn that knob to the right, you may develop stronger legs by cycling than by running, Dr. Seltzer notes.
Let's be honest, though, it can be easy to coast through cycling classes when you're just not in the mood to crank up the resistance.
But if you don't touch the resistance knob and push yourself, you probably won't achieve the lower-body strength benefits.
Bonus alert: Cycling is much easier on your joints than running.
“Cycling is a great way to get your cardio if you’re looking for a low-impact workout,” says Tatiana Lampa, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist.
“If you have low back pain but are still looking to lose weight, cycling will be your best bet…and in comparison to other forms of cardio, it has a low risk of injury.”
Okay, I have to ask…is cycling worthwhile if I want to lose belly fat?
If you’re hoping to lose belly fat specifically, don’t get your hopes up. You can't spot reduce fat, the American Council on Exercise confirms—no matter what kind of physical activity you’re doing, cycling included.
It’s not all bad news, though. Cycling burns calories, and that calorie deficit can help lead to weight loss if you are supplementing your physical activity with a nutritious diet. With consistency, you'll lose weight gradually all over, just not in one specific body part at a time (but you know this).
Cycling also kicks your metabolism into high gear, which is helpful for weight loss. “Some people will adapt to cycling in a way that makes them continue burning calories throughout the day,” says Dr. Seltzer, “but you have to make sure you don’t use your morning cycling class as an excuse to do less during the rest of your day instead of staying active.”
The takeaway: Don't take cycling classes with the expectation of shrinking your waistline. Use them as one component in your healthy lifestyle to help create a calorie deficit, boost your cardiovascular ability, and motivate you to practice other healthy habits outside of class, too.
How many calories are we talking here, realistically?
The number of calories you’ll burn is pretty individualized to you, the class you take, and the effort you put in. “Cycling burns between 400 and 1,000 calories an hour, depending on the intensity of the ride and how much the rider weighs,” says Lampa.
Both Lampa and Dr. Seltzer agree that an ideal workout routine for indoor cycling class aficionados would include three or four classes per week. So, in theory, you could burn anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000 calories per week by taking cycling classes.
That means you *could* burn anywhere from half a pound to a pound per week if you maintain the calorie deficit you create through Spin classes by eating healthy on top of 'em.
This won't work if you *only* do cycling classes but don't think about any other weight-loss factors (i.e. nutrition).
But it’s better to focus on doing what you reasonably can during the week as opposed to requiring yourself to take that many classes if it's not realistic, Dr. Seltzer says. Because, hey, Spinning once a week is better than not Spinning at all.
“You have to consider your own recovery capacity, because ideally you’d be doing six days of moderate, vigorous exercise a week,” he explains. “If you can do three or four days of spinning as part of that, that’s a good start—but you need to be able to do other kinds of activity, too.”
So, cycling should just be one part of my exercise routine, huh?
Yup. As mentioned, it’s a great form of cardio, but it doesn’t strengthen all your muscles in equal ways necessarily. Incorporating other kinds of physical activity can really crank up your weight-loss efforts, help protect your bones and joints, and even maximize the benefits of cycling.
Dr. Seltzer s the combination of resistance training and cycling, adding that if you enjoy both of those activities, you could aim for doing each one twice per week.
Lampa, too, encourages supplementing your cycling with strength training.
Why? Strength training will also help you build muscle, and, as you learned, the greater amount of muscle you have can increase the number of calories you burn during strength training *and* while you cycle, Lampa explains.
Cycling is on par with other cardio forms for losing weight.
Yoga can be a valuable compliment to cycling as well, she adds. “After cycling three or four times a week, the body gets stuck in that seated position while hunched over,” she points out. “It’s really important to stretch out the muscles to decrease possible injuries.”
So if strength training isn’t your thing, consider taking a couple of yoga classes per week to offset the strain that may be associated with frequent cycling. Yoga is no slouch when it comes to burning calories, either: A 155-pound person can burn about 150 calories for every 30 minutes of yoga, according to Harvard Health.
Should anyone avoid take cycling classes?
Dr. Seltzer recommends you get evaluated by your doc before taking a cycling class if you're at all worried about your health, an injury, or how it might affect a specific condition you have.
But if you’re generally healthy you should get a green light no problem.
He does add that some people simply find it uncomfortable to sit on a bike seat for an hour, and if it's really painful you can totally find another activity to do instead.
“If you’re Spinning because you think it’s going to help you burn body fat but you actually hate it, then Spinning is not going to work for you in the long run,” he says. “It’s not it’s way more effective than other kinds of cardio or your only option for losing weight.”
But if you adore indoor cycling? The low-impact benefits of cycling do make it an attractive option for cardio lovers who struggle with running or jogging.
“Eighty percent of Americans suffer from low back pain sometime in their life, so cycling may become more of an outlet for those who suffer from low back pain,” says Lampa.
Indoor Cycling What It Is, How It Works, and More
Ready to give indoor cycling a spin? Prepare to drip with sweat, get your blood pumping, and want to come back for more.
Indoor cycling classes help you shed fat, improve your heart health, and boost your muscle endurance. Your legs will get a serious workout. By the end of class, you’ll have a steady stream of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins.
Many gyms offer indoor cycling classes. Or you can join one of the popular cycling boutiques, Flywheel, which combines indoor cycling with a weighted workout for your arms, or SoulCycle, which adds mind-body exercise to its bike routine.
Or, you can do it at home with a stationary bike. Flywheel and another company, Peloton, offer bikes that allow you to stream live cycling classes from the comfort of your home.
Plan to do 3-5 classes a week for best results. Or add 1-2 classes a week into your workout routine. Classes usually last about 45-60 minutes.
An instructor will lead the class through different types of cycling, uphill climbs, bursts of speed, and short recovery periods with easy pedaling. Sometimes you’ll get off the saddle and pedal in a standing position.
There’s a bike for each person in the class. They usually face the same direction, either toward the instructor or a mirror.
The instructor chooses music to go along with each phase of the class. She may play an upbeat song for 5 minutes as you pedal as fast as you can. Then she may play a slower tune while you catch your breath and pedal slowly. You may bike for 5 minutes with a lot of resistance, to mimic riding up a major hill, with a song to match the mood.
Some instructors use imagery to keep you going. You’ll imagine yourself pedaling fast through a desert straightaway, or steadily up a green mountain on a Caribbean island. It’s a great way to keep boredom at bay.
By the end of the workout, you may feel you’ve been through a real adventure. And you should be proud of what you accomplished.
Indoor cycling is intense. Your heart rate will soar and stay elevated for 45-60 minutes. There will be brief moments of slower pedaling, but most of the class will be steady work.
Core: No. This workout doesn’t target your core.
Arms: No. This workout doesn't target your arms.
Legs: Yes. Expect nonstop leg work. Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves will feel the burn.
Glutes: Yes. All that pedaling will engage your glutes.
Back: No. This workout doesn’t target your back muscles.
Flexibility: No. This workout doesn’t focus on flexibility.
Aerobic: Yes. Your heart rate will stay elevated throughout this super-charged cardio workout.
Strength: Yes. All that pedaling will boost your muscle strength and endurance.
Low-Impact: Yes. There’s no pounding when you’re spinning. Your hip, knee, and ankle joints will be treated gently.
Cost: Plan to pay for a gym membership or class fees. One class may cost about $35. You’ll pay less per class if you buy them in a bundle.
Good for beginners? Yes. You should pick a class for beginners, talk to the teacher before the class starts and tell them you're new to exercise, and pace yourself. Don't try to keep up with other people in the room. Focus on your own workout
Outdoors: No. This is an indoor workout you do at a gym or indoor cycling studio.
At home: You can invest in a good stationary bike or opt to go to a gym or cycling studio.
Equipment required? Gyms have specialty stationary bikes. It’s probably a good idea to bring a towel because you’ll definitely sweat. If you’re advanced or a hard-core indoor cycling enthusiast, you may want to get a pair of cycling shoes that are extra sturdy and can clip on to the bike pedals. Expect to pay $150 or more.
Indoor cycling is a great way to get in your cardio each week. It is a low-impact workout, but it is no ride in the park. Many classes are very high intensity, so talk to your instructor and doctor first if you are shape, are pregnant, or have any medical problems. They can help tailor the program to your needs.
Taking classes involves going to the gym or a specialty studio, and this can get pricey.
If you enjoy working out with others in a very structured environment, then indoor cycling is a great fit. If you to sweat it out alone, then you may enjoy riding your bike outside instead. If you do that, wear a helmet.
Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?
A good aerobic workout indoor cycling may be just what the doctor ordered if you have diabetes. Check with your doctor first.
Cycling helps your muscles use glucose more efficiently, so your blood sugar level is ly to go down. If you have diabetes, your doctor will need to adjust your medications.
Scheduling your classes at the same time every day will help keep your blood sugars on an even keel. Talk to your instructor before class.
Most programs let you vary the intensity of the workout to match your fitness level and your needs by adjusting speed and/or resistance.
If you are at risk for heart disease, a solid aerobic workout indoor cycling can help bring down your blood pressure as well as your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol while helping raise your “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of a good cardio workout each week (which you can split up any way you ), but check with your doctor first.
Even if you already have heart disease, an indoor cycling program can often be tailored to your specific needs.
If you have arthritis and think you should pass on exercise, think again. With your doctor’s approval, indoor cycling could be the key to lifting your energy level and your mood, as well as helping to protect your joints.
When you cycle, you will be building up your leg muscles, and this helps support the knee joint. Stick to the seated and limited standing core movements. The jumps and some of the other more advanced movements can be tough on the knee joint.
Don't start an indoor cycling program if you had a back or knee injury. Wait until you get clearance from your doctor.
Indoor cycling can be a good option for you if you are pregnant. You will get a good aerobic workout without further stressing your joints. It is safer than riding a bike outside. You will not have to worry about falls once your center of gravity begins to shift with your growing belly.
If you have already been taking an indoor cycling class, your doctor will ly let you continue unless you are having problems with your pregnancy.
American College of Sports Medicine: “Just You & The Bike: 5 Physical Benefits of Indoor Cycling.”
American Council on Exercise: “Press Release: Indoor Cycling, America's Hottest Fitness Craze, Geared for the Conditioned, New ACE Study Finds.”
© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Indoor Cycling: Maximizing Your Training Time
Even with the days getting longer and the weather turning warm and dry there are still major benefits to training indoors. From recreational and age group athletes to the elite levels of cycling and triathlon, the indoor cycling workout is a key component to an effective training program.
In the winter months, some elite athletes complete 100% of their cycling workouts indoors. Even in the height of summer these same athletes harness the power of training indoors by doing a majority of their intense interval sessions on the stationary bike.
I’ll share with you several reasons why attending a quality spin class, or dusting off the stationary trainer at home, can be beneficial to your fitness gains this year, and beyond.
More Time Efficient
Riding outdoors as compared to a session on the indoor trainer or spin class is not exactly apples to apples.
Yes, you’re still riding the bike, & in many cases, modern cycling studios offer the ability for you to ride on your own personal bike during their structured classes, but the dynamics of riding outside results in a less efficient workout. When riding indoors you rarely get a break from your effort because you are constantly applying load to the pedals.
Outdoor cycling provides countless opportunities to utilize forward momentum to reduce your effort without losing much in the way of speed. Depending upon the concentration level (and motivation) of the rider, this can be done many times a minute during an entire session on the road, resulting in hundreds of micro breaks.
The ability to freewheel outdoors, even if only briefly, offers significant recovery benefits during the hardest of efforts. The variation in terrain and wind conditions can also disrupt the best laid plans for an effective interval session. Compare this to a typical indoor workout where the constant resistance reduces, or eliminates, the ability to coast.
As a general rule, I will have my athletes shorten the overall ride time of an outdoor workout by 15-20%, leaving any interval durations intact, when they are needing (or wanting) to ride inside. This is an attractive alternative to individuals with busy schedules and limited time to train.
Being time efficient also translates into more effective intervals during a spin class or indoor, stationary trainer ride. A well-structured, indoor cycling workout will yield fitness results in less time than doing similar sessions outdoors. The body achieves fitness gains by adapting to the overloads imposed upon it during each workout. It is much easier to follow minute by minute intervals without the distractions of riding on the road, thereby leading to an interval that can be followed more closely to the prescribed intensities. The proliferation of power meters on studio spin bikes and on personal bikes makes following these sessions even more precise, leading to quicker gains in overall fitness.
We all going out on the road and completing a tough set of climbing repeat intervals to build strength and condition the appropriate energy systems in the body.
With today’s technology, in form of power meters, controlling the resistance is easy, which makes the session more effective.
The “hill” on the stationary bike remains exactly the same for the entire time, without any variation due to terrain, road surface or atmospheric conditions. The more precise the interval, the greater the physiological benefits to the athlete.
Builds Mental Toughness
A typical reason I get from athletes who baulk at attending a quality spin class or riding their own bike on the indoor trainer is that it is boring. Granted, a four-and-a-half-hour session riding in front of the TV watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie is “poke your eyes out with a fork” B.O.R.I.N.G. I’ve been there, done that and it takes a certain breed of athlete to complete one of those marathon sessions. But most indoor cycling workouts can be completed in a single hour, while keeping the entertainment factor quite high. Many cycling studios have real-time ride data projected on huge flat panel TVs and exorbitant sound systems to take your mind off the suffering, making them attractive alternatives. They provide an entertainment value at the same time that they are providing you with a world-class workout. Even the best structured indoor workout, with all the cool distractions, doesn’t take away the difficulty of the session itself. Indoor riding offers a unique experience into the word of suffering on the bike and you can embrace it, making yourself a much better overall rider in the process. I call this “being comfortable being uncomfortable.” It is an acquired skillset that takes time, and dedication, to master. Being mentally strong is often what separates a good athlete from a great one.
If you are limited on the available time to train, then take ALL your cycling sessions indoors. They are much more effective at building fitness on a limited time budget. If you are challenged to self-motivate getting on your personal indoor trainer, then find a good cycling studio with instructors that you and it will provide you with a solid workout, in minimal time, with good entertainment value. Lastly, the limited distractions of a quality spin session will still allow you to develop the mental toughness required for you to push outside your comfort zone, which is a key component to gaining fitness and achieving your goals.
About the Author Paul Kinney is an IRONMAN Certified Coach, a USA Triathlon Certified Level 1 Coach, and a Team in TrainingPeaks Certified Coach. He has trained hundreds of triathletes and duathletes since 2001 & has since expanded his offerings to include cyclists, runners, and walkers through the creation of Kinney Multisport in 2009.
Paul's racing experience is widely varied and includes triathlons, ranging in distance from sprint to full Ironman races, off-road triathlons, duathlons, century rides & bicycle racing. Paul is a 2013 USAT All American & Ironman All World Athlete Silver Medalist in the 40-44 Age Group, a 7-time Ironman finisher & four time Death Ride finisher.
Other notable accomplishments are: overall and age group wins and podium finishes at Tinley's Adventures 2005-2007; fastest M35-39 bike split at Wildflower Olympic 2009; numerous top 10 age group finishes at races Wildflower, Pacific Grove, Vineman's Showdown & Tinley's Triathlons.
Other interests include auto racing, in which he began competing at various levels in 1990, travel, and anything outdoors.
CYCLING at CRUfit is not Spinning and is not designed to be a one-day, nightclub- experience.
While maintaining all the music and a fun training environment, CRUfit is one of the very few cycling studios in the San Francisco / Oakland Bay Area which offers structured indoor training with accurate performance feedback.
We aim to deliver fitness gains for all our riders. Many of our riders have taken their enhanced fitness outdoors to participate in a variety of events.
Biking: How to Make It a Workout
Biking is a top-notch cardio workout. You’ll burn about 400 calories an hour. Plus it strengthens your lower body, including your legs, hips, and glutes.
If you want a workout that’s gentle on your back, hips, knees, and ankles, this is a great choice.
You can cycle on the road, a bike path, or a mountain trail. Indoors, you can do your workout on a stationary bike or buy a stand, called an indoor trainer, for your outdoor bike.
If you’re a beginner, choose a flat bike path or road. If you’re ready for a tougher workout that also engages your upper body and core, try mountain biking. It’s also called off-road biking. You can do it on trails and different types of rough terrain.
Mountain biking is trickier because you have to navigate hills and surfaces, so your upper body and core will kick into gear. It’s more of a total-body workout than biking on the road, which is mostly a lower-body cardio workout.
Plan to get on your bike and ride for 30-60 minutes, 3-5 days a week.
Start every ride with a warm-up. Pedal at a slow, easy pace for 5-10 minutes. Then boost your speed so you start to sweat. If you’re riding a stationary bike, simply change the settings for a faster pace.
When you’re ready to wrap things up, take an extra 5 minutes to cool down by cycling at a slower pace.
Cycling gets your heart rate up almost as much as running and burns a lot of calories. It's also gentle on your body. It doesn't put a lot of stress on your joints, which helps if you’re getting into shape or have joint problems.
Core: Yes. Your core will get stronger from biking.
Arms: No. This workout doesn't specifically target your arms.
Legs: Yes. This is a great workout for your legs, especially your quads and hamstrings.
Glutes: Yes. Your glutes and hips will get a serious workout from biking.
Back: No. This workout doesn’t specifically target your back. If you want to add an upper body workout, try mountain biking. It will engage your back muscles as you navigate up and down hills.
Flexibility: No. This workout doesn’t focus on flexibility.
Aerobic: Yes. Biking is a powerful cardio workout.
Strength: Yes. The large muscles of your lower body will get a boost in strength from biking.
Sport: Yes, if you're competing in a race.
Low-Impact: Yes. This is a workout that doesn’t put stress on your joints.
Cost: If you don’t own a bike, you may have to buy a new or used one. In some cities, you may be able to rent one.
Good for beginners? Yes. Even if you haven’t biked in years, you can get right back on again. If you’re overweight, biking is a good option because it’s not a weight-bearing activity.
Outdoors: Yes. Biking is an ideal outdoor workout.
At home: Yes.If you have a stationary bike or indoor trainer, you can cycle inside your home.
Equipment required? Yes. You’ll need a bike (go to a local bike store to get fitted for the right bike size). A helmet is a must for safety. You can also try padded biking shorts, which can make your bike seat feel better. Gloves can protect your hands from rubbing the grips.
Biking is about as ideal as a cardio exercise gets. It provides a low-impact workout that also builds strong legs and improves heart health.
Practically anyone can do it. It’s great for beginners. And you can pump up the intensity as your fitness level improves, making it a challenging workout even for advanced exercisers. Because you have the option of outdoor biking or indoor cycling, you can bike year round.
If you want to bike outdoors but feel a bit unsteady, start with indoor cycling to help build some muscle strength to help stabilize you on a bike. Once you’re ready, take it outside but go slow at first.
Always wear a helmet when you bike outdoors. Head injuries are one of the most common biking injuries when people skip protection.
Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?
Because biking is a low-impact exercise, it’s ideal if you have arthritis in your hips, knees, and ankles or you’re recovering from a joint injury. Plus, it helps build stronger leg muscles, providing more support for your joints, which lessens pain.
If you have back problems, it’s fine to include biking in your routine, but you need to find another form of working out that strengthens your core and makes you more flexible.
Looking to drop some pounds to help manage diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or even heart disease? Biking is a great addition to your cardio routine that will also make your heart stronger.
When you’re pregnant, focus on indoor cycling. A stationary bike provides stability so you don't fall. If you were an intense cyclist before getting pregnant, you should be able to continue that during your pregnancy. Check with your doctor to be sure.
American Council on Exercise: “Bike + Mountains = Excitement + Challenge,” “8 Fun Calorie-burning Activities for Swimsuit Season.”
Cleveland Clinic: “What is the Best Type of Aerobic Exercise.”
Harvard Health Publications: “Getting back on the bike.”
© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Yes, you can lift weights on the bike (an explanation)
Yes, you can lift weights on the bike, and here’s why.
Last week I had a member ask me after class if it was “safe” to use hand weights while on the spin bike because she’d read somewhere that it was one of the top no-no things to do in a cycling workout.
I did a little digging to see what people are posting out there, and as suspected, most of what I found were blogs written by fitness “experts” on the various “gimmicks” they’ve seen or despise about cycling classes.
I use the term “expert” loosely here — because me, these experts are by and large just other instructors who teach different classes. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I do want to share some thoughts on the subject since I happen to teach my own cycling class using weights on the bike (I call it PowerCycle).
So before someone tells you that I don’t know what I’m doing in that dark room with the loud music, consider this:
- When we’re lifting, we’re not really cycling. I break up my class so that when it’s time to pick up handweights, it’s after a period of work that builds to an intensity where the legs welcome (need) a recovery period. I typically format my class as a 25-minute warm-up to increasing intensity period (with the intensity coming from a specific focus on intervals, hill repeats, tabatas, etc.) wherein the last 5 minutes is used to push the legs to all-out fatigue before allowing them to recover for 3-4 minutes. During this recovery period, participants go to seated coast and I guide them through a series of compound exercises using the weights (that means we’ll be using at least two muscle groups at a time for all exercises).
- When we’re lifting, we’re not really lifting. Critics of using weights on the bike will say it’s a waste of time because you can’t really build strength using such a low weight for a short period of time. I never promote the idea that lifting hand weights for 3 minutes on a spin bike is a way to “get swoll.” That doesn’t mean it’s an empty effort though. I also teach a strength training class and at least once a week, that class precedes the PowerCycle class I teach. The 3 minutes of compound upper-body exercises is the “cherry on top” of my weight-lifting cupcake. Using the right-sized hand weight (I use 5lbs) you can absolutely feel the effects of the weight after 3 minutes. For those who don’t lift, they will report back that they “feel” something – it might not be the feeling of building actual muscle, but it could be the feeling of starting to get comfortable with the idea that strength training can (and should) be part of one’s fitness routine OUTSIDE the cycling room. And I’m okay with that. We all start somewhere.
- When we’re cycling, we’re really cycling. In addition to my certifications to teach strength-training classes and cycling classes, I am a USAT certified triathlon coach who has completed a number of endurance races in the past 20 years from marathons to multiple half and full IRONMAN races. The format of my class may vary from the type of riding I did when I needed to train for 100+ miles on the bike, but I’m very well versed in how the resistance knob, pedal speed, bike fit and overall “landscape” of the room impact the cycling experience, and I know how to translate those things to the idea of “outside riding.”
- We don’t do anything willy-nilly. I change up my PowerCycle playlist and the workout every two weeks. This guarantees that the class is always fresh while giving participants the opportunity to tackle the same “course” more than once. I average about 4 hours of prep for every 52-minute class I teach. Two hours is used to find the right music and arrange the playlist appropriately (I blend all kinds of genres together, and I’m very particular about the order of the tracks so that everything flows). One hour is used to test ride the music and see what feels natural to do on the bike — sometimes I pick a song and plan it as a hill, but it wants to be a fast-paced interval once I’m riding to it. The last hour is used to refine the playlist the actual ride, and then organize my teaching guide to I can replicate the experience in class. All that being said, I know what every minute of my class is meant to achieve for the participants. There are no gimmick movements and no wasted seconds.
Still not convinced? Come and try a class. PowerCycle happens every Tuesday at 5:30 PM and every Saturday at 9:00 AM, at Elevate Dewitt. And don’t forget your first class is always free! Fill out the form below to try indoor cycling classes at Elevate Fitness.
Can You Lose Weight Riding A Stationary Bike? Let Me Tell You Here.
As you may be aware, when we eat various foods, they all have a different number of calories. Because the calories (in short) that we do not use, we will store as fat. It then means that we need to find a way to channel our energy expenditure. To “burn” these calories off, so we do not store them.
That is where the fantastic 100% guaranteed to work exercise bikes comes into force. It is a sure-fire easy way to burn those excess calories away. While also becoming fitter and much healthier too.
It is also a strength (for your legs) and a cardiovascular (Basically your breathing control) workout. It is necessary, as it helps you to get oxygen to the vital organs!
I know people who have lost a lot of weight through the regular use of an exercise bike. But consistency is key to it. It, combined with a healthy diet menu, of course. They alter their diet and construct a regime for the exercise bike at which they are comfortable.
However, not so comfortable, it doesn’t push you to your absolute limit every time you do a session on it. REMEMBER the old saying NO PAIN NO GAIN? Well, in this case, it is most certainly correct.
Always try and beat (either in length or time) your last go. This way, you will steadily improve. But, as I have said before and will repeat because of its importance,
“Do not go at it first off hammer and tongue,” As you will quickly get worn out, and worse still become disillusioned and end up with the mindset that this isn’t for you.
Now “What exercise bike should I even look at?” There are so many to choose from, so choose the right one for you. It is essential. That is a good question, indeed, as the market is ever-growing with an array of exercise bikes.
Look For Thes Two Things
There are two things that you should be aware of when it comes to getting one. Firstly there is the how long will it last question. As you do not want the use it a lot, and in doing so, ruin the bike’s frame and workings.
The bike must be sturdy enough to withstand near-constant use.
Secondly, and by no means less necessary, the exercise bike should be quiet. That is one for your neighbors as the sound of a flywheel (the wheel on the exercise bike)is annoying.
Because, when it is too loud, it will be enough to drive them crazy, and thirdly, there is you. You do not want to be doing your cycling to the loud continuous noise of it either. Please listen, as it will very quickly annoy you.
This exercise bike comes will a full go ahead, but it goes without saying that the cheaper you buy, the fewer functions the onboard computer will have on it. It is a fact that the cheaper it is, the less of a good buy it will be.
So in answer to your question, “Can you lose weight riding an exercise bike?” Sure, you can. But do not buy a cheap and nasty one.
So can you lose weight riding an exercise bike? Well, you can. Therefore, I hope this post answers some of your questions?
So then, can you lose weight riding a stationary bike? Well, yes, however, only when you have got your diet under control. All that you need to have is the other half of the solution.
This way, your weight loss attempt to be a success, I am, of course, talking about the exercise. Go to this link, “Home gym fitness equipment,” to see some items which will be the right choice for you. They will give you success in your weight loss mission.