Ready to strap or click in for your next indoor cycling workout? Read our suggestions below to get the most out of your next training session.
The Importance of Correct
We will discuss below how to find the correct set-up to fit your needs.
Proper Saddle Height and Placement
- When examining what height to have your saddle, you will want to stand next to your
bikeand locate your hips. This is not where you might wear your pants, but you want to place your hands above the top of your hip bones. The saddle should be in-line with this measurement.
- The next step in the
bikeset-up process is to get on the bikeand place your feet in either the clips or toe cages, depending on the type of shoe you plan to use. Rotate the pedals until one foot is at the bottom of the rotation. The knee of the leg in the bottom pedal position should contain a 25-30% bend. This bend will allow you to continue to pedal through the ball of your foot without any pointing at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
- After you have established the seat height, it is essential to check if the distance between the saddle and handlebars you estimated while off the
bike. To check if your seat is in the correct position, bring your pedals parallel with the floor. Focus on the knee in the front. In this position, the knee should be between the ankle and the ball of the foot. If you find that the knee is behind the ankle or is going past the ball of the foot, an adjustment needs to be made.
Proper Handlebar Height and Placement
If a rider is able, the handlebars should be approximately the same height as the saddle. If a rider is newer, has back issues, or is pregnant, their handlebars should be raised. If the handlebars include 4-way adjustability, smaller riders should move the handlebars closer to the saddle. A rider should not feel as if they have to reach for the handlebars. If they are reaching, this causes them to slouch and will increase saddle soreness.
Basic Hand Positions
Using specific hand positions for various riding positions helps maximize your performance while minimizing injury risk.
Hand Position 1
Use hand position 1 for warm-ups, cool-downs, and seated flats. Place your hands directly in front of you on the handlebars while making your hands into a loose fist.
Hand Position 2
Hand position 2, place your hands as if you were riding an outdoor
Hand Position 3
In hand position 3, thumbs come to the handlebars’ end, and the fingertips loosely wrap around the handlebars. Use this position for a standing climb. If hands are placed in the position while in the saddle, it increases saddle soreness.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout
An indoor cycling class can scorch up to 400-600 calories during a 60-minute class, depending on the intensity. This low-impact workout offers both cardio and strength benefits.
Cadence plays a pivotal role in the intensity of the workout. Cadence, also known as rotations per minute, is how fast your pedals are turning per minute. Different terrains call for different cadences. For example, if you are performing speed work, your cadence will be between 80 and 100 RPMs. For climbs in and out of the saddle, cadences of 60-80 RPMs will occur. Today, many bikes have monitors that include your cadence, but what do you do if your
The Importance of Adding Resistance
Adding resistance can be intimidating, but it is the most critical aspect of increasing your workout intensity. Many newer riders mistake skimping on the amount of resistance they add to their
Knowing Your Rate of Perceived Exertion
The rate of perceived exertion is how hard that you feel your body is working. Rate of perceived exertion increases or decreases when changing cadence and resistance.
My riders use a scale of 1-10 to assess how hard they are working in my class. On the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale, three feels like a stroll in the park where you could maintain a conversation with a friend without being breathless. A ten on this scale is your max output and can only be maintained for less than 30 seconds. Understanding what these various exertion levels feel to you allows you to push harder and achieve better results. As you continue to get stronger as a rider, you will notice that you can ride at a higher intensity within your levels.
If you are struggling to find the inspiration for a great ride on your own, there are a few ways to help increase your enjoyment. Listening to music that you love when you ride helps to increase the intensity. Music also inspires different terrain suggestions based on the tempo and tone. Many indoor cycling class platforms are also available that include inspirational instructors.
If you are interested in trying a ride at home, feel free to try our sample class below for beginners. As a reminder, always consult your physician before starting any new
30′ Minute Indoor Cycling Workout for Beginners
|Duration (Minutes)||Activity||Description||Cadence (RPM)||Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)|
|5||Seated Flat||This is your warm-up. This is a running cadence in the saddle, and your hands are in placed in position 1 or 2. Shoulders are down and relaxed, elbows bent. You should feel your heart rate gradually increasing.||80-85||4|
|4||Seated Climb||This is your first work song. Hands are in position 2, and your hips should be back in the saddle. Focus on pedaling through the ball of your foot.||60-80||5|
|4||Seated Flat||This is a running cadence in the saddle. Hands are in position 1 or 2. Shoulders are down and relaxed, elbows bent.||85-95||5 or 6|
|5||Standing Climb||Come out of the saddle to position 3. Thumbs at the end of your handlebars and fingers wrap. Remember to drive your hips back over top of the saddle. You should be grazing the saddle on every stroke. There should be enough resistance that it is difficult to pedal, and a side-to-side motion is needed to continue to drive the pedals.||60-80||6 or 7|
|3||Seated Flat||This is a faster running cadence in the saddle. Intervals of 1:1 will include a 30-second sprint followed by a 30-second recovery. Hands are in position 1 or 2. Shoulders are down and relaxed, elbows bent. Ensure that you have enough resistance on the ||85-100||5 or 6|
|4||Seated Climb||Resistance should be much heavier than in the previous track. Hands in position 2, and your hips should be back in the saddle. Focus on pedaling through the ball of your foot.||60-80||5 or 6|
|5||Seated Flat||This is a running cadence in the saddle. Hands are in position 1 or 2. Shoulders are down and relaxed, elbows bent. You should feel resistance on every pedal stroke.||70-80||5|
|5||Cool Down||Continue to pedal until your heart rate is low enough to where it is safe to stop your pedals. After your heart rate has returned to a regular rate, begin to stretch. Stretching is an essential component of any |
Frequently Asked Questions
How high should my spin bike handlebars be?
Handlebar height is the rider’s preference. Seasoned cyclists and those who can should aim for their handlebars to be the same height as their seats. Newer riders, those with back issues, or pregnant participants should ride with their handlebars higher.
Is spinning a good way to lose weight?
Spinning provides a great cardio and strength workout. However, losing weight is a three-pronged approach that includes cardio, strength, and clean eating.
Should you spin every day?
Indoor cycling is a fantastic exercise but should not be done every day. Our rest days are just as important as our workouts because that is how our bodies get stronger. Activity breaks down muscle fibers, and when muscles are given time to rebuild, strength and definition can increase. Aim for 3-4 workouts per week if taking high-intensity classes.
Will cycling make my thighs big and bulky?
No. Women do not have the amount of testosterone required to build big bulky muscles.