Exercise bikes provide a great workout for those who are looking for an effective, low impact exercise. And, it strengthens your heart and lungs as well as burns calories while shaping your lower and mid body.
However, one of the challenges with indoor cycling is creating a cycling workout. Unlike being at a gym class, you’re on your own. The good news is that with a few basic foundation workouts you can implement at home in order to get the most from your indoor exercise bike.
Three Basic Indoor Bike Workouts
These foundation workouts can be modified to your present fitness level, time constraints, and goals. Use them to create a fitness program that works for you.
Warm up your muscles by cycling for 5 – 10 minutes at a low intensity. Pedal fast and hard for 20 – 30 seconds. Rest for 10-20 seconds. Repeat this cycle of alternating high intensity exercise with rest for five minutes. As your fitness level increases you can increase the time and the resistance level. For example, you may work up to a 30 minute Tabata.
Intervals are a bit like a Tabata workout. However, instead of resting, you lower the resistance and effort level. An interval workout alternates high intensity effort with moderate effort. For example, after warming up you might exercise at a moderate intensity level for five minutes then pedal at a high intensity for one full minute. Like a Tabata you can increase the length and intensity of your workout as your fitness level increases.
If you have a few hours to work out a few days a week you can really burn a lot of calories. With this particular workout approach you’ll ride your bike for more than an hour. Fitness experts say that after thirty minutes or so the human body enters what’s called the fat burning zone.
It’s when your body turns to a different source of fuel to give you energy for the workout. The longer you stay in the fat burning zone, the more you burn. If you can work out like this a few times a week you’re likely to lose weight. When you’re performing this type of work out, you’ll exercise at a moderate level once you’ve warmed up.
Adding Circuit Training to Your Workout
If you are interested in strengthening muscles, you can add circuit training to your indoor exercise bike workout. For example, you might do 50 pushups, 50 sit ups and then ride your indoor bike for five minutes at a high intensity. Repeat this circuit four times. If you have weights you can add shoulder presses, curls, squats and a whole host of other strength training exercises.
Start with your goals and create a plan. What do you want to accomplish with your indoor exercise bike work out? Try the different types of workouts and find the right solution for you.