A stationary bike is one of the best ways for beginners to get in shape. They’re easy to use, ideal for less-than-stellar joints, they’re a great way to get your cardio in, and they also work hard to improve heart health and help with weight loss. Studies have also shown that cycling on a stationary bike for as little as 10 minutes reduces fatigue and negative moods, while also improving energy levels. And, because of the minimal tension stationary bikes put on joints, they’re perfect for those whose bodies aren’t exactly accustomed to rigorous workouts.
As a beginner, it’s important to focus on longer, instead of harder, workouts that’ll help build your cardiovascular stamina and endurance so you can do harder, more-intense routines when you’re ready. In the beginning, it’s all about prepping yourself for the long haul – so don’t worry about burning the most calories you can in an hour. Instead, work on improving your heart, body, and lungs so you can do harder workouts later. Read on for a roundup of easy and effective workouts that’ll whip you into shape and improve your overall fitness in no time.
Interval training is all about alternating between high and low-intensity workouts. And, an exercise bike is one of the best ways to do this type of training, It’s perfect for beginners, too – the low-intensity portion gives you some extra time to rest, and the high-intensity portion burns just the right amount of calories. The best part? Interval training has been proven to burn more calories than sticking to a consistent speed throughout your workout. Mixing up the pace also challenges your lungs, heart, and body, while preventing boredom at the same time. To do cardio intervals on your bike, begin with a low-intensity warm-up to loosen and warm up your muscles, then go straight into a 20-second sprint. Once there, pedal as hard as you can (you’ll start to notice some sweat just about now!). Rest for 10-seconds, sprint once more, and complete 8-10 times. If you prefer longer intervals, simply do each interval for a longer period of time.
This workout is guaranteed to challenge your body in entirely new ways. After completing your warm-up, cycle at a level that’s around 95% of your full effort for 90 seconds. Follow up with a 90-second recovery interval that’s around 40% of your full effort. Then, using the same intensity levels, perform 60-second and 30-second intervals, After the last and final 30-second recovery period, cycle at 70% of your full effort for 4 minutes and repeat the entire set of intervals. With this workout, you’ll burn around 15 calories per minute – seriously!
It can get boring sitting on a stationary bike for a long period of time. Ease your boredom (and have fun too!) by incorporating challenging drills into your routine. This is a fun way to mix things up and keep your workouts fresh and new. Try a technique like speed play, where you’ll complete random intervals, switching things up when you feel inclined to do so – they’re similar to intervals, but with higher intensity sessions.
Stationary bikes are also an incredible way to build and tone muscles. Do this by increasing the resistance on your bike – you’ll want to feel like you’re pedaling uphill. Once you increase the resistance, it will seem like you’re slowing down, but the extra jolt of resistance will make your leg and butt muscles workout harder than ever as they turn the pedals. Another way to get some strength training in is with dumbbells. Simply grab a pair of lightweight dumbbells and do bicep curls while you’re pedaling.
Last but not least, when you’re on your bike, it’s important to listen to your body and stop if you need to. Pace yourself, and don’t overdo it – a few extra calories aren’t worth getting hurt. We also believe that a comfortable pair of bicycling shorts and spin shoes will take your workout from ordinary to extraordinary. A great way to get through a longer workout is by listening to motivating tunes, turning on your favorite TV show or news segment, or grabbing a friend and getting through the workout together.
To keep your body in tip-top shape, we recommended standing up every 5 minutes or so and pedaling as if you were climbing a hill for around a minute. This will help take the pressure off your lower back and force your body to use new muscles. Once you’ve got it all in motion, you’ll begin to experience the incredible benefits associated with cycling. Enjoy!