Jason Lee - Feb 20 2021
How to Maximize your Indoor Bike Workout
Indoor cycling is a fun, covid-friendly, and trendy new way to work out. It's a great and effective form of exercise, but you may not be getting the most of your workout if you are making some of these common mistakes. Here are some ways to maximize your workout and get the full benefits of your new indoor bike.
1. You aren't warming up beforehand.
It is imperative to your workout to get your blood pumping and your muscles warm before beginning exercise. If you jump right onto the bike without a warm-up and some light stretching, your muscles will be stiff and prone to injury. Stiff muscles also don't allow for maximum muscle growth, which will stunt your results. It is best practice to do some light aerobics and dynamic stretches such as the vinyasa flow, arm circles, inchworm walks, and lunges.
2. Your seat is too high.
If your hips are rocking back and forth while you are pedalling on the bike, your seat is too high. This could cause strain on your hips & low back while also stunt your workout performance. To ensure that your bike seat is at the correct height, position it at your hip level while standing next to it.
3. Your posture is off.
Once again, another mistake that can hinder your muscle growth and potentially cause muscle strain and injury. You want to keep your spine elongated, make sure your arms are slightly bent when holding the handlebars, and make sure your knees stay slightly bent at all times when pedaling. Keeping proper posture will keep you safe and reap the full benefits of your workout.
4. Your resistance is too high or too low.
Do you have a hard time keeping a consistent rhythm or bouncing on the saddle too much? You may not have the correct resistance. If you are straining too much, decrease your resistance some. If you are bouncing on your saddle too much, increase it. Finding the perfect resistance setting will keep you from hurting your back, bum, and hips while ensuring you aren't losing anything from your workout.
5. Remember to tighten your core!
As with any workout, tightening your core during your indoor cycling workout helps posture correctness, relieves low back pain, and supports your stability and overall coordination. Keeping your abs flexed during your exercise will build your core strength and help you achieve a flat tummy.
6. Don't forget your cool-down.
Five minutes of stretching after your indoor cycling workout is crucial to your body and your progress. Post-ride stretching improves your ride by elongating your spine while you're riding and helps you maintain your posture without any pain. Stretching post-ride will also help alleviate any muscle stiffness and soreness accumulated during your workout.
7. Lighten your grip on the handlebars.
The handlebars serve the purpose of stabilizing you during your ride, not support your weight. Putting too much weight on the handlebars can take away from the core and quad strengthening aspects of your indoor bike workout. If there is too much pressure on your palms, try adjusting your seat and handlebar height. Flutter your fingertips during the hard parts of the exercise to ensure you are gaining maximum efficiency during your ride.
8. Pull on the pedals.
If you only focus on the downstroke, you will end up overworking your muscles and not getting the full benefits of your indoor bike workout. While one leg is downstroking, make sure to pull up on the pedal with the opposite leg. Doing this will work both your quads and your thighs/ hamstrings.
9. You Aren't Breathing Correctly
One of the biggest mistakes we all make during a workout is holding our breath when we strain. Remember, our muscles need oxygen too. Not to mention, if you hold your breath too much, you can make yourself lightheaded and faint during your ride. When indoor cycling, make sure to breathe in your nose and out of your mouth in a steady rhythm during your ride.
10. You fan or fling out your elbows out.
It is sometimes hard to keep your elbows steady during an indoor cycling workout, but if you flail your elbows out or keep them fanned at a wide-angle, it can be detrimental. You will create strain on your shoulders, take away from your booty gains, and take away from your triceps work. Try to keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle and close to your sides.
11. Wear proper clothing.
Since you are most likely in your home working out on the stationary bike, you may want to work out in your pajamas or sweats, but this is a bad idea for indoor cycling. Wearing loose clothing can cause you to get caught on the pedals or the seat. This can constrict you from certain movements, throw you off rhythm, take away from your workout, and potentially cause injury. Instead, wear fitted and breathable clothing so that you are comfortable and safe. If you want to step it up a notch, consider padded cycling shorts to make your ride more comfortable.
Related: 5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING CYCLING SHORTS
In conclusion, with these tips and tricks, you will be able to step your indoor cycling game up to the next level. Following these practices will keep you safe, comfortable and provide maximum efficiency during your indoor cycling workout. Have fun and happy cycling!