Spinning, another name for indoor cycling, is a low-impact workout that helps you burn fat, increase endurance, support your cardiovascular health, and build physical strength. Plus, it sharpens your focus.
These are a variety of reasons to consider incorporating indoor cycling into your workouts. However, more reasons exist without breaking your back. Just keep reading!
These stationary bikes have entered the human society in the recent past, and for better or for worse, they are here to stay. The reason is not farfetched; in the fitness world, indoor cycling is playing a massive role in improving cardio fitness levels and muscle endurance.
The good news is you don’t have to break the bank before you can afford an indoor cycling setup. You could have a setup for your budget.
What to Expect from Reading this Article
This article is the ultimate guide to make your indoor cycling as effective as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie or a seasoned cyclist who is used to pedaling for several hours. Before we jump in, we want to clear some confusion.
While spinning may be a generic term to describe any cycling session, indoor cycling doesn’t necessarily mean spinning workout. This is a growing misconception. Indoor cycling can be done on a number of machines including; turbo trainers, traditional upright exercise bikes or on spin bikes.
The mentions exercise bikes have two things in common, pedals and saddle but their workout and intensity can be different. For instance, intensity of cycling on a spin bike more aggressive than cycling on an upright exercise bike or turbo trainer.
Spinning bikes are designed to do what road bikes do, except with a giant heavy flywheel for a more intense workout, and they are usually larger and heavier than stationary bikes. That being said, we are here to offer you tips for an effective indoor cycling workout.
Set up an effective indoor cycling space.
Finding the right training space is very crucial to maximizing the benefits of indoor cycling. Many of us do not live in big homes and therefore do not have the luxury of having an extra space to spare in our house.
This means finding and setting up space may be a herculean task. And, if you have to move your stationary bikes now and then to train, you’ll soon start finding excuses not to.
The trick is finding a space that doesn’t interfere with your normal day-to-day activities or away from distractions like TV. If you got extra bucks, make it soundproofed.
It may be the garage, basement, a patio, etc., and if your floor space is limited, you can even situate it outside the house as long as it’s sheltered.
The thing is, you must not necessarily confine yourself to inside the house. Besides, what’s better than enjoying a fresh and natural breeze outside?
But, if you insist on cycling indoors, you can find any spot that has a stable floor, so you don’t tip over. Secondly, ensure the floor is of the wipe-clean type as opposed to carpeted one as you may sweat while at it.
Because your sweat may stick to a carpeted one as well as odor, you can also use a carpeted floor as long as you place a mat on it.
Finally, if you live with someone, as you know, mutual respect is fundamental in any human relationship, it’s better you ride in a quiet area that is free of distractions or small talks. Magnetic resistance spin bikes do a great job in keeping the workout environment quiet so no one is disturbed while you are spinning.
Get the right cycling accessories and clothing.
Now that you have a bike, and you’ve also set up an effective indoor cycling space. The next thing to consider on your checklist is to acquire the right indoor accessories to help you stay comfortable and motivated.
Fans. You’ll need them. Whether your workout is intense or not, one thing is certain; you’re going to sweat. Therefore, you need the right cycling cooling fan to keep you from sweating too much. Fans such as a pivoting blower utility fan may do.
Bottles of water. You’ll need a bottle of water and a hand towel beside you too. The workout is going to beat your body into subjection. Therefore, you need to stay hydrated enough to carry on.
Anti-slip exercise bike mat. You’ll need an antislip mat that is sweat or waterproof. Sometimes, an antislip mat could also help dampen down the vibration. No reasons whatsoever not to get one. This is the cheapest commodity anyone can afford.
Indoor trainer stands and platforms. Other gadgets you may consider acquiring are the indoor trainer stands & platforms, especially if you want your workout sessions to be really immersive. An indoor trainer prevents side-to-side movement by locking your bike and keeping it in one place.
Finally, you need wireless headphones to keep your mind distracted from the pressure building up in your body and the lactic acid in your legs.
Prep Your Body Up.
How long do you want to exercise? 30 minutes? 45 minutes? 1 hour? How long you want to ride is determined by two factors: Your blood sugar level and, How hydrated you are.
It’s best you eat 30 minutes before your workout, as this will give your body time to digest the food and absorb the nutrient into your bloodstream.
Avoid foods with high-fat content, sugar, fiber, or protein. These types of foods will only slow you down during riding. At the same time, never ride on an empty stomach. It will lead to what is called “bonking.”
Bonking is a term that describes how you feel when your body is depleted of glycogen, and the marked exhaustion, nausea, poor coordination, headache, that follow it. In extreme cases, your hands start getting so shaky that you can’t concentrate or hold the handlebars well, and you feel dizzy.
Eating after class is equally important. The ideal meal should contain slow-releasing carbs and lean proteins to help fuel your muscle before and after workouts. You could also supplement this with a cup of tea or coffee to spike your concentration levels and fat metabolism too.
As you exercise, your body is going to lose lots of water via sweating, so you need to replace the fluids you lost by drinking plenty of water.
Proper Saddle Height Is Key
Proper seat height is everything! Before you climb on your bike, stand beside it, raising the leg closest to it, with a bent knee at 90 degrees. Also, keep your thigh parallel to the floor.
At what point is it? It should be where your seat is supposed to be. If it’s not, adjust the seat accordingly. This is because things could get pretty awkward if your bike seat is not well situated. And you will put needless pressure on your bones and joints.
Once you are on the bike, you could also check if you’re seated correctly. How? Your knee should be slightly bent when you’re at the lowest rotation of the pedal stroke. Plus, it shouldn’t be so bent that you can’t see the top of your foot.
Also, you shouldn’t be too far or close to the handlebars. This is another bad riding habit newbies pick up so easily. The ideal distance between your seat and handlebars should be the distance between your elbow and the fingertip of your middle finger. Adjust accordingly.
Maintain A Good Posture
You must maintain a good posture while riding to get the most out of your indoor cycling. Your back must be straight, your chest lifted and open, a 15% bend in your elbows, your feet flat, and your head looking forward.
There are certain benefits to these positions:
- Your back must be straight to protect your spine.
- Your chest must be lifted and open so airflow is not restricted.
- You must maintain a 15% bend in your elbows so as not to put much pressure on your upper limb muscles.
- Your feet must be flat to ensure balance.
- Your head must look forward to maintain your focus and to keep your mind off distractions or feelings of weariness.
Though indoor cycling has a lower injury risk, a bad posture may expose you to higher injury risks. However, the most common injury cyclists face is back pain. To ensure your safety, you must take these points into account when cycling.
Use Erg Mode
What is erg mode? The ergometer is a term common with the use of smart trainers. It simply sets the resistance that matches your target power.
The erg mode will help you focus on your workout so that you hold a specific power output. This is an important feature because we are humans, and our power surges or slows down sometimes. But, the ergometer doesn’t care; it induces you to hit specific values consistently.
However, only incorporate the erg mode in specific training sessions and not in all your workouts. You can’t handle all the intensity for long at all times; you have got to rest at times or tone it down. Remember, you’re only cycling.
Follow A Workout
Following online indoor cycling workout programs is another way to maximize the benefits of indoor cycling. This also makes it more effective, especially if you’re new to indoor cycling. This is a good option if you don’t have the time to go to the gym or health club.
Another advantage of following a TV workout program is, while they are on a commercial break, you could still do some more vigorous training instead of going to the kitchen to grab a meal.
There are tons of things you could do that make your workouts less effective. Things such as holding the handlebars too tightly, leaning awkwardly, rocking side-to-side, etc. Take a mental note of these things so you can have an effective workout.