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Top Cardio Tricks: The 45-Minute Indoor Cycling Workout

How to Get the Best Indoor Cycling Workout

Hit the Right Height
"The biggest mistake people make is to set the bike seat too low," Uresti says. When pedaling, the leg should be bent about 25 degrees at the bottom of the rotation. "This relieves your quads from doing all the work."

Get Up, Stand Up
When doing fast-paced runs, stay seated. To add intensity, lift your butt off the saddle for a few seconds. For hill climbs and slow jogs with heavy resistance, stand up and hold the front of the handlebars, keeping hips over the saddle to work your core, legs, and butt.

Move to the Music
Good music can make any ride better, as long as you match your pedal stroke to the beat. "Keep pace first, then add resistance," Uresti advises. Try riding to your favorite song: Pedal fast enough to stay with the beat, then add a quarter turn of resistance every 30 seconds, five times in all.

Download Uresti's suggested playlist here

Don't Ignore Your Upper Body

Why should your legs and butt have all the fun? Adding some targeted strength moves for your arms, chest, back, and shoulders transforms your ride into a total-body workout. Keep your pedal speed at a moderate pace, using enough resistance to slow down but not so much that you can't move your legs without also wiggling the rest of your body. Do two sets of 20 reps of each move, using two- to three-pound weights.

Reverse Biceps Curl
Hold a weight in each hand, elbows bent at shoulder level, weights in front of face, palms out. Bend elbows to straighten arms parallel to floor. Repeat.

Triceps Pull Down
Hold a weight in each hand and extend arms overhead, palms facing in. Bend elbows, lowering weights behind head, then extend arms overhead and lower elbows to chest height (weights in front of face). Return to start and repeat.

The 45-Minute Interval Indoor Cycling Workout

Rique Uresti's favorite indoor cycling motto? "Tight wheel, tight body." His 45-minute session cranks up resistance while adding speed intervals for a high-intensity workout.


Minutes What to Do Speed (rpm) Tension
0 to 5Warm up; stay seated100

Light, slowly increased to moderate

5 to 10Increase resistance; rise out of saddle70Moderate
10 to 12Decrease resistance; stay out of saddle110

Light to moderate

12 to 15Keep resistance; sit in saddle120Light to moderate
15 to 17Increase resistance; stay out of saddle80Moderate
17 to 19Keep resistance, double pace; stay out of saddle120Moderate
19 to 21Keep resistance, decrease pace; sit in saddle80Moderate
21 to 22Keep resistance, double pace; rise out of saddle120Moderate
22 to 25Decrease resistance; sit in saddle100Light
25 to 30Increase resistance for heavy climb; rise out of saddle70Heavy
30 to 35Decrease resistance; do seated arms workout80Light to moderate
35 to 40Increase resistance; rise out of saddle100

Light to
moderate, slowly adding resistance

40 to 45Cool down; sit in saddle80 to 100Light

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