How to Increase Fitness with Simple Indoor Bike Workouts

Biking workouts
Are you looking for a way to dramatically increase your fitness with a piece of home exercise equipment? Owning an indoor cycle is a great way to do just that. Exercise bikes are among the most popular and fun pieces of home exercise equipment. While they offer a low impact workout for all levels of training, experienced cyclists know that these bikes are capable of delivering an intense training workout. Choosing the right bike to meet your needs can make a big difference on your comfort, enjoyment, and long term success while increasing your fitness. Here are a few considerations and helpful tips about shopping for and owning an indoor cycle.

What kind of people own indoor cycles?

Most indoor cyclists are specifically seeking out low or no-impact workouts. Experienced athletes and weightlifters often choose cycling as a form of active recovery and quality cardiovascular training. New exercisers appreciate the ease of use and the ergonomic comfort offered by many of today’s indoor cycles and recumbent bikes. For experienced cyclists and triathletes, the right indoor cycle will also provide a workout that is highly consistent with outdoor training, making it an important asset in maintaining fitness over the winter or stepping up spring training. One of the best things about indoor cycles is the different models and styles available to meet the needs of nearly any athlete.

What are the benefits of an indoor cycle over other cardio machines for the home?

Indoor cycles offer the user the greatest feeling of being in control of their workout. From the comfort of a seated position, you control the resistance and your body position in order to modify the intensity of the workout. This simplicity is one of the greatest appeals of cycling indoors, whether that is in a group fitness studio or in the comfort of your home. Additionally, indoor cycles provide the option of a completely low impact workout that can still be effective and intense. For many exercisers, working from a seated position also allows them to learn how to work more efficiently, conserving energy while seated and choosing greater bursts of power and intensity while out of the saddle.

What type of indoor cycle is right for me?

There are three basic types of indoor cycles, each with their own unique advantages. 1. Recumbent 2. Upright 3. Indoor Training Cycles

1. Recumbent Exercise Bikes

For new athletes or those recovering from injury, recumbent bikes offer a very safe and comfortable ride in a natural seated position. These bikes are very easy to adjust and to get on and off of. Given the positioning of the body, you may find it more difficult to get your heart rate up to a maximum level and they can take up a bit more floor space.

2. Indoor Cycles

Training cycles mimic the feel of a road bike or indoor cycling class the most closely of any indoor cycle. You can adjust the positioning of the seat and handle bars more fully and include realistic hill and headwind type of conditions by controlling the resistance and your body position. These bikes frequently have fewer features provided in the console, leaving the rider in greater control of the ride experience. They also take up less floor space than other models.

3. Upright Exercise Bikes

Finally, upright indoor cycles offer a blend of the two experiences. These bikes are geared towards providing a very safe and comfortable riding position that is appealing to a broad spectrum of riders. Most offer a host of comfort and convenience features, such as a wider seat, fan, audio input, and pre-programmed workouts. These machines are more compact than recumbent bikes, but do take up a little more space than a training cycle.
    Indoor bikes also offer a lot of extras that can make your workout more effective, fun, and comfortable. Sprint 8 technology offered on Vision products, can take the guesswork out of intense training. ViaFit compatibility, included on some models of both Horizon and Vision cardio equipment, provides workout tracking that integrates with your favorite fitness apps or provides an independent format for tracking workouts and networking with friends, family, and fitness buddies. These machines can also be integrated with the Passport Virtual Technology, allowing you to take your ride to exotic and beautiful global destinations. Many consoles offer effective, pre-programmed workouts that keep your sessions in line with your training goals, whether that’s active recovery or calorie blasting. Read Part 2: Specific Exercise Bike Workouts for Fitness and Weight Loss. About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Joli.