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The Benefits Of Indoor Cycling

The Benefits Of Indoor Cycling

, by Joris Lans, 5 min reading time

What is indoor cycling?

More than 20 years ago, Johnny G, a South African cyclist and former professional cyclist, introduced Spinning® to the world. (Spinning is now a registered trademark of Mad Dogg Athletics). He transformed the exercise bike you see in the gym into a group fitness program called indoor cycling or spinning.

What is indoor cycling? Indoor cycling is an organized activity with a group fitness format. The classes focus on endurance, strength, interval and high intensity training using the upright bike. The indoor cycle that evolved from the stationary bike is designed with a heavy weighted flywheel, chain drive and friction resistance and offers an experience comparable to that of a road bike.

If you are considering buying an stationary bike but are unsure which indoor bike is right for you, you can learn more about the different styles available and compare the benefits of exercise bike and their specific uses. Keep this in mind as you read about indoor cycling and it will positively impact your training routine.

If you're looking for a cardio workout that uses a lot of energy with minimal impact on your hips, knees, and ankles, indoor cycling is an excellent option in both areas, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). With a little knowledge you can ensure that an indoor cycling class is the most challenging workout of your week and also a lot of fun!

Benefits of indoor cycling

Indoor cycle trainers are comparable in health benefits to other fitness equipment found in the gym. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) specifically lists the following fitness benefits related to indoor cycling:

1. Low impact

Indoor cycling is a low impact activity. People recovering from orthopedic injuries often participate in indoor cycling as part of the rehabilitation protocol. When cycling is done correctly, the impact on the hip, knee and ankle joints is minimal. A person, whether recovering from an injury or not, avoids the pounding that comes with other activities such as running.

2. Muscle Endurance
Muscle endurance refers to the ability of a muscle to apply force continuously and repeatedly for an extended period of time. Pedaling against the resistance during indoor cycling increases the endurance of the muscles in the legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. Working these muscles also helps to strengthen the surrounding bones and tendons, increasing overall strength so that daily activities can be easily performed.

3. Stress levels
We've all heard about the runner's high. An indoor cycling class can deliver the same adrenaline rush and a release of happy mood-inducing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Endorphins tend to create feelings of euphoria, lower stress levels, and enhance the body's immune response.

4. Cardiovascular
ACSM recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Training recommendations can be achieved by 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (five days a week) or 20-60 minutes of high-intensity exercise (three days a week). An indoor cycling class can keep your heart rate in a powerful range for about 45-60 minutes. As with all continuous cardiovascular activities, an indoor cycling program can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease.

Set up your bike for maximum results

For the most part, every training device in the gym needs to be programmed or set up based on individual needs and body type. You don't want to put unnecessary strain on or burden the muscles and joints of your body. The following tips will make sure that your bike is properly adjusted before you start cycling.

Exercise bike tips

The exercise bikes in the picture are the LifeSpan R7000i commercial recumbent bike and the LifeSpan S2 indoor exercise bike.

1. Seat height

This adjustment puts your body in a comfortable and powerful riding position. Your leg should be extended as far as possible when the pedal is on the floor and at the same time you should sit comfortably in the chair and feel that you can easily reach this bottom position.

2. Send
Move the handlebars up or down, and forwards and backwards, so that you can reach them comfortably with a high back, open chest, relaxed shoulders and a slight bend in your elbows.

3. Seat forward / backward
The seat adjustment is designed so that you can align your knee neutrally above the pedal. The center of this adjustment matches the average rider.

4. Foot placement
After you have adjusted the saddle and handlebars, jump on the bike and place your foot in the tennis shoe holder. Place the ball of your foot in the center of the pedal. Fasten the strap. Do a few pedal strokes both in and out of the saddle. Change anything that feels uncomfortable. If you're taking a cycling lesson, the instructor should be able to help you make any adjustments.

Is indoor cycling right for you?

Do you want to do it alone or participate in a cycling class? Since cycling is one of the best cardiovascular activities available in gyms today, give both options a try and find the best option for you. If you are participating in a group lesson, find a qualified instructor who will help you set up your bike, review safety information and motivate you to get the maximum benefits from the activity. If you're doing it alone in the gym, ask the exercise physiologist or fitness instructor to get you started and show you the correct technique for a productive ride.
What are you waiting for? Start today and pedal your way to better health!


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