Being able to get out on the open road is great for those who have the option, but for those of you that prefer the safety of their home for cycling, indoor cycling is the next best thing. When it comes to indoor cycling, what are the benefits?
The benefits of indoor cycling include calories burned, improved heart health, the building and defining of muscles, its adaptability for beginners and experienced riders, the ease of riding anytime, and the option to ride with a group through classes or solo at home.
Indoor cycling allows individuals the ability to reap the benefits that riding an outdoor bike can offer without having to endure intimate weather, deal with poor drivers on the road, or power through roads that are poorly paved. Indoor cycling has made a new wave of popularity due to its accessibility, but are the benefits the same as those of riding a bike outdoors? Continue reading to find all the benefits of indoor cycling?
What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?
When it comes to indoor cycling, if you are conscious of your pace and posture, there are plenty of benefits you can reap right through the comfort of your own home, gym, or cycling class. When taking any outdoor originating sport into an enclosed space though, individuals can be rather worrisome if they benefit them in the same way. When it comes to indoor cycling, what are the benefits?
Indoor Cycling Burns Calories
For most people, when it comes to exercise, one of the first concerns is how well any particular exercise can burn calories. When cycling indoors, through the practice of increasing your heart rate, users are able to burn calories in ways that other types of exercises can’t as quickly produce. When pushing your body through indoor cycling, you can burn calories while also benefiting from a wide array of other health benefits.
Indoor Cycling Improves Heart Health
To burn calories when exercising, you have to first increase your heart rate in order to get your body into a fat-burning zone. When this happens, your body taps into fat stores to pull for energy rather than grabbing at other sugars or carbohydrates. Through indoor cycling, your heart rate is increased through increased blood flow which strengthens your heart and leads to better overall heart health.
Indoor Cycling Builds and Defines Muscles
For many individuals looking to do any kind of muscle work, they head straight to weights. Although these are obviously effective when it comes to building and defining muscles, indoor cycling is also capable of defining your legs and core in particular. If you were to get involved in either a group class or online spinning course, you can also add in cross-training to help build and sculpt your upper body as well.
Indoor Cycling is for Beginners and Experienced Riders Alike
One of the greatest appeals to indoor cycling is how adaptable it is for people on any fitness level. If you are new to the sport and need a slower pace with less resistance and a more consistent speed, indoor cycling can easily accommodate you. However, if you are someone who needs a more intense workout, likes a good amount of resistance, and prefers high-intensity interval training, indoor cycling can give you that as well.
Indoor Cycling Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime
Another great advantage to cycling indoors is that you never have to worry about the type of weather you may have to face, any problematic traffic, or roads that make your ride anything but smooth. By indoor cycling, people are able to have a smooth ride every single time with no rain and no other outside worries. Because of these facts, indoor cycling makes working out incredibly accessible and allows users to ride when and where they want.
Indoor Cycling can be Social or Solo
Indoor cycling has grown in popularity over the recent decade and many people are drawn to the sport because they can do it from the comfort of their own home. As great as riding solo is, what makes cycling so adaptable is that there are so many classes offered for those who prefer to ride with others. Whether you purchase a bike that stays at home while you pedal to your heart’s content or you join the newest spinning class in town, indoor cycling can do it.
How to Use an Indoor Cycling Bike
It may seem rather cut and dry when thinking about how to use an indoor cycling bike, however, there are quite a few things that riders can mess up that can not only make or break their experience, but can greatly affect their results as well. Using an indoor cycling bike is very simple once you get the hang of things, however, read below so that you set yourself up properly for a great cycling experience.
Have Proper Placement on the Saddle
The saddle of an indoor cycling bike is the seat, which can make some of you question who could mess up this aspect if all you are doing is sitting down? Many new riders though tend to place their rear on the wrong part of the seat, making their ride uncomfortable and strained in a way that is not productive. When sitting on an indoor cycling bike, your rear should be placed at the widest part of the saddle.
Once you have your backside planted, you will then lean forward at the hips while engaging your abs as you place your hands on the handlebar. Keep your knees in alignment with your hips and feet, never allowing them to flare outward. By maintaining this posture, you will have a much more comfortable ride that will end in minimal soreness once your workout has been completed.
Align Your Upper Body
The alignment of your knees is important, but just the same is the alignment of your upper body. When cycling, it can be tempting to round your spine in a way that leaves you in a hunched position, but this should be avoided. When it comes to your back, be sure to always keep your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed. This will be one of the biggest keys to keeping your body from feeling the ache of the ride.
As well as keeping your spine straight and shoulders relaxed, also be sure to keep your arms a tad relaxed as well. This means that there should be just a slight bend in your elbows to not only help distribute the strain of the ride, but also to keep your shoulders at ease as well. Also, try to keep your wrists as straight as possible, as constant bending can cause soreness due to forced pressure put onto this area because of positioning.
Keep Your Head Up
Although your head may seem like a rather irrelevant topic when it comes to using an indoor cycling bike, this is actually one area that is incredibly important to how you feel once completing a workout. In an intense workout, it can be very easy to let your head drop or fall to the side. When riding, always keep your head perfectly aligned with your spine to avoid neck strain and allow a better flow of oxygen to get to your brain.
Keep Your Feet Flat
Just as it can be tempting to let your head drop during an intense indoor cycling session, it can be just as easy to allow your feet to come off of the pedals and pedal with only the front of your feet. Although you still may be cycling just as fast, the problem with this is that the wrong muscles are engaged with pedaling with pointed toes. This can cause strain on multiple muscles within your feet and legs, which can lead to discomfort or an inability to ride sequentially.
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