What’s one of the best aerobic exercise machines to invest in? All signs point to the spin bike! It’s one of the most rigorous machines you can use for endurance training and weight loss! Its smaller size makes it a great option if you don’t want your exercise machine to take up an entire corner of your home.
Wish to learn more about how this piece of equipment can help you reach your fitness goals? We have you covered — here’s everything you need to know about a spin bike and its many benefits!
What is a Spin Bike?
A spin bike is a stationary bike that works out your heart and several other muscles within the body. They are sleeker than recumbent bikes, which can be quite clunky due to their design. Some spin bikes also come with a screen so you can attend virtual spin classes from the comfort of your home – you can also do them using a tablet.
These bikes also simulate the tough terrain of an outdoor road, as you can adjust the resistance on your bike to mimic an incline or bumpy dirt path.
A spin bike is phenomenal for training the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. They also have a myriad of other benefits, as stated below!
8 Major Benefits of Having a Spinning Bike at Home
1. Great for Burning Fat
Elevate your heart rate with a challenging cycling workout. This is the key to burning calories and losing weight! A spin bike is one of the best tools you can use when trying to lose weight. Pair regular workouts with a proper diet, and you should meet your weight loss goals in no time!
Combine HIIT And LISS Style Workouts to Maximise Your Weight Loss Results
Want to incorporate a quick session of high-intensity interval training into your day? A spin bike is one of the best ways to get this done. Many people enjoy running to squeeze in cardio for the day. However, the weather isn’t always suitable for an outdoor workout! Having a bike indoors helps you cut the excuses, so you can finally lose that extra weight that’s been bothering you.
LISS training also improves your endurance and stamina!
2. Boosts Cardio Fitness
Heart disease is a mass killer. In 2016, the BBC named it the number one cause of death in the entire world. One of the best ways to avoid this dire fate is to maintain a healthy diet and improve cardiovascular health with regular exercise. Cycling is an incredible way to get fit and work out your heart.
Any workout that elevates your heart rate to 70% of your maximum Is considered a good workout. Cycling for 30 minutes a day ensures your body, specifically your heart stays strong and healthy.
Unlike some cardio machines a spin bike can work out quite cost effective. They are a fraction of the price but can still provide a good workout.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about using a bike to work out, there are many classes for free on YouTube. If you want to take a live class, you can sign up for the Peloton app and find a trainer you love and connect with.
Spin bikes are also more compact compared to other pieces of fitness equipment! Many even come with transport wheels installed so you can move it into your garage, in front of the TV, or wherever else you deem fit.
6. Low Impact
Compared to running on a treadmill, cycling is also a low impact cardio workout. Running on a treadmill or outdoors may deteriorate the joints over time. However, cycling keeps you in a comfortable and fixed position, so you’re not putting a lot of stress on your body, but you’re also challenging yourself!
7. Easy to Learn and Master
Learning to use your spin bike is not a complicated process at all. Even if you’ve never stepped foot inside a gym before, you can quickly learn how to utilise this machine for weight loss, endurance, and strength. Sure, there are spin classes at several commercial gym centres, but having your own is an excellent investment, as you won’t have to rely on a strict class schedule.
Many spin bikes also have a shelf for your phone or tablet. You can do various things while exercising to keep you entertained, which significantly benefits the user. Unfortunately, many people will often skip cardio, complaining that the act is mindless and boring.
When you can prop your phone in front of you and catch up on your favourite shows, that excuse flies out the window. We love that a spin bike can make exercise fun for many individuals who may be reluctant to start exercising.
Perfecting Your Form
Beginners should familiarise themselves with their form before starting. Spin bikes have multiple knobs to adjust the resistance. Find a setting that feels comfortable and ensure you’ve met all of these requirements before officially beginning the workout.
- Ensure the seat is at hip level, near the iliac crest
- Ensure the handlebars aren’t too far apart
- Keep your shoulders back
- Keep your chest up
- Keep a neutral spine
- Keep your feet flat as you push through the motion
Understanding Cadence and Resistance
Spin bikes typically have two ways to measure your output — cadence and resistance.
Cadence is measured in revolutions per minute or RPM. It can tell you how much work you’re putting in. If your bike does not have a monitor that measures cadence, you can always buy a reader separately to ensure you’re putting enough effort into your workout.
The resistance affects the intensity of the ‘road’. Having more resistance is tougher and simulates rough uphill terrain. Having less resistance simulates an easier flat road. Switch between these settings for a varied workout.
Some Useful Spin Bike Workouts
Once you’ve invested in your bike, it’s a good idea to have some easy workouts on hand for later use. Here are a few that will challenge you, regardless of your initial cardiovascular fitness level.
- For your first few workouts, your goal should be to familiarise yourself with proper form and keeping a steady cadence. Don’t try anything too fancy or complicated. For this workout, start with a five minute warm-up at a low to moderate resistance. The road should feel flat.
- Move into a more intense burst. However, the speed shouldn’t feel forced. The circular motion of the pedals should feel smooth, and the downstroke shouldn’t feel heavy. For this workout, emphasise speed over resistance.
- Keep your upper body relaxed and maintain the same cadence for 25 to 30 minutes.
- As you progress and build strength in your legs, aim for more difficult ‘uphill’ workouts.
- Ready to move into a more intense workout plan? Try this sample workout!
- Begin with a quick yet steady warm-up. Expect this workout to challenge your body to meet a variety of speeds and resistance levels.
- Begin cycling on a flat road at a moderate cadence of 60 RPM for 5 minutes.
- Increase your cadence to 100 RPM for 30 seconds. Then, bring your tempo down to 85 for two minutes and cycle back to the higher RPM for another 30 seconds. Repeat this pattern for six cycles.
- Take a tiny break and dial things down for five minutes. Use this as your recovery and select a cadence that allows your body to rest. Just don’t stop!
- After this break, increase your resistance. The downstroke should feel difficult. Keep your speed moderate and focus on pushing through the pedals while keeping your feet flat. Engage your hamstrings and glutes when bringing your legs back up from the cycling motion.
- Keep this pace for one minute.
- Change the resistance, so you’re riding on a flat road.
- Repeat this pattern for three cycles.
- Finish off the workout with a cooldown. Pick a manageable speed and cycle for three minutes.
LISS is a lower impact style of cardio. It stands for low-intensity steady-state cardio. It won’t spike your heart rate as high as HIIT, but it’s not designed to exert your body to this level. Studies have shown that LISS is indeed great for weight loss, even if it doesn’t feel as challenging as HIIT in the moment.
The reason why?
It keeps your body in a prolonged state of exertion.
These workouts should last anywhere from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Keep your heart rate around 50-60% of your maximum heart rate.
It may look like this:
- Warm-up for five minutes. Keep a steady RPM of 55.
- Move into the actual workout. Increase your RPM up to 65 or 75.
- Keep that RPM up for 45 minutes.
- Conclude the workout with a cooldown of 45 RPM for 5 minutes.
LISS is also an appropriate cycling workout for all physical fitness levels! It’s also much easier to maintain proper form. More strenuous exercises can leave you so winded, you’re not even thinking about appropriate leg and arm placement. LISS, on the other hand, allows you to be more mindful when cycling!
Arms and Cycling for Weight Loss
Do this workout once or twice a week. You will need a set of dumbbells in the 5 to 10 kg range along with your spin bike.
- Start with a three-minute warm up on your bike.
- Increase your cadence and keep a steady rhythm of 85 RPM. Maintain this for five to 10 minutes.
- Every 60 seconds, increase your resistance until you hit your peak. Keep up your max resistance for three minutes before braking and hopping off your bike.
- Pick up your dumbbells, and superset lateral raises with front dumbbell raises. Do three sets of 15.
- Rest for 60 seconds.
- Move into bent-over dumbbell rows. Perform three sets of 20.
- Finally, perform five sets of 15 upward dumbbell presses.
- Hop back onto the bike and finish off with 15 minutes of straight HIIT. Select a cadence and resistance that feels challenging but maintainable.
- Finish off your workout by stretching your back and hamstrings.
Legs and Cycling for Weight Loss
This workout combines a lower body strength training workout with a cycling workout. Try this out to build strength in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings!
Implement this once or twice a week.
- Begin the workout with a three-minute cycling warmup; stretch your legs out to prepare them for the more vigorous work.
- Move into a flat road and increase your cadence to 90 RPM — cycle for five minutes.
- After five minutes, switch to a leg workout. Have a set of moderately heavy dumbbells nearby (they should be between five and ten kg). Start with reverse lunges. Perform 15 for three reps. Rest for 60 seconds in between.
- Move into jump squats. You may drop the weights if this exercise is too challenging. Perform ten reps for three sets. Rest for 30 seconds in between.
- Next, perform five sets of 12 reps of straight leg deadlifts.
- Finish off the leg portion with three sets of 10 curtsy lunges.
- Hop back onto your bike and perform 15 minutes of HIIT. Cycle between intense bursts of 100 RPM and more accessible recovery periods of 50 RPM.
Full Body Cycling Circuit for Weight Loss
This workout involves your entire body. You will need a set of dumbbells, your bike, and a hip circle or tight resistance band.
- Begin with a warm-up of glute kickbacks and hip thrusts. Place the resistance band above the knees and perform both exercises for 60 seconds each.
- Take one dumbbell and perform goblet squats for 35 seconds.
- Take both dumbbells and perform bicep curls to shoulder presses for 45 seconds.
- Perform burpees for 30 seconds.
- Hop on your bike, add a decent amount of resistance, so you feel it in your calves—cycle for two minutes straight.
- Rest for 60 seconds and begin the circuit again. Perform it for five to eight cycles.
- Finish off the workout with three sets of 15 reps of dumbbell calf raises.
Active Rest and Recovery
Not feeling well and energised enough for a workout? Take an active rest day! Set up a tablet or e-reader onto the media holder typically standard on most bikes. Put your favourite TV show or catch up on your reading list.
Cycle for 30-60 minutes and focus on stretching your legs out.
Don’t think about speed, resistance, or elevating your heart rate. Simply pick a setting that feels comfortable for you. This workout is more about getting your blood flowing and stretching your legs out. It’s also a great workout if you’re feeling too sore.
You can also watch a simulated outdoor cycling video and bike around some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Finish the session with some stretching and foam rolling. Focus on massaging your calves, hamstrings, and lower back to relieve any soreness or tightness.
Try An Online Spin Class
An online spin bike class are also great if you need more inspiration. Working out with a trainer is motivating and also quite fun! You can find free spin classes on YouTube. Several fitness apps preloaded with classes also have quite an impressive database of spin classes, making for spirited and high energy workouts that really burn calories!
How Often Should You Spin?
This may vary, depending on your personal fitness goals. We highly recommend doing an online class or solo workouts no less than five times a week for the best weight loss results.
If you choose to combine your workouts with strength training, ensure you’re cycling three times a week.
If you want to maintain a fundamental baseline of health, four times a week is also acceptable.
Cycling at home is one of the best ways to get fit without a gym membership! There are so many benefits to owning your own spin bike too, as they are compact, affordable, and versatile. If you’ve been on the fence, this is your sign to invest in this excellent piece of machinery!
It may be one of the best things you can do for your health and wellness.