Indoor cycling has been present for a long time and was used to train cyclists during periods of difficult weather like winter. The type of bicycle that predominates this type of exercise is a stationary bicycle. It uses various systems like flywheels, brakes, magnetic brakes, viscoelastic fluid brake or any type of brake to change the resistance of the bicycle, thus increasing difficulty. Increased difficulty can stimulate the muscles more, like pedaling uphill or relaxing the muscles, by lowering the resistance.
This way, you can use the stationary bicycle at all fitness levels. It is not all that safe, however, as any exercise, it can hurt the one performing it if done incorrectly. Should you use stationary bikes as a form of recreation, then? Of course, just have a couple of things in mind.
You do not have to Overwork Yourself
Having a stationary bicycle means that you can train at any difficulty level, from one where a child could rotate the pedals to those which would be challenging to professional athletes. Choose the right level for you, so that you get the most out of the exercise.
Before you go all Tour de France on the stationary bicycle, do know that your posture and form is very important. Having a bad biomechanical position can lead to injuries in the lower back, something you’d do well to avoid. A good way of learning great form is going on group cycling sessions in a local gym. If that does not work for you, there are a ton of videos explaining proper form. Do know that there are different positions which are also frequently used, interchangeable as well.
The Right Pace – Do not Burnout Immediately
Having a good pace is what matters, something dictated by your heart rate and cadence. Almost any stationary bike has a heart rate monitor, whether through your hands or through a strap on sensor that goes on your chest. Cadence, on the other hand is the number of rotations you make per minute. It is possible to increase your cadence while remaining at the same level of resistance and burnout really quickly. Think sprinting on a steep hill.
You should pace your exercises correctly, staying in the aerobic range for most of the time. Once you’re nearing the end of your workout, you can sprint and burst out the remaining energy you have.
There is a place for sprint workouts, but that comes after you already get a decent level of fitness. Even though cycling is a low impact sport, you can overdo it, even indoors. Set your pace and change your level of intensity, just as you would change gears and pace on a regular bicycle. Stick to the same cadence unless you’re looking to sprint.
Indoor cycling is a great addition to recreation. If you want to exercise a bit or a lot, depending on your preference, it is a perfect choice. You can always monitor your progress and increase your difficulty whenever you want.