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Indoor cycling: A beginners guide

Indoor Cycling: A Beginners Guide (Everything You Need to Know!)

Indoor cycling, also known as “spin,” simply means the act of cycling on an indoor stationary bike as opposed to out on the open road. This type of workout has grown in popularity over the years through studio classes like SoulCycle and at-home workouts like Peloton.

Trying a new style of workout can be intimidating, but there’s nothing to fear. Indoor cycling is great for beginners and requires very little knowledge or equipment to get started. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, read on to discover the unique benefits of indoor cycling and what you can expect at your first indoor cycling class.

What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

Indoor cycling offers numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Medium to high-intensity cardio exercises like indoor cycling are extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health as they help to increase the output capacity of your heart as well as your VO2 max—the ability of your heart and lungs to consume oxygen.

Indoor cycling helps to build and strengthen many of the largest muscle groups in your lower body, such as your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. It also helps strengthen your core, which acts as a stabilizer throughout the workout.

Indoor cycling classes are often known for their feel-good, endorphin-pumping atmosphere. And because indoor cycling is low impact, you can expect fewer injuries and quicker recovery times than other cardio activities, like HIIT style workouts or running.

Do You Need Special Equipment for Indoor Cycling?

When it comes to clothing, your typical workout apparel is just fine for an indoor cycling class—whether it’s bike shorts, leggings, or anything in between, wear what makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

Some indoor cycling gyms or studios may require cycling-specific shoes that clip into the pedals of the stationary bike, but most have bikes that are equipped with an option for regular shoes as well. It’s always best to check beforehand.

While not totally necessary, cycling shoes have many benefits: they ensure that your bodyweight is distributed evenly across your feet, increase your stability on the bike, help you exert more power with every stroke, and decrease risk of injury. Bikes equipped for regular tennis shoes will often have adjustable toe cages and straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit—but if you’re not clipped in, you may find that your feet slip out of the pedals more frequently.

What to Expect at Your First Indoor Cycling Class

Indoor cycling classes typically range from 30 minutes, to 45 minutes, to a full hour. If you’re new to indoor cycling, plan to arrive 5-10 minutes before class so that your instructor can help you get settled in. Indoor cycling bikes have adjustment options for height, seat, and handlebar placement, so don’t hesitate to ask your instructor to help you find the perfect fit on your bike.

Your indoor cycling class will start with an easy song or two to warm up your legs. Your instructor should walk you through the various settings on your bike and explain how to adjust your resistance up and down. From there, you can expect a rotation of focus on speed work, resistance work, and overall endurance. Classes typically keep the energy high with loud music and lights, and many instructors plan your workout to match the tempo of the song (beats per minute) to the speed of your legs (rotations per minute).

At certain points in the workout, your instructor may indicate to “come out of the saddle,” which means to move to a standing position. Your instructor may also incorporate arm work into your class through hand weights, a weighted bar, or push ups on the handlebars of your bike. As you near the end of your class, you’ll slow things down and stretch before dismounting the bike.

If it seems overwhelming, know that your instructor will talk you through the whole experience. Don’t hesitate to tone down your speed or resistance, or take a short break, when needed.

With every indoor cycling class you take, you’ll walk away with more strength, more stamina, and more confidence. So what are you waiting for? Schedule your first indoor cycling class at YogaFever today.

What are the benefits of indoor cycling

What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

Indoor cycling is an increasingly popular form of high-intensity exercise—but do the health benefits live up to the hype? We certainly think so! When incorporated into your fitness routine, indoor cycling can provide many benefits, including:

Heart Health and Stamina

High-intensity exercises like indoor cycling are ideal for improving your cardiovascular health. When engaging in this type of exercise regularly, you’ll notice an increase in both lung capacity and overall stamina. That means that, over time, you’ll be able to cycle harder, faster, and for longer. This increase in heart and lung capacity is beneficial not only for your workouts, but for your everyday quality of life.

Increased Strength

Indoor cycling targets many of the largest and most important muscle groups in your body, while still remaining low-impact on your joints. Your whole lower body, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes, power your cycling workout—and the higher the resistance, the harder they’ll work. Cycling also strengthens your core, which acts as a stabilizer when sitting or standing on the bike. Cycling instructors may also incorporate upper body work into a class.

Maximized Calorie Burn

Indoor cycling provides unique weight loss benefits when compared to other styles of cardio exercise, namely, the benefits of interval-style training. Cycling workouts typically include a rotation of focus on speed, resistance, and endurance. Interval-style training that allows your heart rate to rise, fall, and rise again, increases your metabolism more than a steady-state workout. This type of training also contributes to higher oxygen consumption after the workout, which means your body will keep burning calories even after you’ve finished your cycling session.

Improved Mental Health

Exercise is known for improving mental health and decreasing stress due to the release of dopamine and endorphins, and indoor cycling is no exception! Spin classes specifically are often characterized by their fun, upbeat music and pace, which can make the workouts feel more like a party than a chore.

Indoor cycling offers numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Experience the benefits at your first YogaFever spin class!

Best Cardio Exercises

The Best Cardio Exercises

It’s no secret that regular cardiovascular (cardio) exercise is one of the keys to a healthy heart—and when it comes to different forms of cardio, the benefits and options are endless! While all forms of cardio are beneficial to your overall health, here are some of our personal favorites.

Indoor Cycling (Spinning)

Indoor cycling has gained some serious hype in the past few years (we see you, Peloton and SoulCycle) and it’s not hard to understand why. Indoor cycling classes are usually fast-paced and high-energy, getting your heart rate up and your endorphins pumping with each spin. It’s also a great workout for those who need a more low-impact form of cardio—cycling is easy on your joints while still targeting your legs and glutes (some classes may incorporate arms as well). Like all cardio exercises, indoor cycling can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and combat high cholesterol. With a great instructor to guide you and some hype music to keep you motivated, indoor cycling can feel more like a party than a workout!

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a general term used for workouts with short periods of intense exertion followed by recovery periods (40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, etc.) The actual exercises done within this format vary from running to jumping rope to cycling to bodyweight exercises (burpees, jumping jacks, etc.), with the expectation that work periods are intense.

HIIT is an especially effective form of cardio exercise because it produces similar results in improving aerobic capacity (ability to use oxygen well) in a much shorter amount of time than other forms of exercise. HIIT has also been found beneficial in reducing heart rate, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar (hello, healthier heart!). HIIT typically burns more calories per minute than most other exercises and increases your metabolism even after the workout is complete, so it can be a great form of exercise to incorporate in a weight loss journey.

Circuit Training

Circuit training describes a workout format of cycling through multiple exercises targeting different muscle groups in a pattern without much rest in between. These exercises are often a mix of cardio and strength training, making it a great full-body option and the perfect routine for those with minimal time or a shorter attention span. Like HIIT, circuit training is known to boost your metabolism and increase fat burn. By pumping up your heart rate and targeting a wide range of muscle groups, you challenge your whole body and burn major calories in the process. All of that red-faced, heavy-breathing work contributes to a healthier heart and a healthier you!

 

Ready to start trying out these heart-healthy forms of cardio? Join us for a class: https://www.yogafevergr.com/classes/cardio/