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Spinning Your Wheels: 17 Benefits of Indoor Cycling

Not unlike riding on the road or a winding mountain trail, indoor cycling is an intense, blood-pumping cardiovascular workout that will give your heart, lungs and whole body a workout. You may be on a stationary bike, but the combination of resistance and interval training will challenge your endurance and build muscle strength.

If you’ve never tried indoor cycling, in a typical class bikes are set in one focal point, with instructor and participants facing each other. Depending on the class, you’ll be guided through a series of exercises on the bike both seated and standing up designed to work different muscles of the body, and can set your own pace and resistance. Your legs will likely feel the workout the most, though riding will also work your core muscles.

Indoor cycling can seem mysterious and even scary if you’ve never tried it, so we asked Flywheel Charlotte instructors Jenna Bertram, Matt Yost and Morgan Mastin their top reasons to try riding inside.

  1. Indoor cycling is safer than riding on the road, especially around traffic. Who wants to risk an accident or even a sunburn?
  2. Regulating the temperature in an indoor class helps keep you cool, which can be especially important heading into summer months.
  3. The guidance of an instructor will motivate and push you farther than you may push yourself if you were riding on your own.
  4. Riding in a group setting gives you the ability to be motivated by your peers and other riders, and you may find yourself working harder when the people around you are working hard. Our technology at Flywheel allows you to opt in to race against fellow riders and track your daily progress from class to class.
  5. It’s easier to elicit a high heart rate and muscle response in an indoor setting where you adjust resistance and move in and out of the saddle. To get the same muscular and heart rate response on an outdoor bike, you have to be riding REALLY hard.
  6. Indoor cycling can be more convenient: you don't need to worry about lugging your bike around, it's normally 45 to 60 minutes for a class, the weather outside doesn't matter, and you don't need to worry about cars on the road or outside conditions and variables. 
  7. Instructors are there to give you the motivation you may be lacking on any given day.
  8. You get the ability to train in many different ways from hills to sprints all in one class which creates interval responses to keep you in shape.
  9. You have more control over your speed and resistance indoors, meaning you have more control of your intensity and energy output (and burn more calories)!
  10. No helmet needed.
  11. You get to ride to awesome music without headphones. 
  12. You're not going to tip over on your bike indoors. At Flywheel we also help you work the upper body during part of the ride with weighted bars.
  13. You can train consistently.
  14. Improvements can be easily measured. (Flywheel offers technology that tracks your power and caloric output)
  15. All levels get to ride together in one setting vs. on the road where slower cyclists may be dropped as the pace picks up.
  16. You can close your eyes and not ride into a tree or car.
  17. Three words: high intensity intervals

So whether it’s May and Bike Month, pouring rain outside or you just want to challenge yourself, start a new revolution and an indoor cycling adventure. You just might be ‘wheely’ glad you tried it.

Links:

Indoor Cycling Association

Flywheel Charlotte

Comments

I like these tips a lot. In fact, I used to use indoor spin classes every once in a while when I was training for mountain biking a lot. It was great because of the short and punchy climbs that you frequently experience in a mountain bike race are often focused on in the spin classes I go to. You said something about working on core muscles while on a spin bike. Have you ever ridden a bicycle on rollers during the winter? Talk about a core workout while doing intervals! I should talk to a sports medicine expert about what that does for your body.
- Chase Wilson
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