Whether you’re jumping on an open bike at the gym, in a studio class, or in your living room, indoor cycling is a killer cardio workout that can improve your muscular strength and endurance. “It’s a low-impact form of exercise that can be customized to any fitness level,” says Matt Wilpers, an instructor for Peloton, a technology company that brings group-style cycling and fitness classes into your home. But if you haven’t been properly introduced to it, you may be missing out on an even better experience. Ready to be in the know? Here are some of Wilpers’ best indoor cycling insider tips.
5 Indoor Cycling Insider Tips
Pedal the Whole Way Around Try to maintain pressure on the pedals the entire way around the pedal stroke to engage the muscles on both the front and back of your legs. “I often remind my class participants to make sure they are getting their hamstrings involved in their pedal strokes,” says Wilpers. To do this, you’ll want to avoid pointing your toes down. “Think about scraping the bottom of your pedal on the ground at the bottom of the pedal stroke,” says Wilpers.
Watch Your Knees “They should not be hitting the handlebars, and side-to-side movement should be limited,” says Wilpers. You can minimize side-to-side knee movement by keeping your knees in alignment with your feet and hips at all times.
Don’t Slouch Proper posture is important. Wilpers recommends extending your torso and gazing straight ahead. “Even though you’re leaning forward with some curvature in your back, try not to slouch,” he says. “Look ahead—not down, relax your shoulders, relax your arms, maintain a slight bend in the elbows (down and in), and unless you’re in a dead sprint, keep a light grip on the handlebars.” It’s also a good idea to think about pushing your bottom back in the saddle and maintaining a slight hip rotation forward, he adds.
Sip on the Fly “Staying hydrated is the key to feeling good throughout your workout,” says Wilpers. Keep your water bottle handy, and take sips often, especially during rest periods when you’re not focused on sprinting or climbing. Make sure you drink water before and after your session as well. You can set up reminders on your phone and log your water intake in the Fitbit app to help you stay on track.
Consider Clip-Ins Shoes that clip into the bike pedals offer incredible fitness gains. “Not only are they helpful for activating your hamstrings, they also facilitate improved energy transfer from your body to the bike,” says Wilpers. This means you’ll be able to create more power with the same effort, improving the quality of your workout and ensuring benefits for both your legs and your heart!
Ready to take your Peloton ride to the next level? Connect your Peloton and Fitbit accounts to help you track your performance, analyze your results, and set (and crush!) performance-based goals.