09 Jun, 2022

Saddle Up and Get a Sweat On

WithU trainer Carrie gives us the lowdown on all things indoor cycling, covering everything from the benefits it offers you to how to integrate it into your workout schedule.

Cycling is a fantastic way to exercise – it boosts your cardiovascular fitness, improves your joint mobility, strengthens your bones, and so much more. But, we understand that getting out onto the roads or trails may feel daunting for some. This is where indoor cycling comes in handy. Whether it’s on a spin bike in the gym or a stationary bike in your living room, you can achieve the same great results and enjoy the same incredible benefits as you would if you were out and about.

But don’t just take our word for it. Carrie, one of our WithU trainers with extensive experience of coaching the discipline, sat down with us to discuss all things indoor cycling.

 

Carrie’s take

As an indoor cycling coach, Carrie sees the positive effects that the sport has on peoples’ well-being every day. And it’s not just with the people she trains – she’s experienced the benefits first-hand as well. She knows that getting into the saddle and focusing solely on the workout in front of you has the capability to unlock a whole new array of feel-good endorphins.

 

 

She loves to turn up the music, amp up the resistance, and push herself past what she thought was possible. As tough as the mental challenge is, the sense of achievement she feels after a ride erases every second of struggle in an instant! 

This is the feeling that she loves to coax out of you in each and every one of her indoor cycling workouts on WithU. She acts as a guide, leading you towards the cycling high and pushing you to your limits in the process.

 

The benefits

The benefits of indoor cycling are endless, which is a huge part of why Carrie loves and promotes the fitness modality.

Starting with the physical benefits, Carrie notes that indoor cycling is a powerful tool for boosting your cardiovascular fitness and firing up a massive number of muscle groups, while torching calories in the process. Cycling gives you a total body workout like nothing else! 

The mental benefits are also hugely prominent, with a rush of endorphins and mental clarity that flood in after your workout. Whether you’re feeling lethargic and low on energy, or whether you have a bad case of brain fog that simply won’t budge, jumping onto the bike even for just 20 minutes will do wonders for your mental health, Carrie tells us. 

Whether you’re looking to improve your overall fitness, boost your bone strength, gain mental clarity, or something else entirely, indoor cycling has got you covered.

 

Who is indoor cycling for?

In short, anybody and everybody!

Due to the incredibly low barrier to entry, absolutely anyone can get involved with the sport. As such, Carrie suggests that it’s a great place to start when beginning your fitness journey. By starting with indoor cycling, you’ll build strength and endurance in your whole body, and create solid foundations for progressing to a wider range of fitness modalities moving forward. As well, it’s a low impact sport which means that even those with joint or mobility issues can get involved with cycling.

If your eventual goal is to get out onto the roads, starting off indoors is a great way to build up your confidence before diving straight in. It’s less daunting and comes with far fewer risk factors than heading straight out onto the streets, yet you can still achieve the same great results as if you were out and about. Start inside, and when you feel like you’ve got the hang of the mechanics of the movement and are secure in the saddle, you can then push yourself to get out and explore the streets as well.

Seasoned fitness pros can also get a lot out of indoor cycling! Because all it takes to amp up the intensity is to increase the resistance on your bike, no matter how fit you get you can always challenge yourself through the sport. So even if you’ve been working out for years and are in the prime of your physical fitness, you can get a great workout on a stationary bike. It really is a sport for everyone!

 

How to integrate it into your workout schedule

Carrie’s advice for integrating indoor cycling into your workout schedule is to approach it as part of the whole, rather than as the one and only modality to include; she encourages a hybrid training regime.

 

 

Carrie notes that indoor cycling focuses heavily on the anterior chain – the muscles in the front of your body – and so suggests that if you love indoor cycling, try to balance it out with some posterior chain work as well, to target the muscles at the back of your body. This could include some dumbbell workouts with an emphasis on the upper back or hamstrings, for example. And don’t forget to set aside some time for mobility work to make sure that your joints and muscles are as open and limber as possible, to support your cycling training!

Ensuring that your workout schedule includes a range of disciplines, from cardio to strength to mobility helps to protect against certain body parts or muscle groups becoming overly dominant. This is key to creating a well-rounded and balanced schedule, and to achieving a strong and limber total body.

 

Indoor cycling on WithU

Our app includes over 50 indoor cycling workouts, so whatever your mood, you’re sure to find a session that takes your fancy. Whether you’re looking for a sweaty and energetic interval session, or a more gentle, form-focused ride, we’ve got you covered.

Get the most out of your cycle by ensuring that you’ve fuelled your body properly before starting, that you hydrate sufficiently throughout, and that you allow your body to fully rest and recover before starting your next session. Physical dedication is only one of the ways that you’ll reap the benefits of indoor cycling – it’s these steps that allow you to put your best foot forward and get the most out of every workout.

While we’re huge advocates for a holistic approach to health – demonstrated by the vast and expansive modality range available on WithU – we also appreciate that when you enjoy something, you’re more likely to stick with it. Creating and maintaining a regular workout pattern can be a challenge in itself, so finding what works for you is key. 

Ultimately, movement of any kind is what’s important to maintaining a healthy body and mind, and we think that indoor cycling is a pretty great place to start. Whether you already work out regularly, or whether you’re finding your feet and learning what you love, we’ll be WithU all the way. Take to the saddle and try out one of our indoor cycling workouts – you’ll be dripping with sweat in no time!

 

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