Indoor Cycling has gained lots of popularity within the world of fitness & that is with good reason. No other workout is as accessible to all age groups as cycling. Today, we will talk about the most significant physical and mental benefits.
Physical Benefits of Indoor Cycling
Cycling is an excellent form of cardio, whether you choose to do it at home, outdoors, or indoors.
Why is it a great alternative to other high-impact cardio workouts like running or HIIT? Let’s look at the physical benefits of Indoor Cycling:
Indoor cycling is low-impact on your joints
So many people of different age groups turn to Indoor Cycling as their favorite exercise because it doesn’t put too much stress on the joints or the skeletal muscles. The round movement of the pedal stroke makes the workout more accessible for people with hip or knee injuries or recovering injuries than, for example, running or HIIT. To ensure you enjoy a safe workout, always get your bike fitted to your body’s needs and ask the instructor to help you.
Cycling is an effective way of losing weight
Studies have shown that people who regularly exercise on a bike for at least 30min will reduce overall body fat tone, strengthen their lower body and core, and improve the number of calories burnt in each session to up to 600 calories. Consistency in cycling pays off; a minimum of 3x30mins a week is recommended for effective weight loss.
Cycling improves your cardiovascular health & pulmonary function
Next to the fact that Indoor Cycling is a very effective form of cardio, it gets your heart and lunges fit and improves your ability to pump more blood into your muscles. And because most cycling workouts like Rhythm Cycling incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into their workout structure, you reap benefits like an improved VO2 max, improved blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and a more robust immune system.
Cycling improves your posture
Cycling, in particular, Rhythm Cycling, improves your posture immensely, as you find yourself out of the saddle with a neutral spine position. No matter your preference, cycling helps improve your body posture in today’s world, where most of us are sitting too much or constantly looking down at our phones. The most significant difference in posture between classical indoor and rhythm cycling is the spine position. In classical cycling, the focus is on maximum force production with every pedal stroke. For that to happen, the aggressive hunched-over position is optimal, as it helps the rider produce more power from the large gluteal musculature but can also put more stress on the spine with time.
In Rhythm Cycling, riders are seated more upright, with their pelvis tucked in and riding out of the saddle. This setup will naturally make your hip flexors and quadriceps more dominant in the movement but help you maintain great posture in your upper body without risking your bodyweight to move to the front.
Cycling strengthens and tones the body without making it look bulky
Many people are under the impression that cycling will automatically make you gain weight in the legs and create a bulky lower body. This myth couldn’t be further away from the truth. Studies have shown that it’s impossible to gain big, bulky legs and thighs in 45-90min, as the focus lies on burning calories and not gaining muscle mass endurance. Cycling may change the shape of your body, making your legs musculature stronger and leaner but never thicker in proportion to the rest of the body.
However, the bulking might be a bit of the case if you start incorporating many, long, intensive RPM-based rides that focus on building endurance in the muscle fibers instead of burning calories. Cycling will, therefore, change your legs’ shape and produce thicker fibers, but never create as much hypertrophy in the legs as weightlifting would.
Mental benefits of Indoor Cycling
Exercise is more than just a tool to help your body get in shape. Workouts like Indoor cycling are based on community and brings many other benefits to the table than just an improved mood and the lease of endorphins.
Indoor Cycling releaves stress and improves your focus
Indoor cycling classes allow the riders to leave their worries outside of the classroom, providing a safe container for them to blow off steam, elevate their mood, relieve anxiety and release feel good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Cycling helps the brain to exercise, build mental toughness and prevent depression.
Indoor cycling improves your self-esteem
There’s something special about stepping into a room full of like-minded people ready to give it their all. You step into the collective and start believing in yourself more and more with every class you take. Cycling not only brings your body and brain back in form, it’ll help you change your perception about yourself and your capabilities. You might find yourself having some serious breakthrough moments in a class or even burst out in tears – it’s all part of the magic.
Cycling improves your social circle
Joining a cycling studio allows you to connect to a community of like-minded people in and outside of the studioroom. Many people love to join cycling studios because they make them part of something bigger, a community that’s ready to push and grow with them.