Make sure you get the most out of a stationary bike for the entire hour you spend pedaling. You've shown up, you're dedicated, but not exactly sure how to push things further? Here are some tips to maximize your indoor-cycling workout and improve your performance even after you let go of the handlebars.
Get up, stand up: Since you aren't on a stationary bike for travel, take advantage of the stability and stand straight up. Make sure to engage your core, and put as little weight as possible on the handlebars. Give yourself more resistance and prevent the risk or knee injury by keeping your weight over the hips and bicycle seat.
Increase your resistance: Help sculpt your lower body by turning up the resistance to mimic an uphill ride. As you pedal, keep your foot parallel with the ground and push down through your heel while also maintaining a consistent cadence. For a more intense session, see if you can do short interval bursts during your uphill ride.
Listen to your body: Your neighbor might be going a mile a minute, but you don't know their fitness level, how much resistance they're working with, or their individual training plan. It's important to listen to your own body when challenging yourself. If you don't feel like you're exhausting your muscles, as you should, go a little faster. But be sure to scale back if you find that you're going too hard.
Engage your core: It's so simple to do and easy to forget. If you engage your abs, you not only provide better posture for your ride, but you burn more calories. This is a win-win situation. If the intervals feel too tough to multitask at first, start by engaging your core during the water breaks when you sit back in the saddle. Eventually you will be able to increase your core activity for the whole hour and might find yourself using them more in your everyday life.
Finish with protein: Noshing on lean protein after your workout can help speed up muscle recovery and prevent soreness, which means there are no excuses for missing your workout the next day. Make sure to eat or drink a protein-filled snack within 30 minutes of getting off the bike.