Indoor cycling is a great way to get intense training done in a short span of time. It’s a highly effective form of workout that’s low impact, high intensity and helps burn a ton of calories while working on major muscle groups.
There are a lot of milestones you can achieve, including pushing yourself to your next-best speed, in one cycling session.
Interested in beating your previous record and increasing your indoor cycling speed? Here’s how.
1. Stretch and loosen up your muscles
Taking some extra time to stretch will benefit you in the long run. This includes both warm-up and cool-down sessions.
Cycling is a repetitive activity involving a specific range of motion, so your muscles, especially your legs, have limited movement. This is not a problem in itself, but it can lead to health concerns over time. Without stretching your body, you can risk developing muscle tightness, postural changes and hip issues.
Stretching can help improve muscle flexibility and make them more pliable so you can use them more effectively.
You will need to stretch crucial muscle groups including the calves, the hip flexors, and the gluteus maximus. These muscles are impacted the most because of the body’s position on the bike, so any tightness in these areas will limit your range of motion and affect your overall speed.
2. Check your setup, posture and alignment
This should be a no-brainer, but incorrect alignment or posture does you no good on the bike.
Learn how to set up your bike according to your body’s specifications to optimise your performance. Make sure the handlebars and the saddle are within your hip length and that the seat has a distance of your forearm’s length to the handlebar.
Maintaining proper form is also important. Make sure you have a firm core throughout your workout. At the midpoint, check if you feel any pressure on your hands and wrists, as you may be using your hands on the handlebar to assist your weight. Bring your body back in the proper position to shift your weight back on your legs as soon as you realize this.
3. Music, podcasts or TV — distractions are good!
Indoor cycling is the best time to listen to music or catch up on your favourite shows or podcasts. Besides, studies have shown that listening to music with rhythm or tempo can help improve cycling speed.
Some upbeat music or a motivating podcast can also help hype you up for your workout, keep you energised and help you go faster. You can even time your pedalling to the fast beat of the music.
4. Try interval training
Interval training involves intense bouts of activity followed by short periods of pause or recovery. It’s a very effective form of exercise to build endurance, thus helping you cycle faster.
You may feel tempted to do interval training every day when you see the results, but this is not advisable. Interval training is tough, and doing it every day can strain your muscles and body. This will negatively impact your cycling speed.
Doing interval training three times a week along with mild cycling recovery days would be most effective.
5. Get comfortable with ERG mode
If you have a smart bike trainer, you may be familiar with ERG mode. ERG is short for ergometer, and ERG mode is an innovative and effective training method that maintains your resistance and cadence.
This means that once you set your goals on your cycling app, your smart trainer will take control and push you to train harder. It’s a perfect indoor cycling hack to incorporate during your interval training since it ensures that the power you exert while cycling will always be accurate regardless of your cadence/
6. Fuel up
You must have already heard it countless times, but the importance of hydration cannot be emphasised enough. Fatigue and dehydration are the primary factors that can slow you down on the bike.
Fatigue-related symptoms, such as running out of breath, can be remedied by making sure your fluids are replenished as you cycle. Drinking water or any sports drink will reduce your core temperature, helping you feel less tired. It also helps replace the energy you used during the workout.
7. Cycle with others or join a class
Consider taking an indoor cycling class.
This may not seem like an effective way to increase your cycling speed, but the motivation that a coach will give you, coupled with the enthusiasm of the other riders around you, will work as a heady mix that will keep you motivated through the most intense part of the routine.
You will have the option of choosing from various class speeds. Some cycling classes also mix a fusion of different exercises with cycling like boxing, barre, and pilates, which can provide a full-body workout to keep you going.
Besides, the combination of a coach, other exercises, and fellow cyclists will also distract you and help you maintain your speed while cycling.
Quick Tips to Make the Most Of Your Indoor Cycling:
- Cycling generates a lot of body heat. Make sure you have enough ventilation or air circulation around you. You can also place a fan in front of your to help cool down your body as you cycle.
- Keep a towel handy to wipe away sweat.
- When doing a longer cycling workout, change your shorts if you feel them getting too soaked with sweat.
- Avoid extended riding that lasts for hours; it’s not very effective compared to shorter, high-intensity workouts.
- Switch up your workout to avoid your body getting too comfortable — change the gear, and speed or increase your cadence.
While indoor cycling may require you to be stationary and, well, indoors, it doesn’t have to feel like a drag. With just a few tweaks to your routine, you’ll find yourself pushing your physical limits to achieve impressive new heights!
If you haven’t got yourself an indoor bike or want to upgrade to a better model, Powertrain has a wide range of top-quality indoor exercise bikes. All of our exercise bikes offer unique and highly effective features such as shock absorption systems and anti-slip pedals that will ensure that you can make the most of your cardio training.
Check out our extensive bike selection and kick off your cycling journey to meet all your fitness and health goals!
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