Stationary bikes are often overlooked at the gym and even more so when you’re planning your own workouts. But that’s a mistake! You can get all the cardio benefits of a spin class right from home or at the gym, plus you don’t need to know how to ride to reap these rewards. Just be sure to set a timer to keep track of all the times.
For the best cardio workout, experts recommend a stationary bike. And with today’s gear and technology, it’s easier than ever to achieve your fitness goals. Here are five ways to nail a spin class—even if you’re at home.
Five Stationary Bike Exercises to Burn Calories and Lose Belly Fat
1) Beginner Level Workout
This workout is for beginners and stays mostly at an aerobic pace, but it includes short bursts of more intense work to help you build fitness and burn calories.
How to do it?
Start with a short warm-up and then move into 3-5 sets of 6 minutes of work at a pace that gets progressively harder. Listen to your body and push yourself just enough so that you stay in your target heart zone, which you’ll figure out by using perceived exertion (RPE) on a scale of 1 (very easy) to 10 (maximum effort).
2) Cardio & Strength Level – Stationary Bike Workout
This 45-minute routine builds cardiovascular fitness, leg strength, and an efficient pedal stroke – three key elements needed to perform at your best whether you’re riding indoors or outdoors.
How to do it?
The workout starts with a 10-minute warm-up and then moves on to the main event. In this section, you’ll focus on nailing one skill at a time in 3-minute work sets. Repeat this workout for 2-4 rounds, followed by five minutes of cool down. This workout is ideal for intermediate and advanced cyclists.
3) Stationary Bike Workout: Intro to Hill and Speed Intervals
This 40-minute workout is a great way to get your heart pumping and torch calories on the bike. It’s best suited for beginner-to-intermediate riders looking to improve their fitness levels and burn fat.
How to do it?
Walk at a moderate pace for 4 minutes, then speed up to a harder pace for 1 minute. Then return to moderate pace for 4 minutes. Continue this pattern for 3 more times. Spin easily for five minutes and then go as hard as you can for one minute. Cool down with two minutes easy spinning and stretch afterward.
4) Fartlek Training with Stationary Bike
Fartlek training, a method of mixing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with steady-state cardio, helps you build strength and endurance. And the principle of “speed play” can be applied to any activity you choose—including this stationary bike workout.
How to do it?
Fartlek workouts are a good option if you want to vary up your routine. You don’t need to follow any structure or plan, so you just go with how you feel during the workout. Because of this, Fartlek training is great for people with different fitness levels. It can help even experienced athletes build endurance and power because they’re working out in different ways than they usually would.
5) 25-Minute Intermediate Intervals
Designed for all levels, this 25-minute workout features intervals of different effort levels. Though you don’t need to cycle professionally to try this workout, having some experience on a bike will help you get the most out of it.
When you’re working out, it’s a good idea to know what your effort levels are so you can work at the right intensity.
Low: This is a light resistance; you should be able to carry on a conversation with the person next to you.
Medium: This is a medium resistance; You should still be able to carry on a conversation, but it shouldn’t feel effortless.
High: If you’ve reached the point where you can’t talk while you’re on the bike, then you have found your endurance level.
Maximum: You can talk at this intensity for about a minute before you need to take a break.
The stationary bike is a valuable component of a complete workout program. When selecting and using a stationary bike, remember to always warm up and cool down for five minutes. Use the seated start for easy exercises (warm-up and cool down) and the standing start for moderate to hard exercises (in general). Lastly, don’t forget to change your resistance settings every three minutes or so.
If you are a beginner, these gentle stationary bike exercises are a great place to start. Themeslowing down and focusing on your posture, these rides work to build endurance and strengthen your arms, legs, and backside. As you become more experienced, try the more intense stationary bike workouts below that are sure to burn calories, tone muscles, and keep you engaged in the process.