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The Top 5 Indoor Cycling Exercises

Jack Nunn describes the top 5 indoor cycling exercises.

Indoor Cycling Exercise #1: Jumps

These 'Jumps' can be performed an indoor cycle during a class or at home while having the resistance set to a moderate level or out on the roads if you wish. Make sure that you have your hands steady on the handlebars when attempting these jumps; some indoor cycles are capable of swaying from side to side. Pivot your body from the hips back and forth over the seat and then in an upright position. Hold a jump in each position for at least a couple of seconds. The swaying motion of the EVO bike combined with the balance and core you need to control the EVO bike will give your obliques and arms an amazing muscle-tone!

A jump is usually help for 10-15 maximum revolutions of the cranks (for each leg) at as reasonable rpm or cadence. You can integrate a set of 5 to 10 sets of these jump workouts throughout various stages of your favorite song while cycling to the beats of the music. Let the beats dictate when you move back and forth over the seat while you jump. Ideally you should allow at least a minute of rest between each set and five minutes rest between sets to allow the muscles to recover. You could use jumps in every song you have throughout class or at home in order to utilize and train your core muscle groups.

You can also alternate sets of seated and standing jumps if you wish to target different aspects of your cycling as well as increasing the resistance as your power improves. Make sure to try to keep the resistance higher while doing jumps as you do not want to lose control of the bike. Resistance on the EVO Bike will help you keep pace with the beats of the music and will offer a much higher calorie-burn workout!

Indoor Cycling Exercise #2 - Interval Hill Sprints For Maximum Calorie Burn and Power

Resistance is typically higher when you climb and challenge your leg power and therefore the cadence is often lower than when you imagine riding on a flat surface. A trick here is to lower the resistance a bit to increase RPM's (revolutions per minute) with leg speed and carefully come out of your seat at the same time for around 5 intervals lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds at a time. Make sure your hips are moving with the bike from side to side and that the momentum is carrying your feet out of the back-end of the cycle stroke for momentum and the knees are slightly bent. When you begin these exercises you want to try to initially build your cadence for the first ten seconds and then aim to maintain the cadence over the remaining ten seconds throughout each interval. After each sprint allow at least 1-2 minutes easy cycling as recovery time.

Indoor Cycling Exercise #3: Hovering Over Your Seat

'Hovering' is preformed in order to maximize focus on strength in the quads and hamstrings. There are many cyclists who do not know how to use their hamstrings and therefore cannot maximize the full spectrum of the cycling stroke with the legs. This hovering drill can be used during class as an intensifying hamstring strength workout. While holding the handlebars with a light but steady grip move your hips back so that your butt is literally hovering above the seat at around 1 to 3 inches and hold that position for 10-45 seconds for 1-3 intervals in addition to your workout routine. The longer you hold that position while riding, the more intense the sensation will increase in the hamstrings and quads. Make sure to slightly bend the knees and really focus the use of the legs during this workout and try not to hold on to the handlebars too tight.

Indoor Cycling Exercise #4: 'Tabata Interval' Cycling

Dr. Tabata discovered that this kind of interval training produces much better results than aerobic training. This included building as much muscular endurance as forty five minutes of normal cardio training. In fact in the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness. Something to keep in mind was that the subjects were as fit as race horses before they started the trial, so the improvements were remarkable. This makes it a very versatile program, you can use tabata for weight loss as well most improving performance in most aerobic and anaerobic sport. Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of high intensity interval training, it's also the most intense by far, and surprisingly its the shortest in duration, it only last for four to five minutes.

Resistance on the EVO bike stays at an easy to moderate pace and RPM, just enough that you don't bounce in the saddle as you sprint. Your base 'recovery' pace is 60 percent of max of your exertion rate. During your workout plug in these Tabata Intervals of :30 seconds on and then :10 seconds rest. On the 30 seconds of work, sprint to 80 to 90 percent of your max. Go back to 60 percent pace on the 10 seconds of recovery. Try and incorporate this exercise 8-12 times during your workout to really intensify your workout and burn fat fast!

Tabata drills are very intense form of interval training consisting of :30 seconds of work followed by :10 seconds of rest. Multiply that by 8-12 times, and you get around one 4-5-minute Tabata. On the bike, this plays out as 8-12 :30-second sprints with light to moderate resistance. It also can be used for rolling hills - 30 seconds super steep, 10 seconds more moderate resistance, and so on for 8-12 intervals. Tabata drills effective and challenging for strength training and cardio circuits in an indoor cycle class setting or at home.

Indoor Cycling Exercise #5: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

High Intensity Interval Training is a specific type of interval training routine. It is mostly used for individuals trying to lose weight. It has a number of distinct goals and differences which make it unique.

The first difference is in time, excluding warm ups and warm downs last no longer than 20 minutes. This may seem like a very short space of time but believe me if you do the workout correctly you will be exhausted by the end of it. The goal of HIIT is to hold an anaerobic state for a long cumulative time from 3-5 minutes using 3-5 intervals throughout the workout. It’s designed with rest intervals to allow you to sprint harder for longer. The rest intervals should last about only %10 of the total work time involved. For an interval work time lasting about 4 mintues the rest time should be around :30 seconds in between sets. In an advanced HIIT workout you would probably spend about 7-8 minutes going full-out in a 15 minute workout. If you are a beginner you should start with 2-4 minutes total workout time.

Author Information:

Jack Nunn, Powerhouse FitnessJack created Powerhouse Fitness after winning numerous medals in various events on the international stage. He was a gold medalist in 2007 at the first ever Concept 2 Team Indoor Rowing challenge, held in Essen, Germany. In 2006, he took silver at the Masters Nationals Open Single Event. As a member of the US Rowing National Team from 2001-2004 he placed second at the 2003 Pan American Trials in double sculls and had an outstanding 2002 that saw him claim a gold medal in Senior 8 and a silver medal in the Elite Double at the US Nationals. He was also a silver medalist in 2001 in the Nations Cup (now the U23 World Championships) 8 in Ottenshiem, Austria. Find out more.