Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by JP
The stationary bike is one of the most popular cardio machines that help you achieve your fitness goals. The best feature about it is that it’s easy to use, requiring very little know-how to begin and minimal supervision.
Whether you’re a beginner or someone who needs a cardio machine that you can use without any help at home, the stationary bike provides everything you need to help you effortlessly perform workouts and achieve your aims.
Just 10 minutes a day on your bike can significantly improve your moods and boost your energy levels, let alone the cardiovascular benefits you get out of it.
Read on to explore the most popular stationary bike workouts for beginners.
The bike is the chosen cardio machine for those who have injuries or suffer from arthritic joints thanks to the cyclical movement, which places minimal pressure on your critical joints. Equally, it’s ideal for beginners too, who haven’t grown accustomed to high-impact workouts.
As a budding new fitness enthusiast, you mustn’t make high impact, high-calorie burn workouts your priority. Instead, focus on longer workouts to help improve your endurance so that you can perform high-intensity exercises efficiently in the long term.
Also, it’s important to remember that your priority should be to stay safe and not try too many things all at once. Take each day as it comes or a week at a time and write down the goals you may want to achieve. You should avoid overexerting yourself by dealing with the pain during the workout – you should feel the challenge but not to the point where you’re writhing in pain!
The below workouts are tried and safe but remember that everyone’s different, so do what you feel is the most comfortable for you in terms of time intervals and methods.
As a beginner, this type of workout plan is ideal as you let your body adapt to bursts of high-impact intervals. Then, you give it a downtime for recovery during the low-intensity intervals. The latter also gives you something to look forward to during the rigorous portions.
You might be thinking this won’t be effective at burning calories, but actually, it’s been proven to shift more calories than just pedaling at a constant speed.
The adaptations and sharp changes that the body experiences from high to low-intensity intervals challenge your body not to get used to the consistency, thereby using up more energy and burning more calories.
To do this:
- Begin: A low impact, 5-minute warm-up to start with will ignite your muscles for the work ahead. Pedal at a moderate pace until you feel warmed up.
- Workout: After the 5 minutes are up, jump straight into a 30-second sprint, pedaling with all your effort. Rest for 10 seconds and then perform the 30-second sprint again. Make this pattern about 10 times, all in all giving you a good 15-minute workout on your bike.
- Rest: Once you’ve completed the rounds, pedal slowly for 5 minutes for your heart rate to get back down to rest.
After a week to a fortnight of performing this workout, make it your aim to progress by adding another 5 minutes to the workout. Then, try this out for about a week and see how you feel.
You can even change it up by performing 40-second sprints and 10-second rest intervals if you’re up to the challenge. Or continue with the same interval pattern but extend the overall time to 30 minutes.
Performing a 30-minute workout is golden because that’s achieving the recommended amount of exercise per day. Once you’re at this point, you can build up to more challenging high-intensity workouts.
For those beginners who want to be pushed to their limits, this calorie burner workout is going to do just that! As a reward, you can burn up to 15 calories in just one minute – that’s 150 calories in 10 minutes! It’ll challenge your body and significantly improve your endurance in the long term.
To do this:
- Begin: Pedal at a moderate pace for about 5 minutes to get your muscles warmed up.
- Workout: Putting in your best effort, cycle for about 90 seconds, then have a 90-second recovery break where you cycle at a level that’s half of your best effort. Switch it up then, put in your best effort, cycle for 60 seconds, and then have a 30-second recovery break where you cycle at a level that’s about 70% of your total effort. Keep alternating between the two sets for 30 minutes or more if you can!
- Rest: Cycle for 5 minutes at a gentle pace and allow your heart rate to come down slowly.
Contrary to mainstream beliefs about building muscles, you don’t have to lift weights to build and tone muscles. As a beginner, your bike can be your avenue to training your body to be competitive and helping you achieve goals like strength building in a safe way.
Stationary bikes have a dial or similar that lets you change the “rate of perceived exertion” or RPE, the intensity of the resistance on your bike that comes in levels. A level 4 RPE should be a comfortable pace for beginners and be used in your warm-up. You should use levels 5-6 during the workout periods, though.
You can build muscles by adding RPE or resistance on your bike, which will feel like you’re cycling up a hill. Initially, you’ll notice that as you add in the resistance, you slow down. But that’s because your leg muscles are expelling more energy that, in turn, makes your leg muscles, glutes, and quads tone up and get stronger.
If you have some dumbbells handy, you can always perform bicep curls as you’re pedaling, so you can give your arms and upper back a good workout at the same time.
It’s important that when adding in resistance, you keep your lower back safe by not exerting too much pressure on it. You can do this by positioning yourself out of the saddle in a “danseuse” position, so your glutes and quads take the bulk of the pressure rather than your lower back.
Do this every 5 minutes or so, and it’ll also encourage your body to use dormant muscles.
The above workouts will give you a headstart to getting the most out of your best stationary exercise bike every week, allowing you to develop a fitness goal for yourself. It’s important to remember not to overexert yourself if you experience too much pain and feel like you can’t go on.
Instead of giving in altogether, try pedaling at a slower pace during workout intervals or add some extra seconds to rest intervals.
Also, you can try listening to some music, watching some TV, or teaming up with a workout buddy to help you through the longer 30-minute workouts.