Bringing your cycling workout indoors doesn't mean you have to ditch the exhilarating experience. The newest craze in indoor cycling — SoulCycle — has become an addiction for many of its followers. It's a full-body fat-burning and strength-training workout that's fun and easy to follow — even if it's your first time cycling.
The fad is popping up in studios throughout the country, but if it hasn't come to your neck of the woods yet, try routine, a class created by MB Regan, a Los Angeles-based SoulCycle master instructor. Every exercise should last 3 to 5 minutes — or the length of one song, unless instructed otherwise.
Indoor cycling info
If you've never cycled indoors before, study this cheat sheet before you hop onboard.
Perfect posture: Core engaged, shoulders down, arms slightly bent. The seat should be a forearm's length from the handlebars, and your legs should be almost fully extended with a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Resistance: Depending on the bike, this would be adjusted with a knob or a wheel under the handlebars. Turn the knob to increase the resistance.
Position one: Seated in the saddle with your hands in the center of the back of the handlebars.
Position two: Hovering above the saddle, core engaged with your hands on the middle bar of the handlebars, shoulders down.
Position three: Core engaged, riding parallel to the bike, shoulders down, butt back, hovering over the saddle, hands lightly grasping the end of the handlebars.
Why: To test your core stability in and out of the saddle.
Try it: Sit on the bike and then rise up using your core. Hover over the seat, and with light-to-moderate resistance on the wheel, start at a jog. Add resistance if it's too easy. Think about pulling up with your knees rather than pushing down with your legs.
Why: Sprints are the best way to improve your aerobic endurance. Not only is it an uplifting, powerful exercise, but you'll also burn fat, raise your metabolism and strengthen your heart. When your body gets exhausted, it starts releasing endorphins, which can give you that runner's high.
Try it: Sitting on the bike, start with light-to-medium resistance on the wheel, while keeping your shoulders down, chest open and upper body relaxed. Keep your core engaged and start pedaling as fast as you can. After sprinting for 1 minute, start your interval training by pedaling slowly for 40 seconds followed by a 30-second sprint. Before you start each sprint, add on a little resistance.
Why: This exercise strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, core and quads.
Try it: Wrap your hands lightly around the end of the handlebars (you should still be able to wiggle your fingers) and rise out of the seat into the third position (see how-to box on positions). Keep your chest lifted and shoulders down while your hips stay still. Keep a constant pace as you turn up your resistance every 30 to 45 seconds.
Why: Build your core strength.