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The 5 Most Effective Indoor Cycling Tips, Instructors Say

"Resistance, resistance, resistance."

If indoor cycling is your jam, you're likely always on the lookout for ways to improve your skill and take your sessions to the next level of greatness. Well, consider any cycling classes you take from here on forward instantly upgraded. We spoke with SoulCycle instructors about the most effective indoor cycling tips that will yield results, so listen up.

In addition to the technical indoor cycling tips, Madeleine Starkey, Master SoulCycle Instructor, holistic wellness coach, and certified yoga teacher tells us that having a good time while cycling is the name of the game. "I personally subscribe to the concept that the best workout we can do is the one we enjoy. The way I see it, this makes us more likely to do the workout consistently, which is imperative in order to achieve the best results from an exercise routine," Starkey explains.

Also, be sure to leave yourself open to making some new friends with a common interest! Starkey says, "We are pack animals. We can only thrive when we belong. Being in proximity is not the same as being in a community. Introduce yourself to the people around you, especially the ones you see most often in class. Even if that's as far as your socializing goes, it will nourish our common need to be part of a tribe."

Read on to learn more about the most effective indoor cycling tips from SoulCycle instructors. And next up, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Focus on your form

indoor cycling class

According to Starkey, form is crucial. If your bike isn't properly set up to complement your personal geometry, you won't get a good ride in. Especially for new riders, Starkey recommends showing up to the studio early and asking the instructor to help set up your bike. This way, you know how everything should look going forward.

Michael Calvi, SoulCycle Instructor agrees that good form is crucial. Calvi says to make sure you're not too close to or too far away from your handlebars, adding, "This is why when you first experiment with your settings, take a few pedal strokes, and pay close attention to your knees. Your knees should be directly above the pedal stroke. Your handlebars should be approximately the same height as your seat or higher if you are experiencing discomfort in your back. You are looking for a slight bend in your elbow, and when riding, you want to apply effort throughout each portion of the pedal stroke. The pedal stroke should feel like you have a constant stream of tension underneath your feet."

Related: The 3 Best Cardio Exercises To Lose "Spare Tire" Fat Fast, Trainer Says

Look at other classmates as inspiration, not comparison

cycling classmates giving each other high five

When looking around at other classmates, Starkey encourages against making comparisons and rather drawing inspiration from them. Starkey says, "If you see someone killing it, consider them an example of what's possible for you as opposed to proof that you're not 'good enough.'"

"Resistance, resistance, resistance"

fit couple indoor cycling

Resistance is a major player in performing and completing an effective indoor cycling workout. Without it, you're not really getting anywhere. Starkey confirms, "Literally and figuratively, spinning our wheels gets us nowhere. It's the feedback from the weight of the wheel that engages our bodies muscularly, which in turn is what builds both strength and stamina on the bike."

Calvi also reiterates the importance of resistance. "The more resistance you add on while trying to maintain the specific pace of a certain song will determine the efficiency of your workout. Always try to add a little extra for brief moments, even if not asked by the instructor, and get a little curious with your capabilities. After trying some more resistance, see if you can maintain it, and if not, return to where you were prior to that addition," Calvi says.

Related: The Best Cardio Exercises To Get A Lean Body Fast—Without Equipment

Establish a schedule that works best for you

man on exercise bike in gym

Calvi tells us you'll accomplish the best results when you do what works best for you and your body. "I have seen riders take one class a week, and I have seen riders take 10 classes a week. I have seen riders ride once a day, and I have seen riders ride three times in a day. It is all about your energy, and if the workout leaves you wanting more, keep going and move your body some more. Make sure it is true to you," Calvi explains.

Take regular breaks, if needed, and avoid burning yourself out

woman smiles as she takes a break from indoor cycling workout

We know you're working your butt off during your sweat sessions, and you have goals in mind. But don't forget—carving out time to rest and recovery shouldn't be overlooked. Calvi makes it a point to tell beginners to give themselves time when it comes to noticing strength increase, but it's something that should be checked on every ride.

"You should be focused on the physical sensation rather than what you have to do AFTER the workout," Calvi explains. "You will have some breakthrough days where you feel at the height of your strength and your physical journey, and you will have days where you probably should have just taken a walk outside. Both are beneficial! It doesn't always have to be so intense and so long. Check your energy, check your body, and make your next move mindfully."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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