Ready to take your indoor cycling skills to new heights? Whether you’ve just recently gotten started on your indoor cycling journey, or have been a longtime enthusiast looking to enhance your performance - you’ve come to the right place. We’ve brought together the top pointers from four industry luminaries:
Senior Vice President: Talent and Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging Barry’s
Formerly National Director, Innovation, & Experience, Wheel at Flywheel Sports.
Founder & Owner
Sweat Cycle, Sweat EXT, & BTHR
Fitness & Indoor Cycling Trainer
Host of The Vibe Podcast
Business Development Partner - Struct Club
Operations Manager - Chrome Cycle Studio
Nike Trainer, Founding teammate at FutureFit, personal trainer, dance instructor
Each of these experts has uncovered their top pointers for strengthening, stretching, recovering, and beyond to strengthen your riding. Get ready to unlock your potential on the bike – while off the bike!
Top Off-the-Bike Workouts
Victor: “Weightlifting (I lift weights 4 - 5 times per week); hiking (I love being outdoors and tackling different terrains in the great outdoors!); stretching (I don't love it AND it's so important especially for those of us who participate in lots of repetitive joining action activities, like cycling).”
Mimi: “Getting stronger off the bike is the key to riding stronger on the bike. My favorite off-the-bike workout has always been Pilates. It is a game changer in building core strength and increasing flexibility, which is key to riding in proper alignment.”
Demar: “My personal favorite off-the-bike workouts include going to the gym (2-3 times per week) where I utilize resistance training to strengthen my body overall. Personally, with being on a bike for the majority of the time, I see my body being able to maintain muscle, especially in larger muscle groups, but never able to grow or strengthen. With resistance training, I am especially able to positively impact the upper body in an efficient manner that would not have been impacted while being on the bike.”
Parker: “To support my riding, cross-training, and address key areas most cyclists deal with like stiff quads, hip ﬂexors, hamstrings and lower backs, I include dynamic stretching in my warm-up pre workout like cat-cow stretch, high knees, leg swings, squats, butt kickers.”
Speaking of Stretching…
Parker: “Cyclists, especially those training regularly, are often lacking when it comes to ﬂexibility, considering that riding a bike entails a repetitive action performed through a limited range of motion with the joints never taken through their full range of motion.To prepare my muscles and after my ride, or as a stand alone session, I use static stretches such as kneeling hip flexor stretch, downward dog, pigeon pose, and straight leg calf stretch to help restore muscles to their ‘resting’ length, or to develop length in shortened muscles.”
Victor: “Incorporating stretching for the lower body is key, especially focusing on the hamstrings, glutes, adductors, quads and calves as well as the IT Band. Keeping your hip flexors and lower back flexible and thoroughly stretching the muscles in your arms, shoulders and upper back will keep you well prepared for your cycling workouts.”
Don’t Forget to Breathe!
Mimi: The focus on breath tethered to movement is beautiful and plays right into indoor cycling, where breath mechanics is so important to anchoring an effective ride.”
What are your thoughts on Recovery?
Victor: “The key to preventing injuries is cross-training with strength training and stretching AND most importantly, incorporating rest into your program.”
Demar: “Outside of resistance training, I enjoy taking time to recover by stretching, cold tubs, hot tubs, sauna, and massage guns. This helps me with DOMS (Delayed onset of muscle soreness) when going from the constant muscle exertion with being on the bike and resistance training. Being able to prioritize recovery helps myself to continue to perform on the bike, prevent injuries, and be able to rest my body effectively.
Lastly, treat yourself to monthly massages, especially if you're very active. The benefit of a deep tissue, sports massage, or Swedish massage is something I personally need to utilize more of and incorporate this into my routine more often. With benefits such as (but not limited to), improving heart rate, blood pressure, increasing blood circulation, and releasing stress/tension, this should always be at the top of your priority list for performance.”
Set Yourself Up for Success
Victor: “To get the most out of your Indoor Cycling training, make sure your bike is properly adjusted, use cycling shoes, work on riding with proper form and HAVE FUN! Remember, you're riding a bike that doesn’t move AND that can take you anywhere you want to go!”
Don’t Forget - Mindset is Everything!
Victor: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable! One of the keys to becoming a proficient Indoor Cyclist is to train yourself, mentally and physically, to work past the point of comfort to achieve the results you want. Breaking the challenge/change barrier is tough AND you're tougher!
Demar: “We all may get in a habit where we teach/train exclusively on the bike, and forget to focus on other modalities which can help improve our overall performance. Performance can include our muscular strength, endurance, and even mobility.”