Upright Bike Workout for Beginners: At a Glance

A stationary or upright bike isn’t exactly the most exciting gym equipment, but it’s a staple in most gyms, training centers and athletes’ workout regimens. It’s not as easy as it looks though – at least not as easy as the treadmill but if done right, these bikes can give you a serious workout.

Experts weighed in, saying that the upright bike is one of those tools that can be used for all people, irrespective of their fitness levels. Since its a low impact workout, gym beginners can begin here and make the most of this simple, complication-free gym tool!

The upright bike can be used either as a cardio booster that can help you to warm up before weight lifting sessions or just as a standalone session for lower body workout and pedalling. Simply hopping on and cycling away won’t do it, they’re only effective when you go through the motions the right way. So, as a beginner try challenging yourself to use these underestimated gym tools to burn fat, improve cardiovascular endurance or road racing speed before you go outdoors, or even fitting in workouts before heading off to the office.

Just be careful about fitting the seat to the right level to avoid knee injury. That being said, get on that bike today and try out these simple modes.

Upright bikes are fitted with intensity controls that determine how hard you have to pedal. These settings range from high, medium and low and could make a world of difference to your workout.

Mode 1: Heading for the hills

In this mode, the intensity level is increased slowly and gradually and the kind of pressure it puts on your leg muscles is similar to what you would feel when climbing a hill.

This mode is good for when you are a professional climber – although climbers do have intensive workouts, they all warm up with this hill-climb mode and swear by it. For you, as a beginner, it can help you to build more strength in your legs, and although you should be pedalling slowly you can eventually pedal for longer and harder with time.

Mode 2: Moving up the pyramids

Here you also change the intensity levels, but instead of a one-way ticket to the full intensity mode, you increase the intensity to the highest and then reduce it back to the lowest setting. In other words, you’re kind of creating a yo-yo effect. What this does for beginners is that you get most of the benefits of the previous hill mode, but after working on the ascent you can slow thing down and rebuild stamina for more rounds. And with his mode, you can stay on the bike a little longer.

Mode 3: Maintaining level thresholds

This would be better once you’ve mastered the first two modes. It involves cycling on the bike at the maximum intensity for as long as possible and sustaining the highest setting. Usually, 30 minutes should do it for you and it is a challenge because it takes your out of your comfort zone and makes you fitter.

This timer setting determines how long you pedal on the bike. While you can get started on fifteen minutes eventually graduate to a whole hour. Whatever you choose make sure that you stretch before each session.

Mode 1: Just for 15 minutes

Get started with a warm-up pedaling session for about five to ten minutes. Unusually this warm-up should be fast but on a low resistance level. The next 5 minutes should be fast as well, but alternate between standing and sitting every thirty seconds. It helps to choose a bike with an accurate timer for a minute to minute timekeeping.

Then move onto the last push for a whole minute increasing the resistance as much as you can handle. Finally, warm down in the last four minutes, reducing your pedalling resistance the speed till it stops completely.

Mode 2: An extra 30 minutes

For beginners, it’s better to break the whole 30 minutes into a shorter 20-second duration followed by a 10 second recovery period. Begin with a 5 minutes warm-up by pedalling at the lowest resistance setting and the fastest speed.

Then cycle for 20 seconds at medium or high resistance and 10 seconds at the lower speed. Repeat this process seven times and recover by cycling for 1 minute at a low speed.

Finally, redo this set three more times and warm down for 5 minutes reducing the resistance till it goes off.

Mode 3: A full 45 minutes

This last mode is complex and will even give your upper body a workout as well. So, you need to keep some dumbbells ready. Being with that same 5-minute warmup, and then move to stand full by getting off the saddle for the next five minutes. It’s better if you have the speed and resistance at medium for this.

Now switch the light resistance mode while cycling as fast as possible for two whole minutes while standing. Then sit back down while maintaining the same pace for the next three minutes.

Repeat the third step once you’ve increased the resistance. Then grab the dumbbells, sit down and while cycling at medium speed and light resistance, begin with the dumbbells curls.

Then start cycling fast on light resistance and gradually increase the resistant to high, pace this out every five minutes. Note, this last step with the dumbbells might not be as easy as it looks. If you can’t do it or are struggling to keep your balance, leave it out altogether. Instead, remove all resistance settings and warm down for the next 5 minutes, as you reduce the speed.

Upright Bike Workout You Should Add in Your Routine: Even if you are a Beginner

Exercises for Beginners

  • Warm Up: Set your bike to level 5 and do seated cycling for 60 seconds, while you do this you don’t really want to rock back and forth. Also your shoulder should be soft and steady. Tighten up your hands on the heart rate monitor and you are all set for the warm up.
  • Seated Sprint: In this exercise you will start feeling your quads burning. Set it to level 10 and do seated sprint cycling for 60 seconds. Same as seated cycling, just a bit faster. You can adjust your position while doing this workout, lean forward slightly or in whatever position you feel comfortable. Just try to keep your head nice and still, keep your core tight.
  • Standing Sprint: Take your Level Up to 25, keep your glute up and do standing sprint for 30 seconds. After this workout you are allowed to rest and take some time for recovery. Relaxed shoulder, tight core and still head are very important to get the most out of these exercises.
  • Now take your Level Down to 5 and Do seated cycling for 30 seconds and repeat the process again.
  • Workout Split: There are various Workout split people follow, If you are doing total body workout in a day. Include this workout in your rest day just by keeping the intensity level low. These workouts are great cardiovascular activity. If you hit different muscles throughout the week, just add these exercises to your ‘Leg Day’.

before starting any of these exercises, spend at least fifteen minutes stretching, not just the legs but your entire body. Then spend some months perfecting Modes 1 and 2 before you move to the tougher Modes, as they’re complex and will put you through a lot.

At any time, when you feel tired or sore, stop and take a quick break and carry on only if you feel like it. Remember, these upright bike exercises take some getting used to, yes, even the easy levels, but if done according to these instructions will leave you feeling great.

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.