Exercise bike workout

Exercise bikes are a great tool to help keep active and lose weight.
Published 28 May 2018

Bike workout for at home or the gym

A great benefit of exercise bikes is that they can be low impact, but can still give you an intense workout. Try these drills for a quick routine or repeat the sequence a few times if you want more of a challenge.

1. Prepare and recover

Cycle for 5 minutes at a slow to moderate pace at the beginning and end of your session. This prepares the body for the workout and aids recovery at the end of the session.

WeightWatchers® tip: Sit leaning forward slightly at the hips, with minimal pressure on your back, knees and wrists.

2. Seated sprint

Pedal as fast as you can, staying seated.

  • Do 1-minute sprint, then 1-minute slow pedalling for 5 rounds.
  • As you get fitter, you can increase the resistance.
  • Pedal lightly for 1 minute to recover before moving on to the next drill.

3. Queen of the mountain

Climb a mountain, standing up out of the saddle.

  • Picture yourself riding up a big hill for 5 minutes, with the bike on high resistance, standing up on your pedals.
  • Do 5 minutes uphill (moderate to high resistance). This builds endurance as well as leg and core strength.
  • Pedal lightly for 1 minute to recover before moving on to the next drill.

4. Mole hills

This leg burner works different parts of your legs depending on whether you are seated or standing.

  • Do 8 pedals (rotations) standing, followed by 8 pedals seated.
  • Keep going in this rhythm for 2 minutes, then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for a second round.
  • Pedal lightly for 1 minute to recover before moving on to the next drill.

5. Sprint finish

You’re on the home stretch in front of the big crowd and up out of your seat, sprinting for the win!

  • Set the bike to medium resistance and pedal, standing, at a high intensity to the finish line.
  • Do 2 minutes of sprinting at 90-100% effort.

Stationary bike tips

  • Setting up: To get the correct seat height for your bike, make sure there is a slight bend in your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedalling motion. If the seat is too low or high, it can lead to lower-back problems. The handlebars should also be at a comfortable height and distance for you.
  • Maintaining: Performing little maintenance tasks, such as remembering to oil the brake on your spin bike to prevent excess wear, or wiping off sweat immediately after your workout to prevent rust, will make your bike last much longer and will also make it so much easier and more enjoyable to use.
  • Try before you buy: There are many exercise bikes sitting on the side of the road after being bought and ridden just a handful of times, so it’s a good idea to rent before you buy. Renting keeps it front of mind and, once you’re in the habit of using it regularly, some places give you the option to buy.