Cycling - YMCA of Southwestern Indiana


The Benefits of Stationary Cycling

Low Impact

The stationary bike provides a low-impact, gentle workout, allowing you to exercise without putting too much stress on the spine, according to Spine-Health. Riding a stationary bike is a beneficial way to obtain cardiovascular exercise and strengthen the lower body without stressing your joints. Stationary bikes are often prescribed by physical therapists after an injury or surgery, during the rehabilitation process. Working out on a stationary bike is also beneficial if you suffer from balance problems as its stable foundation negates the need to lean to make turns.

Muscle Strengthening

Riding a stationary bike helps to strengthen major muscle groups that support the back, leg and thigh muscles, and the hamstrings behind the thigh. While pedaling on a stationary bike, there are two different strokes: the push and the pull. Pushing down on the pedals strengthens the quadriceps, while pulling up works and strengthens the hamstrings. The stationary bike causes less stress on the knees than outdoor bikes that must be navigated on hard and uneven terrain.

Weight Loss

If weight loss is your goal, a stationary bike is one of the most efficient calorie burners. According to Harvard Health Publications, riding a stationary bicycle at a moderate pace burns 210 calories in 30 minutes for an individual weighing 125 pounds, 250 calories in 30 minutes for an individual weighing 155 pounds and 311 calories in 30 minutes for an individual weighing 185 pounds. The greater the weight, the more calories burned.

Improved Heart and Lung Function

Regular aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bike, can strengthen your heart and lungs and improve your body’s ability to utilize oxygen, according to WebMD. Consistent use of a stationary bike can help decrease your blood pressure and heart rate and improve your respiratory function. For the best results, the American Heart Association recommends exercising five times per week for 30 minutes each day.


With a stationary bike, inclement weather or darkness does not prevent you from exercising. While riding the stationary bike, you can catch up on your reading, check email, talk on the phone, watch television or keep your eye on young children, while still reaping the many benefits of exercise.

Consider these classes for a cycling workout

Cycle – These classes are created and led by the instructor so they will vary by duration and instructor each time you take them. If you want variety of your cycling workout, this class is for you.

RPM – These classes are a choreographed cycling class led by an instructor but each class follows the same cadence and music regardless of time of day or instructor. The choreography for these classes changes every three months but you can expect consistency within that 3-month timeframe.