The 6 Benefits of Exercise Bikes (Plus Workouts From a Personal Trainer)

Exercise bikes have a simplicity to them that is very attractive. They’re easy on your joints and convenient, all the while providing tons of training benefits. Beyond their availability and relatively low barrier to entry, the best exercise bikes can transform your workout program.

Regardless of your training history, exercise bikes offer low-impact cardio with high-intensity training options for those so inclined. The health benefits of aerobic exercise cannot be overstated, and the ease of execution and recovery from exercise bike workouts is even more enticing. From cardiovascular health to performance and more, here are the benefits of exercise bikes — plus the best exercise bike workouts for all levels.

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

The Benefits of Riding an Exercise Bike

An exercise bike is one of the most perfect storms of cardiovascular fitness. They are low-impact, weave seamlessly into most exercise programs, span from low to high-intensity fitness levels, and even have an option for use in classes. 

Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular training is not necessarily the most alluring prong of any training program for strength athletes. Perhaps you even struggle to weave direct cardio training into your program at all. Lucky for you, the exercise bike is as simple as it gets, rivaling the convenience of daily step counts but in a more efficient manner.

Hopping on an exercise bike two to three days per week allows you to crank your heart rate for a structured period. Cardiovascular exercise helps manage your risk of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, or many other heart health-related issues such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels. A simple bike ride a few times per week can go a long way. (1)


The exercise bike avoids much of the wear and tear of other cardiovascular training options. For example, the repeated ground strikes of the treadmill or trail running often cause soreness similar to a full-on resistance training workout. 

[Read More: What to Look for When Buying an Indoor Cycle, According to a Spin Instructor]

The exercise bike is supported, rhythmic, and avoids any eccentric or jarring impacts. You’ll get all the calorie burn and cardiovascular benefits without nearly as much soreness the next day.

Complements Strength Training

The low-impact nature of the exercise bike allows for a huge array of training program options. Where other styles of cardio require a lot more timing or strategizing to lessen their overall muscle recovery cost, the exercise bike is quite the opposite. 

Exercise bikes leverage various resistance levels or work-rest ratios to effortlessly accommodate any training program. Whether you need a rapid blast of cardio or more of a casual cruise, the exercise bike is available for your needs. With a bit of smart programming, any cycling option can leave you with more than enough in the tank to maintain your resistance training program unimpeded.


The exercise bike provides a massive amount of training intensity options. One of the easiest forms of low-intensity steady state is simply hopping on the exercise bike for a casual 20 to 30-minute ride. On the other hand, exercise bikes are capable of providing one of the most accessible but challenging forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. 

[Read More: HIIT Vs. LISS — Which Type of Cardio Is Better?]

The ability to scale your own pace, work-to-rest ratios, or even the resistance provided by the stationary bicycle allows you to completely tailor your workout challenge. Whatever your needs or goals require, the exercise bike has you covered.

Class Friendly

One of the more unique benefits of the exercise bike is the entire community and culture of spin classes. Many commercial gyms offer their own spin classes and boutique spin studios continue to pop up.

[Read More: The 6 Best Folding Exercise Bikes]

These classes provide high energy, community, and outright fun options for your health and wellness goals. From loud upbeat music to fuel your ride to mimicking trails, hills, or sprinting, a spin class takes your everyday exercise bike routine and revolutionizes the experience.

Fat Loss

If you’re aiming to burn fat and you’re already ticking off the necessary boxes in the kitchen and on the lifting platform, the exercise bike might be your next biggest ally. The exercise bike burns a neat pocket of calories to suit your fat loss goals. In bursts of 15 to 30 minutes per session (in combination with a structured healthy diet), an exercise bike is a solid tool for fat loss goals.

Exercise Bike Workouts

There are many ways to structure and organize your exercise bike workouts. From simple and effective to integrating them into cross-training routines, here are easy, moderate, and harder examples to consider. 

Whether you’re on a recumbent bike aiming to get in some low-impact exercise or on an outdoor cycling kick to improve your mental health with physical activity, there’s something here for you.




Easy Exercise Bike Workout

Easy does not mean less effective. All forms of structured cardio provide benefits, but having intensity options lets you choose the right tool for the job on any given day. For example, a nice-paced steady-state cruise is a perfect way to cap off your leg day when lower body muscles like your quads, glutes, and hamstrings may already be torched.

The Workout

You don’t have to be a pro cyclist here. Keep things simple and choose a pace or resistance that promotes recovery rather than chasing your peak heart rate. Take a seat, pop on your favorite playlist, and knock out a solid spin session.

[Read More: The 8 Best Exercise Bikes Under $500]

5-minute warm-up at 50% of your maximum heart rate

20 minutes of cycling at 60% of your maximum heart rate

5-minute cool down at 50% of your maximum heart rate

Equipment Needed: All you’ll need here is a stationary bicycle (any indoor bike will do, whether recumbent bike or an upright bike) and your water bottle. Headphones and music are also an asset.

How Often to Do This Workout: Complete this workout anywhere from two to five times per week. It is so low impact that it can be woven into a near-daily cardiovascular program to complement your health and fitness goals.


Make it Easier: To make this workout easier, reduce the time to match your current level of cardiovascular endurance. This means that after your dynamic warm-up, scale the workout duration down to 10 or 15 minutes instead of 20. Alternatively, complete the entire workout at a warm-up pace and build from there.

Make it Harder: Make this workout harder by extending the length of time you’re spinning. First, try for 25 or 30 minutes and keep moving up.

Coach’s Tip: Remember that the goal of your easier workout is to accomplish slight heart rate elevation, not to go all out with a full-body bodybuilding workout.

Moderate Exercise Bike Workout

Moderate exercise bike workouts are quite diverse as they draw upon many intensity levels to accomplish the goal. You might find a workout like this in your cycling classes, or you might opt to go this one alone.

[Read More: The 9 Best Exercise Bikes For Heavy People]

One way to optimize the challenge, benefits, and time efficiency is through moderate-intensity intervals. You don’t necessarily need to perform full-on sprints with interval-style training. But challenging bursts of activity followed by a cruise is very effective here. Keep your fingertips on those handlebars and see how this one settles into your exercise routine.

The Workout

Interval training is a broad category of training that pockets short periods of higher intensity alternating with lower-intensity recovery time. This is particularly easy to accomplish on your exercise bike as you can simply modify the pace you spin at or the resistance level setting.

[Read More: The 7 Best Budget Exercise Bikes]

5-minute warm-up at 50% of your maximum heart rate

10 intervals performing 30 seconds of moderate-to-high intensity effort followed by 1 minute of low-intensity recovery

5-minute cool down at 50% of your maximum heart rate

Equipment Needed: You’re going to need a stationary bicycle, a timer or stopwatch (or simply the screen of the bike), and water.

How Often to Do This Workout: Although the workout is moderate, it already has the potential to impact recovery when woven into a larger program. Limit this workout to two to three days per week at most. 


Make it Easier: Make this workout easier by maintaining your sprinting pace but extending the rest period by an additional 30 seconds.

Make it Harder: Make this workout harder by maintaining your sprinting pace but reducing the rest period by 15 seconds. Alternatively, increase your sprinting pace and keep the rest period the same.

Coach’s Tip: Be mindful to control your breathing during the recovery intervals. The main goal is to get your breathing and heart rate as close to your dynamic warm-up pace as possible before the next round, even and especially as your quadriceps start to fatigue.

Hard Exercise Bike Workout

Every training style has a mountain to climb — a version that gives you something to strive for and challenges you completely. An exercise bike workout that is just plain hard is a huge motivator and easily breaks up the monotony you may be feeling. The perfect option here is to weave your exercise bike workout into a larger circuit. 

No personal trainer required. Just you, the bike, and one of your fave forms of exercise.

The Workout

A hard exercise bike workout doesn’t need to be so mundane as sprint intervals alone. Try patching together a few different full-body exercises and capping it with a bike interval. This combination of resistance training and cycling will surely keep your heart rate peaked and your mind engaged.

[Read More: The 8 Best Exercise Bikes with Screens]

5-minute warm-up at 50% of your maximum heart rate

1 x 10 thrusters

1 x 10 burpees

1 x 10 shoulder taps

1 x 15-second stationary bicycle sprint

2 minutes of low-intensity recovery cycling

5-minute cool down at 50% of your maximum heart rate

Note: Perform this circuit as many times as possible within 30 minutes.

Equipment Needed: For this workout, you’ll need a stationary bicycle, dumbbells, and enough space to perform the resistance training exercises. Bring water and a timer to stay on track.

How Often to Do This Workout: This workout is designed to be a real test and should only be performed one or two days per week at most. Otherwise, it may interfere with the remainder of your program. Try to structure it before upper body training days.


Make it Easier: Reduce the number of repetitions for your thrusters and burpees to five per exercise. Scale up as your performance improves.

Make it Harder: Instead of shoulder taps, perform mountain climbers. Try increasing the repetitions of your thrusters and burpees to 12 each as well.

Coach’s Tip: Be prepared for a tough workout. Breathe through your mouth and nose and really indulge your rest times.

Start Spinning

Exercise bikes are everywhere — from entire sections in the gym, workout rooms in your home, or even cycling studios for group fitness. The benefits of exercise bikes are similarly legion since these cardio machines can help boost your heart health and are easily scalable to multiple fitness levels. The next time you pull up to the cardio bar, try the exercise bike on for size!


Your exercise bike workouts are a fantastic way to take your indoor cycling experience to a new level. From beginners to advanced, here are some frequently asked questions to help you out.

How long should you ride a stationary bike?

A stationary bike is an incredibly useful cardiovascular training tool. You can scale the intensity of the bike itself, employ interval-style training, or even weave it into a circuit. 
Depending on how you arrange the workout and intensity, your stationary bike workout can span anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

What are the benefits of cycling at home or the gym?

Cycling is a hugely beneficial method of exercise. It helps improve your cardiovascular health and performance and is a great warm-up or cool-down tool. Whether you’re at the gym looking for a low-impact easy-to-use training tool or taking advantage of how compact the stationary bike is for your home gym, there are a wide range of benefits to consider.

Is an exercise bike good for weight loss?

An exercise bike can be a huge asset for weight loss-focused training. Calorie balance and sound nutrition are the major keys to successful fat loss, and cardiovascular training is a great tool to tip the scale in favor of total calories burned. 
The exercise bike is a low-impact beginner-friendly tool that weaves easily into most training programs. It is perhaps one of the most recommended pieces of equipment for a weight loss goal that uses cardio.


Chavarrias M, Carlos-Vivas J, Collado-Mateo D, Pérez-Gómez J. Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Aug 8;55(8):452

The post The 6 Benefits of Exercise Bikes (Plus Workouts From a Personal Trainer) appeared first on BarBend.


您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注