Cycling exercises at low speeds
When you are cycling indoors there are a variety of different techniques you can use to change the intensity of your workout. Lowering your speed doesn’t mean that you are lowering the level of your exercise intensity. Instead, low speed exercises can be invaluable when it comes to speeding up recovery time and increasing your overall levels of fitness. Here are a few different techniques that you can introduce to your workout to boost variety and improve your results.
Do a seated flat
A seated flat is a great technique to use when you are warming up, cooling down or starting a recovery phase in the middle of a workout. You need to cycle at a low speed, with around one pedal every second. The slow pace of this technique will facilitate the blood flow around your legs, which is essential to get your workout off to a good start.
Do some climbing
Hill climbs are another good way to introduce a lower rpm of around 60 80 into your workout. If you start your climb in a seated position and pedal slowly with increased tension you will soon feel a burning sensation. This means your legs are getting a really good workout! Either continue at this low pace or increase the tension further and finish the climb by standing. It’s a great way of getting some more arduous training into your exercise regime.
Body positioning is of prime importance when you are cycling, whether in the gym or out on the road. A hover is a great way to add some extra oomph to your indoor workout. It’s halfway between standing and sitting and you should start by placing your handlebars at the furthest position from your saddle, with your hands in position three. Whilst pedalling, extend your hips so that they stick out over the back of your saddle. This encourages a higher level of tension as you work to support your body weight and your speed will remain low despite the fact that you are working those muscles hard.
Pedal with one leg
Okay, this one sounds weird and we are not proposing that you take one foot off your pedals! Instead we are using the lower cycling speeds to focus on technique and form, an essential if you want to get the maximum from any workout. Whilst pedalling, focus on only one foot at a time. Press with your heel and use your calf and hamstring on the same leg to push the pedal down. To move the pedal up again, use the muscles at the front of your leg instead. This simple sounding exercise is actually quite difficult, but it really makes you stop and analyse every part of your cycling technique. Remember to change legs at regular intervals so you don’t work one side of your body more than the other.
Integrating low speed segments into your cycling workout really gets some variety into your exercise routine. They are a great way of improving overall strength and speed and will really help you make the most out of your training.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance health blogger, who is currently writing on behalf of Reebok Fitness.