Indoor Cycling: The Newest Ways To Get Going

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slide If you're the competitive type, indoor cycling is a great way to tap into your athletic instincts and get a great workout in a group setting. But, despite the myriad benefits of this dynamic (and fun!) cardio workout, it's possible to end up feeling a little bit...spun out. Without variety, the endless repetitions of the same cycling movements can lead to a bored mind — and, if you're not careful, tight muscles and other injuries. Thankfully, there are a few indoor cycling studios that are providing options that will keep your mind and body challenged — read on to find out how to take your fixation to the next level!

FlyBarre by Flywheel
As much as she loved indoor cycling, Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zukerman felt that the extreme nature of cardio needed a 'partner' to complement the workout — cue FlyBarre! "Cyclers can get addicted, and they can end up doing it so often that a lot of them get very tight in their hip flexors and IT bands. With this in mind, we created FlyBarre classes as a complement to the cycling workout."

One of the most important aspects of physical fitness, according to pros at Flywheel, is core strength — and while cycling can strengthen your core, FlyBarre pushes your ab workout to new levels, with a mix of yoga, pilates, and dance. Says Flywheel master instructor Holly Rilinger, "[FlyBarre classes] quickly reshape the body for long, strong, and elongated muscles."

But, if you're not a big fan of typical yoga or pilates, worry not — this workout will be anything but yawn-worthy. "A lot of times, the typical barre class can be tedious, the work is hard, and you have to stay focused," says Zukerman. "By adding choreography, you keep people coming — there's a rhythm that keeps people motivated."

Spinning Lotus Studios
This brand-new (barely three months old!) Massachussetts studio combines founder Rhonda Skloff's love for the speed of cycling and the zen of yoga, all under one roof. "I've always been an indoor cycling instructor, but I've balanced that with personal training, pilates, and yoga. When I decided to start a yoga studio, I decided that it had to have cycling, too. Now, Spinning Lotus has that yin and yang — which is what I'm all about!"

Skloff says that a balanced workout at Spinning Lotus starts with the bike — the Real Ryder bike, that is. "The bikes move from side to side, so they simulate outdoor cycling. So you're not just biking anymore, you're engaging your core muscles, your oblique muscles, and your upper body." Once you've gotten your fun, faced paced workout on the bike at Spinning Lotus, you can transition into yoga — or vice versa. "Ryding can shorten and tighten muscles, so the yoga stretches them back out — and quiets your mind."

Skloff, for one, is reaping the benefits herself of the balanced approached to fitness that Spinning Lotus offers. "It's lengthened out my spine...I feel like I have room to breathe. It makes me feel taller. And coupling [the yoga classes] with cardio exercise is just the best of both worlds."

Revolve Studios
Kristin Kenney, master instructor at Revolve Fitness, understands how intimidating indoor cycling studios can be for some — which is why she set out to create an inclusive environment at Revolve. "Our open, community-based culture is what sets us apart," says Kenney. Also different about Revolve? While most indoor cycling studios include only one type of class, Revolve offers three different types of complementary cycling experiences.

Revolve riders get to choose from three cycling classes: Real Ride, which simulates an outdoor riding experience; Rip Ride, an hour-long power class that intersperses two weight segments into the ride; and Body Ride, a more concentrated 38-minute workout that combines cardio, strength, and stretching for a one-stop-shop, total-body workout.

While some Revolve clients zero in on one of the class types, Kenney has found that most clients tend to take advantage of the three types of classes on a rotating basis. "I love to see that clients come in thinking that they're more inclined towards one type of class, and then learning that they love the thrill of the mix. Challenging yourself and trying new things can be intimidating, but it's what makes working out fun!"

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Photo: Courtesy of Revolve Fitness