Stationary Bike Workout for Beginners

Stationary Bike
Stationary Bike. Harry How / Staff / Getty Images

If you are just getting started with exercise, this stationary bike workout will help you ease your way into cardio exercise. The bike is a great choice if you need less stress on your joints while conditioning your heart and lower body. A stationary bike is also a good way to work the opposite lower body muscles from running or walking. It is good for working the quads in the front of the thigh, while those exercises mostly work the hamstrings at the back of the leg.

Precautions for the Stationary Bike Workout

See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any illnesses or injuries or you are on medication that may affect your heart rate or workouts.

Equipment Needed for this Workout

You will need a stationary bike. If you are using a new piece of equipment, take a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with it. Adjust the seat, handles, and pedals to match your height and reach. Learn how to adjust the resistance during the workout as you will be changing it during the different intervals.

How To Do the Beginner Stationary Bike Workout

  • Follow each segment of the workout, working to find a pace/resistance that allows you to work at the suggested Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
  • Your legs may get tired quickly if you're not used to the bike.   It takes time to build endurance, so go as long as you can and stop early if you need to.  You can go a little longer during the next workout.
  • Perform this workout about three times a week with a day of rest in between. 
  • Progress by adding a few minutes each time you workout until you're up to 30 minutes
  • Stretch your lower body after your workout.

Stationary Bike Workout for Beginners

5 minutes Warm up at a comfortable pace and keep the resistance low4
3 MinutesIncrease the resistance 1 to 4 increments or until you're working harder than your warm up pace. You should feel you are working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation.  This is your baseline pace5
2 MinutesIncrease your resistance and/or the pace once again until you're working slightly harder than baseline5-6
3 MinutesDecrease the resistance or pace back to your baseline level.5
2 MinutesIncrease your resistance and/or the pace once again until you're working slightly harder than your  baseline level.5-6
5 MinutesDecrease the resistance or pace back to a comfortable level to cool down4
 Total Workout Time:  20 Minutes 

Great start! Now take a good drink of water to replenish your system. Wipe down the equipment with a clean towel so it is ready for the next user.

Progressing with this Workout

Once you can easily complete this workout, you can add another segment of 3 minutes easier effort, 2 minutes harder effort before the  five minute cool down period. Do this for a week or until it is comfortable for you. Then you can add another 3 minutes easier effort and 2 minutes harder interval to bring you total time up to 30 minutes. Now your workout meets the minimum recommended daily requirement for moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise.

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