Top Stationary Bike Workouts That Are Fun For Any Fitness Level

Author: Kier

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Recently purchased a stationary bike and want to know the best stationary bike workouts?

It’s something we all want to know, no one wants to waste time doing workouts that aren’t efficient or benefiting us.

I’ve been scrutinizing dozens of websites and forums all to find the best of the best so you can really get the most out of your stationary bike cardio workouts.

Now with so many different routines out there all telling you to focus on different things, it’s hard to find the one that suits you best or will help you achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself.

But hold on, I’ve looked at routines that accommodate different types of people and incorporate many factors such as the adjustments on your bike, efficient intervals, and appropriate warm-ups and cooldowns.

Here’s something you need to know, keeping your mind entertained during your workouts is essential, listening to the right playlist, podcast, or even watching TV will help you considerably in achieving your workout goals. 

Now let’s jump in so I can tell you all about the best stationary bike workouts.

A person exercising on an indoor bike

Firstly, What Are The Different Types of Stationary bike?


Upright bikes are the most commonly used exercise bikes and have the traditional frame shape of a bicycle. This means you’ll be upright while pedaling which works the same muscles as if you were riding a real bike.

This is great for those who want to keep fit or lose weight as you’ll be able to do both high and low-intensity workouts due to the versatility of upright bikes. Upright bikes usually come with more accessories too such as resistance bands or virtual programs built into the LCD.


  • Provide a great cardio workout 
  • Adaptable and easy to use
  • They’re cheap, some as low as $100


  • Less stable for older and overweight users


Recumbent bikes have reclined seats so you can still lose weight with less effort and in a comfortable position. The seats on recumbent bikes are adjustable and usually much comfier than those on upright bikes. The reclined position makes it easier to do other things while cycling. For example, write emails or read a magazine 

Recumbent stationary bikes are usually targeted at seniors and those who are overweight as they provide a sturdy frame that is easy to get on and off of. They also cater to less intense workouts which is ideal for those with less mobility.


  • Comfortable and secure
  • Less soreness, due to reduced muscle strain
  • Easier to watch TV, read, or write


  • Can be more expensive


A dual-action bike has handlebars that can be moved back and forth which means you can get a full-body workout while pedaling. With some, this can be adjusted so the handlebars or pedals stay still allowing you to focus on upper or lower body workouts if not both.

Dual-action stationary bikes focus on low impact workouts, so you’ll slowly burn fat over time. This makes them a good choice for those of you with injuries or looking to lose excess weight. They aren’t efficient at building muscle.


  • Exercise upper and lower body muscles
  • Good for weight loss
  • Adjustable and versatile cardio workouts


  • Can cause spinal stress

Stationary Bike Workouts Risks And Safety

Riding a stationary upright bike or recumbent bike is much safer than riding on the road. Still, that doesn’t mean it comes without risks. The most common injuries caused by indoor cycling are:

  • Riders falling off the bike seat due to poor balance.
  • Muscle injury or fatigue from using poor form.

To stay safe when stationary cycling, follow my tips:

  • Always warm up properly before your workouts.
  • Take breaks if you feel significant pain in your muscles.
  • Don’t be ashamed to go at your own pace. If a moderate pace with a light resistance setting is best for you, then go for it. We’re not all made for high-intensity interval training.
  • If you have issues with your blood pressure, heart health, or balance then talk to your doctor. Indoor cycling might not be best for you. Still, there will most likely be other exercise equipment you can use.

What Are The Benefits of Stationary Bike Workouts? 

Improves Cardio

Cycling is a great way of improving your cardiovascular health. It strengthens your heart, muscles, and lungs which improves blood flow and oxygen through your body. 

This means more energy and a better mood which in turn reduces stress levels. Lower stress can lead to better sleep and brain functioning.

Some other benefits include a lower blood sugar level, lower blood pressure, and even a stronger immune system. 

So for 30 minutes of cycling a day, it seems worth it just for these alone. But wait, there’s more…

Weight Loss

This is where finding the best stationary workouts really helps, depending on the intensity of your workout program you can burn over 500 calories an hour using a stationary exercise bike. 

So finding an effective diet and combining it with a couple of hours of cycling will see you dropping sizes by the dozen if that’s what you’re aiming for.

The best thing is that by using a stationary bike you can occupy your exercise time with      TV and other things while burning these 500 calories which sets stationary bike workouts above most of the competition.

Strengthens lower body muscles

This too varies on what intensity you are cycling at but using a stationary exercise bike will gradually build leaner muscles in your lower body.

This pedaling will strengthen calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Better yet, it can also improve your muscles in your back, core, and glutes.

And if you’re using an upright or dual-action you also have the potential to work upper body muscles like your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. 

A close up of some cyclist legs on an indoor exercise bike

Different Stationary Bike Workouts to Follow

Best Stationary Workout For Beginners

An exercise bike is one of the best options for interval training, allowing you to switch between intensities. Switching intensities allows you to challenge different parts of your body and doubles as a great way for beginners to get started as it welcomes breaks while still burning calories.

First, you should warm up a little before getting on your exercise bike, a walk around the block should do the trick, or even just a few stretches. 

Next, you should cycle at a low intensity for around 5 minutes, after this, you should cycle at full effort for 90 seconds and follow this up with a minute of you working at half your full effort to give yourself a break.

Then you’ll want to do this repeatedly but with a minute of full effort and 30 seconds of half effort as opposed to the 90 seconds full and 60 seconds half, you just did.

After this, you should cycle for around five minutes at 60% effort and if you think you’re feeling up to it the whole process can be repeated leaving out the warm-up. 

That’s not all though, make sure you warm down when finished some stretches can go a long way and prevent any unwanted soreness. 


  • Will ease a beginner in
  • You’ll feel a difference without causing harm
  • Easy and can be done over 15 minutes


  • Not tailored to a specific goal

Best Stationary Bike Workout For Advanced Riders

This advanced workout is one of my go-to’s. It’s guaranteed to burn calories, boost cardiovascular fitness, and improve aerobic capacity. If you’re looking for a medium-intensity workout, then look away now.

  • Warm-up – 3 mins: 90-105 rpms with light resistance
  • Climb – 8 mins: 60-70 rpms with a steady climb and heavy resistance
  • Block – 3 mins: 90-105 rpms with a lighter resistance
  • Block – 4 mins: Moderate resistance, ride at 70-80 rpms
  • Climb – 2:30 mins: 60-70 rpms, heavy resistance, steady climb
  • Recovery – 3:20 mins: Light resistance, 90-105 rpms
  • Jog – 2:40 mins: Moderate resistance, 70-80 rpms
  • Climb – 3:30 mins: Heavy resistance, steady climb, 60-70 rpms
  • Climb – 3 mins: Slightly reduce resistance
  • Block – 3:30 mins: 90-105 rpms, low resistance
  • Climb – 3:30 mins: Heavy resistance, 60-70 rpms
  • Jog – 3:30 mins: Decrease resistance, two 40-second pushes
  • Cooldown – 2 mins: low resistance, ride at an easy pace

Best stationary bike workouts for weight loss (or to lose weight)

When it comes to weight loss using stationary bikes resistance is what you need to be looking at. A high resistance will help you shed those pounds quicker but don’t go straight for a high-intensity workout if you feel pain while cycling you’re doing it wrong.

While some exercise bikes come with preset workouts that will help you lose weight I’ve got a few ideas for you that will be sure to help you make a difference.

One method is to increase your resistance every 5 minutes for around an hour, this simulates cycling up a hill and makes pedaling get progressively more difficult.

a cyclist riding an indoor turbo bike


  • You’ll feel the effects without soreness


  • Must be done for around an hour for any effect

Another way is to increase and decrease speed across two-minute intervals. Start slow and after two minutes pedal as fast as you can. Keep switching between speeds at two-minute intervals for around 30 minutes. Just be sure to warm up before and cool down after for five minutes.


  • Higher intensity than others


  • Can be difficult to change in such short intervals

If you’re looking for something a little more simple, however, you can go at a steady pace for an hour. Work at 50-60% effort for the full hour while watching a show or movie and you’ll start to see some weight loss over time.


  • Simple and easy to do other things while cycling


  • Monotonous and long

Spin stationary bike workout that’s brilliant for cardio, now this one is a little more specialist so I’d suggest mastering the other techniques before you can try this and feel the effects of it. 

Start with a four-minute warm-up of easy pedaling, then you’re going to spend 3 minutes pedaling at this pace but alternating every 30 seconds between standing and sitting while you pedal.

After this step, you should alternate again every 30 seconds but instead of standing and sitting, you will pedal with full effort and low effort using a steady resistance you are comfortable with.

This is where the main workout begins, spend 3 minutes pedaling at a hard intensity that you will be able to maintain then pedal for another 3 minutes with low intensity. 

Once again you should pedal for 3 minutes at a high-intensity and repeat this process around 3-4 times. Then finally cool down with a four-minute low resistance pedal.


  • Variety in steps reduces boredom
  • High-intensity and improves cardio
  • Can be done in 30 minutes


  • Complex and not beginner-friendly

Best stationary workout to improve endurance

This workout will also require you to be more familiar with your exercise bike so don’t go rushing into this too soon. Endurance takes practice but if you are ready I’ve got a workout that’s going to do your program wonders.

As you probably already know by now begin with a warm-up, this should just be a basic 5-minute steady pace warm-up.

Then spend one minute going at around 60% max effort at a moderate resistance level, slow yourself down for 30 seconds to recover, and then go straight into a 90-second push with a slightly higher resistance than before.

Recover for 30 seconds again and follow it up with a 120-second push at a slightly higher resistance. After this recover for five minutes at a steady resistance level. This whole process can then be repeated around 3 times but if you master this and want to do more that’s also ok.

End with a five-minute cooldown and you’ll have successfully done an efficient endurance workout. This workout is great for pushing yourself at a steady pace and constantly upping the ante. You won’t be putting the pedal to the metal but you’ll feel a slow burn as you go which will build stamina.


  • Builds stamina
  • Easy to follow
  • Eases you in while still pushing yourself


  • Not suitable for beginners
a person sweating hard while on an indoor turbo bike


How long is a good workout on a stationary bike?

This depends on your personal fitness goals and your body’s ability. If you’re an advanced rider, then you’ll need 45 minutes to an hour. For most people, a 30-minute bike workout is sufficient to reap the cardio benefits of indoor cycling.

However, if you’re consistent, you’ll need to gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts based on your perceived exertion.

Do stationary bikes burn belly fat?

Using a stationary bike regularly burns a lot of calories and should cause you to lose belly fat. The key word here is ‘regularly.’ If you only use your exercise bike every now and again, you’re not going to start losing weight.

Remember, using an exercise bike alone won’t burn belly fat. It needs to be combined with a nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you do this, and use the bike regularly, then the pounds will start melting away.

Which is better, a treadmill or a stationary bike?

I personally think that stationary bikes are much better than treadmills. Which one you like more will come down to a matter of preference. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Treadmills burn more calories per minute than exercise bikes. Yet, there’s a much greater risk of injury when using a treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great piece of cardio equipment, but a treadmill can be pretty hazardous.

Exercise bikes don’t tend to burn quite as many calories, but they’re much safer. Using an exercise bike also has far less impact on your joints than running on a treadmill.


So now you know some of the best stationary bike workouts for weight loss, cardio, endurance, and if you’re just starting out.

However, workouts shouldn’t be followed to the letter, there’s room for adjustment and it all depends on what you’re comfortable with and more importantly what your body can take.

There’s a difference between feeling the burn and suffering pain from doing your workouts so always be careful and take breaks if needed.

Knowing what you want from your workout is key so think about your goal be it weight loss or cardio and then try the workouts I’ve suggested. 

After trying them myself I found they all gave me a slightly different experience and result so experiment with them and see what works for you.


Photo of author


Kier focuses on improving all things bike, and is always looking to take his ability to a new average (hopefully a higher one!). When not on the bike Kier is normally downing coffee and cake.
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