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4 Reasons Why Cycling Could Be Your Favourite Cardio!

In the fitness world, trends often come and go, but cycling stands as a timeless form of exercise and it’s one we’re big fans of here at The Hogarth Health Club. We decided to ask one of our Personal Trainer’s Bronwen why we should be obsessed with cycling this year and she even shares a tip that promises to take your cycling skills to the next level!


4 Benefits of Cycling 

group cycle classes at the hogarth club

1. Cardiovascular Strength and Health

Cycling isn't just about the rush of wind against your face or the thrill of conquering a steep hill – it's a powerhouse activity that revs up your cardiovascular system like no other. Regular cycling sessions strengthen your heart, lungs, and circulation, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Whether you're leisurely pedalling outdoors through scenic routes or pushing your limits on a stationary bike here at The Hogarth, you’re working towards a healthier, stronger cardiovascular system.

2. Weight Loss

Looking to shed some extra pounds? Not only does cycling torch calories and boost your metabolism during rides, but it also continues burning fat long after you've dismounted. Unlike high-impact activities that might strain your joints, cycling offers a gentler yet effective approach to weight loss. By incorporating regular rides into your routine, you'll not only enjoy the endorphin boost but also watch the numbers on the scale steadily decrease.

3. Balance and Coordination

Balance and coordination are vital components of a healthy and active lifestyle, and cycling delivers on both fronts. Whether navigating busy streets or tackling the stationary bike, cycling demands a delicate balance of body control and spatial awareness. As you pedal, your core muscles engage to stabilise your body, enhancing your balance over time. Plus, the rhythmic motion of cycling improves coordination, sharpening your reflexes and fine-tuning your motor skills!

4. Low Impact On The Joints

One of the most appealing aspects of cycling is its minimal impact on your joints. Unlike running or high-intensity workouts that can subject your knees, hips, and ankles to repetitive stress, cycling provides a smooth, low-impact alternative. The fluid motion of pedalling reduces the risk of joint injuries, making it an ideal exercise for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you're recovering from an injury or simply looking to protect your joints in the long run, cycling offers a safe and effective way to stay active without sacrificing your body's wellbeing.


cycling at the hogarth gym


The Secret to Getting The Most Out of Cycling 

It’s pretty clear by now that we’re BIG fans of cycling and all of the amazing benefits it has for the body, but there is a secret sauce that will unlock the full benefits of cycling for you…


Whilst cycling is amazing for you, your muscles are always working in the shortened position, never fully lengthening or being used in full range of motion. The muscles are under tension in the shortened position which can result in muscles that feel tighter, potentially causing postural imbalances.

Therefore, it’s important to counteract this shortened, tighter position of the muscles with stretches and mobility exercises for optimal results from your cycling routine.

cycling stretching the hogarth HIIT studio

Opting not to work on our mobility or flexibility when cycling can lead to:

• Increased injury risk 

• Hip and ankle tightness = misaligned knee joint

• Calf tightness causes reduced ankle mobility, when performing a move like a squat it may cause the knee to come over the toe and put pressure in the knee 

• Lower back pain/stiffness causes over reaching in the back, putting more pressure through the upper body into the hands, causing the upper back muscles to be tightened 

• Glute and hamstring tightness 

• Tight hip flexors cause anterior tilt, excessive lumbar spine curve and pressure/ pain in lower spine


So what, when and where should we stretch?

The below muscles are ones that tend to work in a shortened position when cycling and so are a great place to start stretching:

• Quadriceps

• Hamstrings

• Hip flexor

• Glutes and lower back

• (Open shoulders- strengthen back and stretch chest)


When and how to stretch:

Before your cycling session you should look at including some dynamic stretches that replicate the movements of cycling. Dynamic stretches are stretches that you move in such as leg swings. Static stretching should be avoided pre-workout as it could lead to injuries in the muscle.

Once you’ve completed your cycling session static stretches are a great option as they restore muscles to their resting length and/or increase the length of tightened muscles


How long to stretch for:

If you’re looking to maintain your current level of flexibility, you should stretch until the muscle feels like it stops resisting the stretch (stretch response). Approximately 15-20 seconds

If you’re looking to increase your current level of flexibility, you should aim to stretch for approximately 60 seconds, PNF stretches are a great option here.


How often you should stretch:

2-3 times a week


With summer just around the corner, we can’t think of a better time to dust off our bikes and hit the scenic route for the prettiest workout we can imagine. It’s a great way to stay healthy, explore new places, and challenge yourself. Whether you're riding solo or with friends, cycling offers a unique blend of physical activity and adventure that’s fun for everyone!