I’ve been cycling on a bike that doesn’t move for over 20 years. I remember taking classes with my mom in middle school. I was hooked on the music, sweat, and energy from the other riders in class. Fast forward to today and I’m still clipping in several times a week. Indoor cycling is one of my favorite forms of cardio, and I’ve cycled through both pregnancies. The low impact cardio option is eas(ier) on the joints and feels good. With Benji I took a class at CycleBar South Lake Union on my actual due date. I remember walking up to the instructor after class and saying, “ok, I think I’m done.”
Indoor cycling looks a bit different as pregnancy progresses. Nowadays with indoor cycling classes cancelled, I do most of my riding on the Peloton app. During my first trimester I typically took 45 minute Interval rides (I’m lucky and don’t usually have a ton of morning sickness) and over time my rides have gotten shorter and a little less intense. The 45 minute Tabata rides have transitioned to 20 minute pop or low impact rides 🙂
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite tips for hopping on the bike during pregnancy.
**Note: All pregnancies and bodies are different, so always consult your doctor and tune into your energy levels.
Tips for Indoor Cycling during Pregnancy
- Talk Test: During pregnancy you should be able to carry on a conversation during cardio activity. It’s not about 140 bpm per se, but avoiding breathlessness and not working to the point of exhaustion. Pregnancy is tiring enough.
- Hide the leaderboard (particularly in the third trimester): I stream classes, so this is a bit irrelevant. But, if you are on a Peloton bike, I recommend hiding the leaderboard during class. If you’re competitive like me, tip number one is easy to brush off. Check your ego and do it for enjoyment and sweat <3
- Focus on your breathing: Are you breathing? It can be easy to breath hold on the bike. If you can’t catch your breath it may be a sign the ride is a bit too much…for now.
- Adjust the handlebars: I recommend inching those handlebars up a bit higher. This will prevent any dumping down and keep your posture and comfort on point.
- Adjust the seat forward/back for comfort: Same idea. Figure out a position that feels good in your body and won’t put you in funky positions. You and your bump need a little extra support and space.
- Take a look down at your belly: Do you notice any coning/doming through the abdominal wall? Check your position on the bike and watch the lean backwards during breaks.
- Less speed/intensity and time out of the saddle: Focus on control, less bounce/impact, and comfort. Break up the time in and out. I’ve found I spend way more time in the saddle where I feel a bit more supported.
- Adjust the intensity of your rides: As pregnancy progresses, consider swapping out for shorter rides. On Peloton I like the Pop Rides and Low Impact Rides. Another tip is to take a few shorter rides. The end of one ride is a chance to check in. “Ok, I just did 15 minutes. Do I want to do 10 more? How does my body feel?”
Questions about riding? Drop them below! And if you’re on Peloton my username is EricaFWellness. Let’s ride <3