Man and woman on spin bikes

Stationary Bike Workout For Beginners

Modern stationary cycling equipment has changed the way we ride—especially for those who work out at home. 

It gives us access to experience the thrill of a ride without space and time limitations, making our fitness goals achievable in a simple, fun, and effective way.

Still, a good bike is nothing without a good workout routine.

In this blog, we'll prepare you for your first workout on a stationary bike, including setup and safety tips and a trainer-curated stationary bike training plan.

Get ready to pedal into healthy living!

Why choose a stationary bike

Stationary bikes are a phenomenal piece of equipment catering to individuals of all fitness levels, including newbies. They hold many other advantages, which we’ve outlined below:

Joint-friendly, low-impact cardio

Cycling on a stationary bike is a low-impact exercise—an excellent option for those experiencing knee, hip, ankle, back pain, or other injuries. This makes it perfect for any age group at any fitness level.


With an exercise bike, you can train wherever you want, including at home, regardless of time or weather conditions.

Additionally, a good bike (like Ascend exercise bikes) has built-in silent magnetic resistance to satisfy late-night fitness cravings and provide a quiet option for parents while their children sleep.

Progress tracking and adjustable intensity

Most stationary bikes allow you to control the intensity of your workouts, monitor your progress, and customize your sessions based on your fitness goals and level. It's like having a personal spin class at your fingertips. 

A basic, high-quality exercise bike offers multiple resistance levels, while advanced spin bike models include a monitor to track your gains. Choose the option that aligns with your budget and expectations.

No matter the model, they're beginner-friendly, requiring minimal coordination to use.

Versatile workouts

Are you familiar with music-fueled spin classes?  This training style increases the likelihood of sticking to regular exercise. That's because it's so much fun!

If indoor cycling to the beat isn't your thing, you can opt for a variety of workouts on your stationary bike, including steady state, hill climb or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts to prevent boredom.

Improves cardiovascular fitness and health

Stationary biking is a cardio workout that increases your heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature. Regularly doing it can improve your blood circulation, heart health, overall well-being and fitness level.


Stationary bikes offer quick and effective workout solutions without leaving your house. And if you’d prefer to ride at the gym, there’s minimal setup required.

Fat burn and weight loss

This full body workout can help you burn calories even at a moderate pace. The increased energy expenditure can lead to weight or fat loss, especially when combined with a healthy balanced diet.

Improves mental health

Indoor cycling can release 'happy hormones,' like endorphins, and regulate many others, like serotonin and dopamine. This can improve your energy levels, mood and mental health in the long run.

💪 Not sure whether a magnetic or friction bike is best for you? Here’s a full guide on magnetic vs. friction bikes for first-timers.

Setting Up Your Stationary Bike

Before you hop on your bike, here’s  a step-by-step guide to setting up a stationary bike for an optimal workout and to prevent injuries.

1.Seat height

Stand next to the bike, find your hip bone and adjust the seat at hip level. This can help you maintain a soft knee during the downstroke (when the leg is straight).

2. Seat distance to handlebars

The seat to handlebar distance should be from a slightly bent elbow to the tip of your fingers, about forearm length apart.This allows for adequate leg room and forward-leaning position. Adjust this by pushing the seat forward if needed.

3. Handlebar height

Sit upright (neutral) position with your arms slightly bent and handlebar around the same height as the seat. This height should allow you to lean slightly forward and engage the core. 

Those with lower back pain, pregnant women, and newbies might want to consider raising the handlebar. That's because it allows you to maintain better posture, reducing strains on the lower back that can occur from rounding. It helps weight distribution during pregnancy and gives more control and stability for beginners.

💪 To master your spin bike setup, read our complete guide to proper spin bike form.

Basic Stationary Bike Workout for Beginners

Kickstart your fitness with this detailed, trainer-created bike workout for beginners.

Segment Pace Resistance Instructions Duration


Low Increase resistance by 1 level (about a half turn) every minute. 5 minutes
Main workout (Speed intervals)

Comfortable pace vs. fast cycling

1 level up from warm up resistance vs. 1 level down

Maintain a comfortable pace for 1 minute, then drop the resistance and increase your speed (not sprinting, but a speed that allows you to recover from the high resistance.)


10 minutes
Main workout (Standing intervals) Comfortable pace End of warm up resistance

Maintain the end of your warm-up resistance and stand up for 30 seconds. Then maintain or increase your resistance and sit down for 1.5 minutes.

Repeat for the next 10 minutes.

10 minutes
Cool-down Slow Low

Drop the resistance each minute for 5 minutes to reduce your heart rate gradually.

5 minutes

Get off the bike and stretch:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Back
  • Biceps and triceps
5 minutes

If you prefer moving with the beat, here’s a HIIT stationary bike workout for beginners with music suggestions:

Segment Song Instructions Duration


Kygo - Happy Now ft. Sandro Cavazza

Each minute, for 5 minutes, increase the resistance by one level

At the last minute increase your speed to 80%.

5 minutes

Main workout 1:


The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

Increase your resistance to a level that allows you to keep up with the beat while challenging you.


Main workout 2:

Speed intervals

Deorro x Chris Brown - Five More Hours (4:48)

Keep your previous resistance. During verse 1 and pre-chorus, stand up and keep up with the beat.

In the first half of the chorus, sit down and recover. When the Chorus speeds up, reduce your resistance and double the beat by increasing your pedaling speed.

Repeat for the rest of the song; take a break whenever you need.


Main workout 3: Jumps

Pirates Of The Caribbean Theme Song

Start seated. At (00:58), jump up to standing on every 4th beat, then sit down. Recover and repeat.




Kygo - Carry On (Lyrics) ft. Rita Ora

Reduce your resistance each minute for 5 minutes






Yiruma - River Flows in You


  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Back
  • Biceps and triceps

5 minutes

💪 Interested in more indoor cycling workouts? We’ve put together an indoor cycling training program for all levels.

Safety Tips

Here are some tips and precautions to avoid common mistakes and prevent injuries while using exercise bikes.

  • Maintain good posture: Relax your shoulders, brace your core and maintain an upright posture similar to an upright bike. If you’re pregnant or have chronic back pain, avoid an excessive forward lean that could strain your back further, reduce stability and comfort.
  • Set your bike up according to your needs: Adjust the seat height and distance from handlebars, and handlebar height to maintain proper posture throughout your ride.
  • Adjust the foot strap comfortably and securely: Avoid numb feet or feet flopping around by adjusting the strap appropriately. Find the one that suits you.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause dizziness and make you ill. Take extra drinking breaks if you need during your workouts and ensure adequate water intake (1.5L - 2L) throughout the day.
  • Respect your limits: Overworking your muscles can throw you off training for days and can reduce your motivation to carry on. Increase your resistance gradually as you get stronger.

Progressing Your Workouts

You can prevent hitting a plateau by gradually increasing the resistance and the duration of your workout as your stamina and confidence improve. Small progressions like a few extra minutes or higher resistance can make a big difference!

If you’re up for more challenges, implement speed intervals (interval training) into your routine by alternating between high-intensity cycling and recovery periods or seated and standing work.

Get Riding With Ascend

Well done for taking a step towards a fitter and healthier you with our stationary bike workouts for beginners.

If you’re ready to get started, Ascend stationary bikes are specifically created to use at home - perfect for beginners to get a feel for indoor cycling in comfort and privacy. Ascend stationary bikes have a durable frame that withstand all riders up to 330 lbs, with sturdy handlebars and comfortable, adjustable seats.

Even if you’re a first-timer, Ascend bikes blend advanced features with a user-friendly design and controlled intensity to match your fitness goals.

Push boundaries and start your transformation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a beginner ride an exercise bike?

Beginners should start with 15-20 minutes of low-intensity cycling in an upright position with low resistance. As your stamina and endurance improve, gradually progress the intensity and resistance.

Always maintain good posture, avoid locking in the knees and set up the bike setup correctly for your height, needs, and preferences.

Is riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes a day good exercise?

It's great exercise. 30 minutes daily on stationary bikes can improve your aerobic fitness, reduce risks of heart disease, help you lose weight and potentially tone muscles especially the lower body muscles. It can also improve mental health and mood swings.

Is a stationary bike good for losing belly fat?

Indoor cycling can increase energy expenditure, speed up metabolism, improve blood circulation, and regulate hormones resulting in fat loss. However, you can't spot reduce fat. So, follow a healthy balanced diet to increase the chance of losing belly fat while cycling.

Is 20 minutes on a stationary bike good exercise?

Any workout you can fit into your busy daily schedule is good, even for 20 minutes. Just ensure you stay consistent and progress as you get better and more comfortable with your training.

Justin Tardif-Francoeur

Justin Tardif-Francoeur

With over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry, Justin has a rich background ranging from personal training in bustling gyms to practicing massage therapy in health centers, and eventually running his own practice. An avid advocate for self-improvement, he tirelessly pursues the latest research to broaden his knowledge of human physiology and the body's potential. When he isn't enriching his understanding or assisting clients, Justin can be found embracing the great outdoors through paddle boarding, yoga, and hiking, or immersing himself in a challenging workout. His passion transcends personal growth, as he's equally committed to inspiring others on their own journey of self-improvement.


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