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a close up of a woman riding an indoor cycle

Expert Source: Emily Booth is the Signature Program Lead for Life Time’s EDG Cycle.

Indoor cycling classes are intense and fast paced, which can make your first ride a little intimidating. But don’t let that keep you out of the saddle.

Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a seasoned veteran, you’ll experience a variety of health and fitness benefits with indoor cycling. It’s been shown to boost stamina and strength, and it’s also low impact, so it’s easy on your joints. Plus, the camaraderie of your fellow cyclists can help motivate you across the (virtual) finish line.

These six tips can help you feel confident on your bike.

1. Adjust the seat height so it aligns with the top of your hipbone. On the bike, check that you have just a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is at the lowest point in its revolution.

Indoor Cycling Step 1 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
2. Align the height of the handlebars with your saddle, or higher depending on your preference. Cyclists with lower-back issues may feel more comfortable with the bars raised slightly.

Indoor Cycling Step 2 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
3. Adjust the fore and aft positions of the seat so that you can place your hands on the handlebars without locking your elbows. Aim to keep your hips in line with your ankles.

Indoor Cycling Step 3 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
4. If you’re wearing sneakers, opt for ones with a stiff sole. Insert your feet into the pedal cages, and tighten the straps — enough to feel secure without inhibiting circulation.

Indoor Cycling Step 4 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
5. On the bike, relax your neck, shoulders, and hands, and keep your weight centered on your hips. Maintain a long spine and a proud chest, which helps keep your core engaged.

Indoor Cycling Step 5 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
6. Most indoor bikes feature a resistance knob. Don’t be afraid to turn it up! If you’re bouncing around on your saddle, it’s a sign that you need to add a twist or two.

Indoor Cycling Step 6 Illustrations by Colin Hayes
You may eventually choose to invest in a pair of cycling shoes that lock into the bike pedals. This will produce a better workout for your glutes and hamstrings — and be easier on your knees.

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