Peloton for Beginners

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Peloton has exploded over the last few years with more people working out at home now more than ever before. While this is great, it’s also important to make sure you are ready to embark on a new fitness journey. If you are new to Peloton, or are considering making a Peloton Bike purchase, here are tips for Peloton for beginners.

Note: Before beginning any exercise routine you should consult your doctor to ensure you are in good health to begin.

a blonde woman standing next to her peloton with her arm resting on the handlebars and the other hand on her hip

Set up your bike properly

Before you begin your first Peloton ride, you’ll want to ensure that your bike is set up to fit you properly. If you don’t have your seat and handlebars adjusted correctly, it could cause injury or pain so this is an important step… don’t skip it!

If you have a local Peloton store you can go in and they will fit you for the bike and give you a notecard with your settings. If you don’t have a local Peloton store you this video can help you with how to adjust your bike settings.

  • Seat height should be aligned with your hip bone when standing next to your bike
  • Seat depth should be the length between your elbow and fingertips from the front of the seat to the handlebars
  • Handlebar height should be adjusted for comfort, you shouldn’t need to lean down towards your handlebars unless that is more comfortable and will not put extra stress on your back

This is another helpful video regarding setting up your bike properly.

Wear proper cycling gear

Speaking from experience, you will enjoy your ride much more if you invest in clip-in shoes. Peloton does offer an option for you to wear your tennis shoes and use shoe straps instead but honestly, they are a pain to take off the bike and a ride clipped in feels so much smoother!

A note about the shoes, if you have wide feet size up because if your shoes are too tight it will be uncomfortable and there is a strap to adjust the shoes to fit your feet more snug.

close up picture of peloton shoes clipped into a peloton bike

Your rear (and other areas down yonder) are going to hurt a bit (by hurt I mean it might feel like a bruise) the first few times you ride your Peloton. This is normal, and your body should adjust, but if the pain is unbearable you can wear padded bike shorts and/or purchase a padded bike seat. It took me about a week to get used to it and now it doesn’t bother me any longer unless I take a long break off the bike.

I much prefer wearing leggings to shorts on the bike. My legs feel much better with compression as I am doing a Peloton ride. I tried one ride with biker shorts and couldn’t wait to get off the bike and I vowed I’d never do it again. It may not bother you at all, but if you carry any additional weight in your legs like I do, I wanted to share this tip.

My favorite cycling gear:

Proper Cycling Posture

If you want to improve your ride and feel better on the bike here are some tips for proper cycling posture. The instructors will cue you often during class to get into the proper form, please make note of where your body is and how you can improve to reduce your risk of injury.

  • Hinge slightly forward at your hips, your hips should go back towards the widest part of the bike seat for optimal comfort.
  • Relax your shoulders, if you are unable to do so, go back and ensure that your bike is set up properly and you don’t need to make any adjustments.
  • Don’t round your back, keep your core engaged as you ride to support your back.
  • Knees should point forward, they shouldn’t go in or out so check in during your ride to ensure your knees are parallel to the bike as you ride.
  • Elbows slightly bent, you don’t want to lock out your elbows as you ride and you want to be able to relax, which will also help you to drop your shoulders down.
  • Have a light grip on the handlebar, you don’t need to hold onto it for dear life! This will add pressure to wrists, hands and shoulders.
a blonde woman sitting on a peloton bike  with a black shirt on and blue leggings

Start with beginner classes

The beginner classes are a great way to get acquainted with your Peloton and allow you the chance to get all the terminology, form and rhythm down. They are important and they are offered for a reason.

Most beginner classes are 20-30 minutes and you can take these for several weeks (or months depending on your fitness level). There is no “perfect time” to move up to other classes. Once you feel like they are no longer challenging you, try an intermediate 20 minute class and move up from there.

As with any fitness program, it’s good to be cautious and listen to your body along the way. It’s okay to challenge yourself, but you don’t want to push yourself to the point of pain or injury. That will just hold you back and could even potentially make you want to quit, the goal is to find a workout you love and stick to it!

Always take a warm up and cool down class

Each class has a short warm up and cool down offered, but they are not efficient to properly warm up and cool down your body in my opinion. Once I started incorporating a warm up class and a cool down class, my rides actually felt easier.

The warm up class helps you get into the right frame of mind to begin your workout and also warms your body up. The cool down class allows you to flush out the lactic acid and help your heart rate return to it’s normal state. Matt Wilpers offers my favorite cool down classes, I love hearing about why the body reacts the way it does and Matt always does a good job explaining why a cool down (and post-ride stretch) is important!

a blonde woman sitting on her peloton smiling with her right hand on her hip wearing a black shirt and blue leggings

Stretch after your ride

There are a ton of different stretching classes offered, or you can stretch on your own. I don’t care how you do it, just do it! Stretching is key to helping your body recover from the ride you just did! If you want to get back on the bike sooner I highly recommend a post-ride stretch of some sort.

A few of my favorite stretching classes are

Try different instructors

One thing I love about Peloton is how many different instructors they have. There is truly someone for everyone!

There are some instructors that people love that I just don’t vibe with, and vice versa. When you are on the bike you want to spend that time with an instructor that keeps you engaged, challenges you, encourages you to give your best and also reminds you how to take the best care of your body.

I try new instructors all the time and it also keeps the workout exciting! I do have my favorites for sure (Kendall, Robin, Tunde & Ally) but it’s nice to switch it up and see how someone else teaches.

picture of the peloton screen with robin arzon teaching a class

Try new classes

Peloton has so much more to offer than just cycling classes. I have never liked working out at home… Peloton has changed that for me. I thoroughly enjoy the classes provided in the app and how many different things I can do.

The guided meditation classes are amazing and they have a ton of other amazing classes like strength, yoga, walking, cardio, etc.

I have the Bike+ and have been riding since July 2021. I like the Bike+ because the screen swivels so I can turn it and use it to do other classes in the room we have our bike. I also like that the Bike+ will automatically adjust the resistance on the bike as the instructor cues. I can still adjust it if needed but I love that it will do it for me.

Ready to get a Peloton?

This post is not sponsored by Peloton. I am a customer who has really enjoyed my Peloton bike and want to help others do the same. I have a $100 referral code to use towards accessories purchased with your hardware. The referral code is X9ZBYK.

If you have a Peloton, what tips would you share? If you don’t have one yet, what questions do you have?

You can find me on the Peloton app at lovebodywell.

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