The 20-Minute SoulCycle Workout You Can Do On Any Bike
After last night's heavy-handed happy hour, you finally flutter open your eyes and see its 10 a.m., three hours after the SoulCycle class you had signed up for started. Whoops. Along with a B.E.C., you need a good sweat sesh to cure that hangover headache.
Enter: This at-home SoulCycle workout, developed by senior SoulCycle instructor and certified conditioning specialist Charlee Atkins. (Related: This SoulCycle Instructor Will Inspire You to Stop Criticizing Your Body for Good) Set to your favorite pop hits of the late-2010s, this full-body SoulCycle workout couples heart-pumping cardio with toning exercises that work the legs, glutes, core, arms and shoulders. Change into your go-to bike shorts, and get ready to ride.
How it works: Create your own playlist by stacking the songs below—or queue it up on Spotify, where it's ready to go. Follow the instructions for what to do during each song below for a solid 20-minute spinning workout. You can always add on a few more and freestyle or repeat to make it closer to the length of a full class.
"This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris (ft. Rihanna)
Begin your SoulCycle workout in a seated position with the bike resistance set at a moderate level to warm up your muscles. Continue rolling the legs out and working to time the pedal strokes to match the beat of the music. (BTW, a too-low resistance is just one of the mistakes you could be making at spin class.)
Bonus Move: Using the beat to guide you, add "rhythm presses," or tricep dips, to fire up the arms.
"No Money" by Galantis
Position: Seated with a Side to Side
When the EDM jam kicks off, add more resistance (roughly double to what you started with) and rise up out of the saddle to perform a "side to side," shifting the bodyweight left and right across the bike. Slow the legs down to match the beat so that you are marching along with the music.
Bonus Move: Stop the "side to side" and "travel" with the music. Move two counts backward and push your butt to the back of the saddle, then come back to start for two counts, and repeat.
"Work from Home" by Fifth Harmony
Position: Seated with a Hill Climb
Return to the saddle for the "seated hill climb" portion of the SoulCycle workout. Add more resistance (about another double dose) and slow down your tempo even more to sync with the beat and strengthen your legs.
Bonus Move: Do "pushes" against resistance, which are quick 10-second drives where you ride faster than the beat of the music.
"Into You" by Ariana Grade
Once Ariana's killer vocals blast through your speakers, reduce the resistance so it's close to what you originally started at. The legs should move quickly and match the beat of the music. Remain seated, adding small amounts of resistance 3 to 5 times throughout the song while still sticking to the pace.
Tip for Adding Resistance: Commit to the amount of resistance you add, and the second you feel yourself become accustomed to the current resistance, use that moment to challenge yourself and add just a bit more. If you were at doing an in-studio SoulCycle workout, your instructor would be enthusiastically yelling, "turn it up!" (Here's how SoulCycle's first retreat changed this rider.)
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake
Position: Seated with Arm Exercises
Any fan would know it's not a SoulCycle workout without some arm work. Increase the resistance so the legs move fast enough to stay in sync with the song, but slow enough that you need to keep the core tight to power those legs. (It's safer to have more resistance than not enough—you don't want your legs spinning wildly.) Moving with the beat, start at the bottom of your range of motion with these arm exercises and move upward through the motions to create a choreographed arm series. Perform 8 reps of each before moving on to the next move. Keep repeating the circuit until the song is finished.
- Bicep curls
- Shoulder presses
- Triceps presses
"Controlla" by Drake
Position: Standing off the bike
Now that you've powered your way through these SoulCycle workout, it's time for a cool down. Unclip your shoes and gently hop off the bike. Spend a few minutes stretching the quads, hamstrings, hips and shoulders. (If you're feeling lower back pain, try these post-spin stretches.)