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Staying Motivated

Written by NYC Flywheel Instructor Sarah Ballan @sarahballan

Hey guys, Sarah here!
It’s a common misconception that a fitness instructor’s job is to “work out”, but our main job as instructors is just that; to instruct. While we do break a sweat when we teach a class, we just can’t physically push ourselves the way we would in our own personal workouts. Still, working out multiple times a day, every day? How do we manage to stay motivated?

It’s easy to stay motivated and active when the weather is nice and crop tops and shorts are stylish. Now that it’s getting colder and sweatpants are looking all the more comfortable, we may forget about being active and getting that workout in. Here are a few things to help keep you motivated no matter the season!

1. New music. 
As instructors, part of our job is to scour the internet on our never-ending quest to find the latest and greatest hits and remixes. There is nothing better than a brand new remix to switch things up at the gym. Even when you walk around the city, headphones in, your mood and motivation are greatly impacted by your music choices. If you’re ever in a music rut, shuffle your music library to rediscover old songs and go from there. It’s also fun to take new instructors’ classes and feel inspired by their instrumentals.

2. Set Rituals. 
Incorporate some sort of physical activity into your daily routine that will get you closer to your actual, tangible, sometimes numerical, goals. For example, I want to do a triathlon (goal), so I will take Flywheel 3x a week after I brush my teeth in the morning (ritual). Get into a routine that works for you and turn it into your lifestyle. Once you’ve trained your body to work out a certain amount of times a week, you will feel weird not doing it. And remember, getting started is the hardest part SO….

3. Get a Workout Buddy. 
Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated especially as it begins to get colder. You opt to couch potato and Netflix it instead of sweat it out. Making a pact with another person holds you accountable and keeps you on your feet (and off your booty).

4. Switch it up. 
Once you’ve established a baseline workout routine, be sure to spice it up and add new things to it. Routine is nice because it keeps you grounded, but it’s always inspiring to try new workouts to keep your body moving in different ways. Try our trifecta – FlyBarre, FlyWheel, and FlyFit classes if you haven’t already. Walk or run around the city and enjoy the foliage while the leaves are still on the trees. Walk home from work instead of using public transportation. Go at your own pace, listen to your own music and enjoy the alone time because it’s oh so mentally and physically therapeutic.

5. Keep a fitness journal
Write down your goals and check off accomplishments to look back on your progress and see just how amazing you’re doing! What’s better than crossing something off your to-do list? Yes, that was a rhetorical question, but TBH I cannot think of anything better.

Let’s stay MOTIVATED and ACTIVE together. See you in class soon!

Postures and Positions

Written by NYC Flywheel Instructor Sarah Ballan @sarahballan

Hi friends! Sarah Ballan here. Happy last week of August! As summer is coming to an end, I’m excited for everyone to get back into their normal routines and get back into the studio! I thought it could be helpful to cover the best posture and positioning on the bike in order to maximize performance and for the safest practice.

When you’re getting ready for class, be sure to set up your bike with the following in mind:

Seat Height: Approach the bike and stand facing forward, as you bring the knee closest to the bike up to a 90-degree angle. Adjust the height of the seat so it hits your hip. After you “clip in”, make sure your legs do not fully extend when you peddle – you want a slight bend in the knee during each rotation.

Seat Distance: Keep the seat distance at a place where you can sit up straight and your knees do not come in front of the Torq knob when you peddle. You don’t want to be too close, or your knees will bang into the handlebars as you ride in third position. If you are too far, you run the risk of leaning too far over, when ideally you should ride in an upright position.

Handlebar Height: There is a bit more leeway when it comes to handlebar height. The lower the handlebars are, the more you will need to engage your core (keep your belly button back towards your spine) in order to protect the lower back. Your grip should always be semi-loose on the handlebars. They are there for slight support, but not a lifeline. If you’re experiencing any back pain, you should keep the handlebars slightly on the higher end. This will alleviate some of the pressure and allow you to sit up taller without fully relying on your abs. However, you should make sure the handlebars aren’t up too high. Your shoulders should be relaxed and away from your ears. If you find your shoulders popping up, try lowering the handlebars.

Handlebar Distance: Ideally you want your handlebars to be at an appropriate length at which you can have a slight bend in your elbows without locking them straight out and overreaching. You don’t want to be too close and have too much of an arm bend. Find that sweet spot!

Rider Hack: there is a place in the Flywheel app to record your measurements, so you know exactly how to set up for the next time!

At Flywheel, there are three positions you will assume on the bike: first, second, and third.

First Position is simple. All you have to do is sit on the stationary bike, pedal your legs and voila! You nailed it. Think about lengthening your spine and creating space between your shoulders and your ears. The shoulders roll down and back as you lift your chest up. Perfecting your posture will optimize your workout and strengthen the muscles that we tend to overuse during the hours spent hunched over at a computer/ work desk.

Second Position is essentially rising your body up a few inches up (out of the saddle) and bringing your knees upwards. Keep your feet flexed and try to refrain from pointing your toes down. This position focuses mainly on strengthening the core and is typically used the least out of the three positions, or sometimes not at all, depending on the instructor. In second position, you’ll want to make sure you tuck your hips forward and stand up tall. Do not arch your back and stick your booty out. Keep your core engaged and try to remove the “bounce.” If you could balance a glass of water on your head, think about not spilling a drop. You want to eliminate the bounce and target the core muscles.

Third Position is when your hands come all the way out to the ends of the handlebars and your booty slides back over the saddle. You’ll want to make sure your shoulders stay dropped and relaxed make a conscious effort to bring them down and back. Drive your knees upward, towards your chest. Keep your feet flexed and think about pulling up on the tops of your feet where your velcro is. When the Torq gets super heavy, you can use your body weight to your advantage. Keep the hips as far back as possible and rock your body side to side across the handle bars.

If you have any questions about your posture or positioning on the bike, please feel free to reach out to me. See you in the saddle soon! @sarahballan

How to break a (clean) sweat with MALIN+GOETZ.

If you’re someone who regularly breaks a sweat at Flywheel, you’re likely no stranger to the brand whose name is found on the sleek bottles that line the walls of our shower stalls! We’ve partnered up with MALIN+GOETZ in all of our studios, a brand that prides themselves in creating simple skincare solutions that keep you fresh and hydrated from head to toe.

We carry the following products in the showers in all of our studios: Peppermint Shampoo, Cilantro Conditioner, Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer, and Grapefruit Face Cleanser. These products keep you feeling clean and refreshed after all of your Fly classes!

We also tested out Malin+Goetz’ best-selling product, Eucalyptus Deodorant. It’s a natural deodorant formulated with odor-neutralizing citronellyl and natural eucalyptus extract, their deodorant will keep you smelling fresh – no matter how hard you’re working to improve that ranking on the Torqboard. You can always keep a travel-size Eucalyptus Deodorant on hand for touch-ups throughout the day – and it’s even small enough to keep in your gym bag, by the way!

Once you’ve committed to going natural, you’ll never look back! The results are more than worth it. So, get yourself into the studio for some killer workouts, AND try out some of their top-notch skincare products!

Please let us know if you have any questions related to our friends at M+G!

6 Sunscreens That Will Stand Up to Your Sweatiest Workouts

Newsflash: You need to wear sunscreen all day, every day. That non-negotiable skincare rule is especially important during your outdoor summer workouts. Still, no one wants sunscreen dripping into (and stinging) their eyes during a long run or intense beach volleyball game, so we’ve rounded up six options that will stay in place—and keep you protected from the sun—no matter how sweaty you get. Plus, that also means you can use any of these bad boys before you hit the studio, without ever having to worry about them coming off while you ride or pulse. Check out our favorite sweatproof ray bans below.

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5 Ways to Avoid Summer Breakouts

The list of things we love about summer is endless, but the one thing most definitely NOT on that list? Pesky pimples. High temps plus high humidity equal more sweat….which equals way more breakouts on both your face and body. Happily, with the right tips and product picks, you can easily stay blemish-free—from head to toe— all season long.

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