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What Muscles Do You Work in a Flywheel Class?

By April 25, 2014 No Comments


Flywheel Charlotte rider, Nady Hamid, MD, OrthoCarolina knows what it takes to get a truly effective workout. Nady shared his personal reasons for FLYing as well as a breakdown of how your muscles benefit from a 45 minute sweat session at Flywheel.

“As an orthopedic surgeon, my schedule is very busy, every single day. Between work and trying to spend quality time with family, it can be difficult to find the time to exercise regularly. I go to Flywheel because it’s a high-intensity cardio workout and it’s a great way to exercise in a short amount of time.

The American Heart Association recommends a target heart rate zone during aerobic exercise of 110-157 (for my age group). Of all the cardio workouts that I have done, a 45 minute Flywheel class is the best workout to sustain my cardiac output at the high end of that zone throughout the workout. This method of exercise burns fat, improves stamina, and keeps your heart healthy.

Flywheel classes are much more intense than a typical indoor cycling class. The Torq and RPMs in a Flywheel class are higher, and you maintain both measures for a longer period of time. The TorqBoard also gives you an opportunity to voluntarily race your peers and give yourself that extra positive push.

And that arm workout that happens a few songs from the end of class? It may be less than five minutes, but it’s powerful. During the arms segment you are working multiple arm muscles including your biceps, triceps, forearms, deltoids and rotator cuffs. Rather than building muscle bulk, you’re toning those muscles and creating definition, or shape, as well as increased strength. A dedicated arm workout that is low-resistance, but high-repetition nicely complements the sustained muscle contraction used throughout a Flywheel class.”

Here is how those muscles are getting stronger while you are working hard in class:

  • Glutes: There are three parts of the glutes: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. This trio helps with hip extension as you pedal, especially when you are “out of the saddle.”
  • Quadriceps (quads):  Your quads extend from your hip to the thigh to the patellar tendon just below the knee. During a Flywheel class as you pedal, your quads help you push the pedal down. These muscles are pushed to exhaustion during sustained climbs.
  • Hamstrings:  Your hamstrings are the muscles behind your thigh that extend from your hip to below your knee. Although sometimes forgotten, they are actually very important in the upward motion during pedaling especially during sprints and seated climbs.
  • Calf Muscle:  Your calf muscles get worked throughout class because they are working in concert with the quads to push the pedals down.
  • Core: During the whole class, you have to maintain a strong core to properly position your body especially when working at a high resistance level.

At the end of every class, there is no question that you have gotten one of the best full-body workouts you can get.


*Nady Hamid, MD, OrthoCarolina
Dr. Hamid, MD, is an orthopedic physician and surgeon with OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, N.C. He specializes in treating disorders of the shoulder and elbow. Dr. Hamid completed his fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery at the esteemed Shoulder and Elbow Center at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and has traveled to Nice, France, for further training in advanced arthroscopic shoulder surgery and complex shoulder reconstruction. He has published several scientific articles and book chapters pertaining to rotator cuff disease, shoulder arthritis, and post-traumatic elbow disorders. Find out more about Dr. Hamid here.

Read more about the health benefits of Flywheel here.

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