Peloton For Seniors (Rides, classes, and safety)


Peloton offers multiple options for people of all ages and fitness levels. Today I will show you what are the best peloton classes for seniors and explain things to keep in mind before choosing your workout.

Peloton does have classes for seniors that helps to build strength, cardio, and flexibility. The classes vary in duration from 5 to 60 minutes and range from beginner to advanced. Classes for beginners focus on technique and form, so they are great for seniors and the elderly.

I work with several clients who are in their 60s and as a part of their home workout routine, I often reference to peloton app.

Peloton bikes are good for Seniors

I like to recommend peloton classes for my older clients becasue apart from the workouts they also offer tons of tutorials where they teach the proper form, and technique, and educate about safety.

Generally, peloton bikes are good for seniors because they help to work on strength, the cardiorespiratory system, and joint mobility.

Plus, the bikes are not complicated to use and the peloton app has thousands of classes that are senior-friendly.

Seniors can use Peloton

Seniors can benefit from using a peloton because the classes range from basic skill work, all the way to advanced and long-distance challenges.

I always like to remind my senior clients to take advantage of peloton data and analytics that are recorded after each class.

This not only helps to track progress but also can increase motivation and compliance.

  • Riding the bike and being able to see your performance gradually improve can be encouraging.
  • This feature in itself creates an excellent intrinsic motivation factor and inspires them to continue.

The peloton makes it easy to stay consistent

I think that having access to all the metrics is really helpful. Progressive overload combined with data analytics is an incredible tool to maintain enthusiasm.

Yes, feeling you getting stronger is good, but being able to see the progress reflected by numbers is completely different.

  • Feeling the improvements can be subjective, because a lot of factors may influence how we interpret the feelings.
  • However, once you feel and see the metrics going up, this increases self-awareness much more effectively and motivates people to continue.

Peloton is good for all ages

Peloton is good for those over 65 because it helps to build strength, which improves the overall quality of life.

Aging accelerates muscle loss, and without regular stimuli, the strength diminishes (more on that next).

Benefits

In many ways, seniors can benefit from using peloton bike workouts, as well as off-the-bike classes. Not only it helps to maintain their strength but also helps to improve their level of fitness, mobility, and proprioception.

Build muscle

I think that regular peloton strength classes are the most important workouts that seniors should pay attention to.

Resistance training is important, especially for the elderly because it helps to prevent muscle loss.

In the graph below, you can see the MRI images from the study, published by Jan Lexell, PhD., in The Journals of Gerontology.

illustration of muscle mass in people of different ages

(Image source: TJOH 1995)

  • Image 1 – The picture on your left is an MRI image of the muscle mass of a 24-year-old male with 125 lbs of muscle mass.
  • Image 2 – The picture in the middle is the MRI image of a 66-year-old male with 28.6 lbs of muscle mass.
  • Image 3 – The last picture on your right is the MRI image of another 66-year-old male who has the same body weight as the person from picture 2, but with 80 lbs of muscle mass (three times more.)

Needless to say, the last two MRI scans show two people of the same age, but with radically different muscle mass.

This illustrates how important is to do strength classes for seniors.

Leg muscle strength

Apart from cycling, many peloton classes without bike help to develop muscle strength and endurance in the legs.

Plus, regular workouts, whether that’s on the peloton bike or with the peloton app, help with balance, coordination, agility, and motor skills. Those are all important components of fitness that start to diminish as we age.

Helps with mobility

The more you spend time exercising, the easier it will be to move around. Classes like peloton yoga or pilates help to improve overall flexibility in the legs.

I think that mobility is the foundation of good health becasue it enables people to move around without any pain or discomfort.

Peloton has also a range of foam rolling classes that helps to get rid of movement restrictions, imporve range of motion, and minimize muscle soreness after strength and cardio workouts.

Helps with joint pain

I look at joint pain in two ways. The first is prevention and the second is treatment (Peloton can help with both.)

Prevention is all about working on the range of motion before the pain happens. For example, taking peloton classes for back pain can help to strengthen the lumbar spine region and prevent from pain occurring in the first place.

Treatment is all about reducing the pain. Multiple studies have shown that exercise is effective as a first-line treatment for nearly all forms of chronic pain.

Daily muscle contraction not only helps to lubricate the joints but also stimulates parasympathetic response and helps to release endorphins.

For example, using the peloton bike with sciatica or hip discomfort can help to alleviate the pain.

Helps to reduce BMI

Increased physical activity will lead to lower body weight and improved BMI.

This is important for seniors because it can help with many health complications. You can find many peloton classes for weight loss in the peloton app.

Classes

Unfortunately, you won’t find designated classes for seniors in the app. You can find peloton classes for family and kids, but you don’t have a specific senior category.

No worries.

Some of the best classes that I recommend for my senior clients are beginner-level classes.

I like these becasue they target all fitness components (strength, cardio, endurance, mobility, motor skills.)

Plus, in beginner workouts, the peloton instructors also focus on technique and form more than in advanced classes.

For example, classes teach how to properly warm up, how to perform single exercises, and specific yoga poses. Classes that I like to recommend are yoga, pilates, strength, and cycling.

They also have exercise tutorials and programs where they teach you how exactly you should do the movement.

(I use these excessively with my own clients because it saves me a lot of time.)

Some of the best peloton programs that I think you should start from include Beginner Yoga, Beginner Strength, and Mastering The Basics Cycling.

Best Peloton rides for seniors

Best peloton rides for seniors include most beginner-level strength classes, bike rides, and pilates.

I also like to recommend peloton stretch classes and yoga basics. I think these are just fine to get you started and provide enough physical activity for every level of fitness.

Here is the list.

1. Low Impact Ride

I start the list with peloton low impact rides are a series of classes designed to stay seated in the saddle. The duration varies between 5 to 45 minutes.

It is great for seniors to get started because it gives you time to build up the strength in your legs before you can move on to more advanced classes where you need to be out of the saddle.

The intensity is low to medium.

However, you can always adjust your own resistance based on your personal level.

This class is also good for seniors who use peloton with knee pain because it doesn’t require to be moving up and down.

Classes usually come with classic music and motivating instructors.

My personal best is 30 minutes Low Impact with Hannah Corbin and Sam Yo.

2. Beginner Ride

Beginner ride is a series of classes that are designed for people who are just getting started.

This class introduces low-intensity cadence (speed) intervals where you will go faster for 20 seconds followed by 60 seconds of rest.

This is great for seniors because it has the right balance between challenge and recovery.

Your 20 seconds is enough to make your work, and 60 seconds is plenty to recover.

All class is in the saddle so all you need is to work on resistance and speed.

My best recommendation is to go for a 20-minute Beginner Class with Hannah Frankson.

3. FTP Warm-up Ride

FTP Wam-up ride is the class that you will find in the “Power Zone” directory, under 10-15 minutes.

Those classes may sound like warm-ups, but they can be a great workout in themselves for the starters. Especially if you want to combine peloton bike rides with other app classes (more on that later).

Also, don’t confuse FTP warm-up with the peloton FTP test. This is not a full-length class.

FTP warm-up rides work by gradually building up the speed and cadence, which challenge your strength and increase cardiorespiratory demands.

However, the duration of the class is shorter than your usual cycling class.

My personal best is the 15 minutes FTP Warm-up Ride with Matt Wilpers.

Best Peloton strength classes for seniors

Apart from rides, the peloton app has several strength classes that are great for seniors too. They can be used as a single workout, or in the combination with peloton rides or other classes.

DISCLAIMER: Important to note that most of the peloton strength classes require you to go on and off the floor.

For some people, this may be too much.

In the list below I will show you the list of senior-friendly workouts without going up and down the floor.

4. Strength Warm-up

Peloton strength warm-ups are a series of classes that range from 5 to 10 minutes.

You can use them as your main workout to get started, or you can add that to your peloton rides. This means you can start from a 5-10 strength warm-up and continue further with the bike.

Alternatively, you can start from the bike and finish off with the 5-10 minutes strength class.

Strength warm-up has several options where you can choose to work on full-body, upper-body, or lower-body. This makes the perfect addition to your regular workout.

My best recommendation is to try a 10-minute Full Body Warm up with Andy Speer.

5. Glutes and Legs Strength

I think that peloton glute workouts should be part of everyone’s workout plan. Glutes and leg strength classes are specifically designed to work your lower body (glutes).

The duration ranges from 5 to 30 minutes. I highly recommend this class for seniors because it helps to increase their hip strength, and improve their balance and stability.

A lot of squats, lunges, and sidewalks help to target the glutes, which are the powerhouse of stability.

People with weak glutes can have trouble with mobility and are at greater risk of falls.

Adding peloton glute and strength class to your workout will improve not only your rides but also your daily mobility.

My best recommendation is to try 20 minute Strength and Glutes Class with Adrian Williams.

6. Upper / Lower Body Strength

Upper and Lower Body Strength class is a series of classes that works your shoulders, arms, back, and chest muscles.

If your goal is to get stronger, I recommend spending 20 minutes on segmented muscle groups (e.g. upper body) rather than full body.

This way can work on the muscles more intensely, and get better results.

Having 1-2 classes per week for the upper body and 1-2 classes per week for the lower body will have a much better effect on your strength, compared to doing 2-4 full-body workouts per week.

My best recommendation is to go for 20 minutes Beginner level classes with Adrian Williams.

Best Peloton yoga classes for seniors

A big part of fitness and mobility is flexibility. Peloton app has thousands of yoga sessions and a good portion of them are good for seniors.

Doing yoga for the first time can feel intimidating, especially if you’re doing it in the local studio.

7. Peloton Yoga Basics

What I like about peloton yoga classes is they have a whole series of Yoga Basics, where they literally take each of the popular yoga poses and teach you the basics.

This means you don’t need to attend the class anymore where everyone is at different levels and you follow the routine without knowing the poses beforehand.

Before you join the full-length class you can spend as much time as you need to master each pose.

This can be a great way to stretch after your bike session or strength class.

Simply add extra 5-10 minutes each time you exercise to learn new moves, get more flexible, and improve body awareness.

Yoga Basic can be found in the yoga directory, where you filter classes by the “class type”. Choose the yoga basics on the bottom and you’re done.

There are over 130 classes, each one is teaching something different.

Here is the list of the yoga classes I strongly recommend you start:

  • Downward facing dog pose
  • Upward facing dog pose
  • Chaturanga pose
  • Chair pose
  • Sun Salutation sequence
  • Warrior 1 & 2 pose
  • Triangle pose
  • High lunge

You can find in the directory a specific class that will teach you exactly how to do and practices all of those classes.

Those are the foundation moves and will help you get ready for a full yoga class.

Peloton for seniors and safety

Before you get on the bike, make sure to have your seat properly adjusted. There are two things you need to pay attention to.

  • Seat height
  • Seat distance from the handles

Seat height

Seat height should be in line with your hip bone. This will allow you to take the pressure off your knees when you’re cycling.

  • Having the seat too low will put too much pressure on your knees.
  • With a seat too high you won’t be able to reach the pedals.

Ideally, when you do the revolutions (cycles) on the bike, your knee should reach the 15-20 degree angle, but not to full extension.

Once you find your seat height, mark it down (in case someone else is using the bike after you).

Seat distance

Seat distance you can adjust by placing your elbow in front of the seat with your hand straight. Your fingers should be able to reach the handles of the bike.

  • Having the seat too close will lead to bumping your knees against the handlebar.
  • Having the seat too far away will lead to over-flexion of your lower back to reach the handles. Here is the full tutorial on how to set up your seat.

How to set up your seat

Can a 70-year-old use a peloton bike?

Yes, peloton bikes are suitable for 70-year-olds, as long as you are mindful of safety. For example, one of the precautions for seniors is to be mindful of the shoes with Delta cleats and pedals, and how they work together.

The Delta pedals and shoes are the systems designed by the Shimano company in the 90s that allow you to clip into the bike.

  • On the one hand, being clipped into the pedal helps to stabilize your foot and generate higher output and speed (it will help you do the harder work easier.)
  • The caveat is that you will be clipped to your pedals all the time. So in the moment of stepping off the bike, you need to be mindful of it.

Apart from that, peloton bikes are relatively easy to use.

Delta cleats are safe for seniors

Delta cleats are safe for seniors, as long as they have some level of body awareness.

They help to be more efficient on the bike by keeping you clipped into the pedals throughout the class. However, you need to be careful not to fall.

For seniors who have never used them, I strongly recommend learning first how to get on and off the bike.

This will help you feel more confident and not worry about the Delta while doing the class.

How to set up Delta shoes

Here, in the video below you can see how to properly set up your Delta cleats to your cycling shoes.

  • Once you attach the Delta cleats to your shoes, now you can clip yourself into the pedals.
  • This will require some preparation and learning, so I recommend you spend more time on them before you start the class.

How to clip in and out Delta shoes

Here is the instructional video on how to clip yourself in and out to the peloton bike.

Use peloton toe cages

A good alternative to Delta cleats is to change existing pedals for peloton toe cages, which will reduce the risk of falling.

Peloton toe cages are basically pedals that you can use with any tennis shoes.

You can also get specific pedals that have toe cages on the one side, and Delta cleats on the other side (all in one) in case more than one person is using the bike.

You can check some of the pedals like that on Amazon. Details here.

(if you buy through links on this page, I may earn a small commission).

Conclusion

  • Peloton is a great solution for seniors because it offers not only bike rides, but also several other options.
  • For your safety, always be mindful of how you get on and off the bike.
  • The intensity and duration range, so you can easily adjust each class for your fitness level.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

2 thoughts on “Peloton For Seniors (Rides, classes, and safety)

  1. Great article Michal!

    Your comments and observations are excellent however what are the barriers / deterrents for older people to use a stationary bike? First, your definition of seniors is off by a factor of 10 years and so the focus should be anyone over 55 yrs.

    Second, not everyone has the money for a Peloton bike or the space for it. And third, its not fun to workout in your home. I go to the gym to get out of the house and feel motivated around a group of people working out and socializing. I don’t think people need more information or another mobile app to download to exercise. What they need is an environment with real people and real instructors and cool surroundings with great music.

    Lets think differently on these topics please.

    1. Hello Curt!

      Yes, you’re right! A lot of people prefer to train in the gym, instead of getting a home bike or a treadmill. The gym does provide an excellent environment and support of like-minded people. Workout apps are also good, but not for everyone. Both in-person and home workouts have their pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking for.

      Thanks for your reply!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts