This exercise bike lets you watch Netflix, but only if you're pedalling Advertisement

This exercise bike lets you watch Netflix, but only if you’re pedalling

Couch potato, meet your greatest motivation yet

By Katie Jones  August 4th, 2017

Finding the motivation to exercise when you could be catching up on your favourite Netflix show from the comfort of your sofa is a very real struggle. But this clever new invention could be the answer to a guilt-free binge-watching session. Ronan Byrne, a student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, has created Cycflix, a stationary bike that will stream Netflix only if you pedal. If you stop moving for too long, a warning sign will appear on screen to tell you are going to slow and Netflix will stop playing until you start to move your feet again.

Yep, it sounds like the ideal incentive to workout, which is partly why Byrne came up with the idea in the first place.

On his Instructables blog, Byrne says he dreamed up this “exercise powered entertainment” to learn computer coding with python and “maybe (a big maybe) get me using the exercise bike.”

How does it work? “It uses a stationary exercise bike connected to an Arduino Nano to control the streaming of Netflix on a PC,” he writes. “The main gist of the project is that, at the click of a button and some user input, Firefox will open and play Netflix and monitor your speed for the workout routine you designed. If you are going below the speed for too long, Netflix will be paused until you get back up to speed.”

Bryne adds that Cycflix can also be integrated into other streaming services and that there’s potential for “a lot of extras” including adding sound and saving workout details. However, while this might sound like your dream fitness regime, it’s worth noting that the bike is just a prototype. And although Byrne gives detailed instructions on how to replicate his idea at home, you will need to be a pro at coding to build your own.

In the meantime, if you really want to Netflix and sweat in the gym, there’s always the smartphone app.

Best workout equipment to stock up on at home


The kettlebell is a cast-iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. While characteristically, they are similar to dumbbells, the benefits are better. They are helpful in improving balance, flexibility and upper body strength.

Celebrity loyalists

Sonam Kapoor credits her fit shape to intense kettlebell workouts. Katrina Kaif and Gigi Hadid also train with this equipment.

How to use

Kettlebells handle differently than dumbbells. Because of the central weight distribution, there is a risk of injury to your wrists, shoulders or lower back if you don’t use it properly. For any kettlebell workout, keep your feet planted and your weight on your heels. Be careful to never lift a kettlebell directly over your head. And never arch your lower back.

Resistance bands

Portable and easy to store, resistance bands can help improve your balance, speed of movement and flexibility while reducing joint pain too.

Celebrity loyalists

Supermodel Karlie Kloss and actress Julianne Hough regularly post videos of themselves using resistance bands while working out on Instagram.

How to use

Resistance bands are customizable according to your strength level. Make sure you pick one based on your endurance and the exercise that you’ll be doing. While using, the band should be secured in a way that the length is appropriate to give resistance in any direction.

Skipping rope

Like trampolines, this childhood favourite can be an effective way to workout. Exercising with a jump rope (check out Decathlon)  can help you build cardio fitness, balance, flexibility and bone strength.

Celebrity loyalists

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Padma Lakshmi, Beyonce and Khloe Kardashian all skip their way to fitter bodies.

How to use

One of the major things to look out for while working out with a skipping rope is its size. When you hold the rope under one foot, the handles should just reach your armpits. Revolve the rope using your wrists and not your shoulders.

Yoga mat

A yoga mat is versatile in that apart from helping you perfect your asanas, it can also aid in executing floor exercises, easily. The mat can provide comfort between the body and the floor and cushions your hips, elbows and knees.

Celebrity loyalists

Long-time yoga enthusiasts like Kareena Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Malaika Arora Khan and Jennifer Anniston can be seen toting one around to their yoga sessions.

How to select the right mat

Most yoga mats are made of PVC that keeps the slippage on the mat to a minimum and is also cost-effective. It’s, however, not biodegradable. If you want to be eco-friendly, you can go for recycled rubber (check out Rumi), jute, cotton and even bamboo options. The thickness of your mat also depends on your use. If you intend to take it with you while you’re travelling, then a mat with 1/16inch thickness is recommended. If you want extra cushioning for your knees and elbows, then opt for a 1/4 inch thick mat. You can always try out and see which one works for you before you decide. 

Stability ball

This oversized version of your favourite kiddie toy makes basic moves like planks, push-ups and squats more effective as it provides an unstable surface.  

Celebrity loyalists

It makes a regular appearance in Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt’s workout videos.

How to use

If you have back problems or other chronic physiological concerns, then it’s best to consult your doctor and trainer before using a stability ball. To know how to pick the right kind for your needs, sit on the ball and make sure your hips and knees are perpendicular to the floor.

From: Elle UK