20 Ways to Get the Most Out Of Your Spinning® Workout
Feel connected and focused in your Spinning® class and get the workout you expect! Remember these quick tips to get the most out of your ride while avoiding moves that might slow you down.
- The Spinning® program is simple, fun and easy to learn. Most importantly, it’s your ride and it’s up to you to ride at a cadence and intensity that’s challenging yet comfortable. If you feel like you’re pushing too hard, slow down, relax and work on feeling great for your next ride.
- Every Spinning® class is taught by an instructor who has been trained to help you get the most out of every ride. If you have any questions or need any assistance with getting set up on your bike, be sure to ask your instructor for help. Your instructor can help you find the right set-up before your class. Make a note of those settings for your next class.
- Spinning® comes from the road and incorporates many of the same principles and positions that cyclists use to create efficiency and power on the bike. If you wouldn’t do it out on the road, chances are that you shouldn’t do it in a Spinning® class.
- If you start pedaling and realize that your saddle is too high, too low, too far forward, too far back, or that your handlebars are not quite in the right position, don’t push through the whole ride in an uncomfortable position just because you weren’t able to set up your bike in time or weren’t sure of the right settings. It’s best to stop pedaling, unclip from the pedals and adjust your bike before the next movement.
- If your knee feels like it can tap your elbows, and when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke the bend in your knee isn’t quite between a 25-35 degree angle, chances are that your saddle height is too low and needs to be raised a little more.
- Avoid white-knuckling the handlebars: gripping the handlebars too tightly can lead to hand, wrist and shoulder pain. Loosen your grip and relax your hands, elbows and shoulders to achieve a “softer” and more flexible feeling on the bike.
- Avoid stretching out and gripping the top of the handlebars when you’re seated. Reaching for the tips of the handlebars when you’re in the saddle can put strain on your lower back and pushes your tailbone towards the front, and more uncomfortable, part of the saddle. Rest your hands on the portion of the bars closest to you. The tips of the handlebars (Hand Position 3) is for standing positions, such as climbing out of the saddle on a hill.
- If you tend to sweat a lot, you may want to try a bandanna, headband or hat in addition to your towel to absorb a bit more.
- If your last class left your bum feeling like you just rode a horse across the desert, try wearing a pair of Spinning® shorts with a padded chamois for additional comfort while eliminating any exposed seams that can cause chaffing or other “hot spots.” If you have a home bike, a gel seat cover can help for longer rides as well.
- Cross-training is great, but using bands or hand weights while you’re riding really isn’t safe, nor is it the best way to tone your upper body. Working your upper body is best done off of the bike where you can focus on proper stance and form.
- If you’re relying on the handlebars to lift yourself in and out of the saddle during Jumps, you may not have enough resistance on the bike or may not be engaging your core. The handlebars can help you balance, but it’s your legs and core that will get you smoothly in and out of the saddle. If you’re having trouble with jumps, try adding a bit more resistance and engaging your core.
- When you’re standing, avoid supporting your weight on the handlebars or leaning into them to rest. If the pedals feel like they are falling out from underneath you, try adding a bit more resistance and pushing your body weight back and centered over your legs.
- Are your toes pointing down when you pedal? Just like wearing five-inch heels for a day, pedaling with your toes pointed down can leave your feet feeling like they’ve run a marathon. Try to keep your feet parallel to the floor (that’s what comes naturally to them) and focus on an even balance of pushing down and pulling up during your pedal stroke. Wearing stiff-soled cycling shoes instead of sneakers can also help your pedal stroke and eliminate the pressure and fatigue caused by the pedals.
- Hunching over or resting on the handlebars when you’re tired puts weight into your back and shoulders and may leave you feeling tense—try engaging your core and using proper posture to take the weight off of your upper body and add power to your pedal stroke.
- If you’re bouncing in the saddle, chances are that you’re pedaling too fast or don’t have enough resistance on the bike. Staying “connected” to the bike means keeping your hips level and your bum firmly planted in the saddle.
- If you’re resting your elbows on the handlebars, then your weight shifts forward on the bike, which robs power away from your legs. It can also put unnecessary strain on your back. Remember to rest your hands in Hand Position 1 or 2 to shift your weight back over your legs.
- Save the push-ups (and other “creative” moves) for off the bike: Doing push-ups on the bike is ineffective because it doesn’t allow your body to be in line with the resistance (gravity), so when the legs are pedaling all you’re really doing is straining your back and bending your elbows, which isn’t going to give you an upper body workout.
- When you’re performing standing movements, be sure to stand tall out of the saddle with your spine in neutral alignment. Floats, isolations or hovering your bum over the saddle may seem like a good way to rest, but it limits your power and can lead to hip, knee and back pain.
- Spinning® is a mind/body exercise, so enjoy your time away from it all while you’re on the bike and focus on your workout by breathing and staying relaxed. Let the music take you further on the ride and clear your mind. Your body will do the work. Keep yourself focused by controlling your stray thoughts to enjoy every moment of the workout.
- Try saving the hamstring stretch for off the bike. Kicking your leg up on the handlebars while sitting on the bike and reaching for your toes to stretch your hamstrings puts your body in a compromising position, without the same benefit of simply stretching off the bike.
Spinning® is a safe and fun workout for everyone regardless of their fitness level, so enjoy the ride!