I (Jess of Blonde Ponytail) have heard from many readers and friends regarding their apprehension to try a Spinning class. Spinning is one of the most efficient forms of exercise to burn calories and strengthen your anaerobic and aerobic systems. It also serves as a popular low impact, yet high intensity cross training method for avid runners.1. The bike seat looks uncomfortable.
Proper bike set-up is crucial when beginning a Spinning class. A trained instructor will take the necessary time to fit a new class participant to his/her bike which makes all the difference! Most Spinning bikes can be adjusted in three ways: seat height, handlebar height, and fore/aft position (how close or far away the seat is from the handle bars).
You want the seat as high as possible without rocking your hips side to side when pedaling. The handlebars are typically the same height as the seat, but should be adjusted for comfort. When pedaling, the cyclist should have a 25-30* bend of the knee. If the knees splay outward, then the bike seat is too low.
Finally, your feet are strapped into the pedals, so you can push and pull equally during class. Frequent riders will likely have cycling shoes that clip into the pedals enabling an even great use of the hamstring muscles. Proper flywheel resistance allows you to pedal faster without feeling out of control.
Here is a great resource for bike setup: http://www.spinning.com/images/Bike_Setup.pdf
2. I should be in-shape before I try a Spinning class, right?
No. YOU are in control of YOUR effort during class. Each bike is equipped with a resistance knob that only the rider can adjust. So, if it becomes too taxing, simply ease up on the resistance. Instructors serve to guide participants through a class “ride” but ultimately the control lies with the rider.
Important to note, if you suffer from an injury that will impact your effort in class, it is a good idea to let the instructor know, so he or she may offer modifications. Many participants take up Spinning classes because they have joint pain, so being mindful of the pedal resistance is necessary. Someone who is returning from knee surgery should not crank the resistance and perform an all-out sprint!
3. Won’t it hurt to sit that long on that seat?
Spinning instructors will not keep you seated the entire class which typically last 45-60 mins. There are numerous out-of-seats movements to give your “girl or boy bits” a breather while focusing more specifically on other pedaling muscles. For example, increasing the flywheel resistance and standing to simulate a steep, hill climb is one technique for out-of-seat movement.
4. It looks hard.
Again, you are in control of your effort. The Spinning instructor serves as a guide and will push you to go a little harder and further than you may comfortably do on your own, but that’s the purpose of a group class, right? You will find the energy from fellow participants and the music selection will keep the class moving fast, and your effort at a maximum.
Thank you Amanda for allowing me to share my words with your readers. I hope I have encouraged one or two new peeps to trying a Spinning class!
I love that Jess was willing to talk about this because I know spinning has scared me…even after trying it! It’s a hard class, but an amazing workout!!
Hi Run to the Finish readers! I’m Jess and blog at Blonde Ponytail. I’m honored that Amanda has allowed me to write a guest post in conjunction with her widely popular Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. When I began blogging a year ago, the HBBC was the first virtual challenge I ever participated in and loved the community support it encouraged during a time of year when our health may take a back seat.
Jess is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CSCS), certified Spinning instructor, and personal trainer, so I frequently share pertinent information on strength training, cross-training activities, and tools that will be of interest to readers.
Through Blonde Ponytail, I share my triumphs, frustrations, and candid take on healthy living as a fitness professional, coach’s wife, former athlete, and dog mommy. Thanks for reading!
I am grateful for someone easing my fears
I am grateful for good instructors
I am grateful for passionate instructors
I am grateful for search with “did you mean”
I am grateful for funny auto corrects when texting