Spinning is a fantastic workout, particularly for moms, for two reasons: 1) It’s a kick-ass workout, literally, and 2) Classes are often offered in the pre-dawn hours, making it slightly easier for busy moms to get there. It’s been a long time since I took my first spin class, but I do remember being intimidated by the new sport. If you’re a little cycle-shy but have always been a little curious, we’ve got some expertise today from master instructor Josh Taylor.
“The Spinning program is one of the best cardio workouts you can do. It gets the heart going and the blood pumping,” says Spinning International Master Instructor Josh Taylor. “We put a lot of effort into training our instructors to ensure an enjoyable experience, but if someone’s Spinner bike isn’t set up correctly, they may give up after the first class and never return.”
Today he’s sharing how to get started in class, how to properly set up your bike and pointers on proper form as you ride into the sunset (or, you know, in one spot, but you can pretend).
Spinning Tips: Getting Started
1. Go legit. First and foremost, find a Spinning class at an Official Spinning Facility at www.spinning.com.
2. Introductions. Let the instructor know if this is your first time. He or she can help adjust the bike.
3. Be prepared. Have a towel close at hand and stay well-hydrated while riding.
4. Shoes matter. Wearing cycling shoes with cleats allows riders to get more integration of muscles in the legs, more comfort and more power output, which all equates to burning more calories, and an overall better workout. With cycling shoes, feet are connected to the pedals much more securely.
Spinning Tips: Bike Setup
A key to enjoying and getting the most out of the Spinning program is to ensure the Spinner bike is correctly set up to suit the rider. Proper setup avoids discomfort and injury, so take a few minutes before the class begins to perform the following steps.
1. Seat height. Stand next to the Spinner bike and adjust the seat so that it is approximately hip level. Sit on the bike and push one of the pedals to its lowest position; the knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
2. Seat position. Adjust the seat position back or forward so that arms are a comfortable distance from the handlebars with elbows slightly bent.
3. Handlebars. For beginners, start with the handlebars in a relatively high position. As flexibility increases, begin to move the handlebars downward until they are approximately level with the seat.
4. Latch in. With feet centered on the pedals, tighten the toe straps to hold feet securely in place.
5. Lock it up. Always make sure that the handlebars, seat post and seat slider are securely locked in and that all pop pins are completely engaged.
Spinning Tips: Riding Positions
It is important in the Spinning program to work on form and fluidity. Eliminating unnecessary movements will maximize the efficiency of the workout and leave the rider energized instead of fatigued. The Spinning program focuses on five core positions:
Seated Flat: Sitting down with hands close together on the flat horizontal part of the handlebars
Seated Climb: Sitting down with hands wide on the horizontal part of the handle bars
Standing Flat: Standing up with hands wide on the horizontal part of the handle bars
Standing Climb: Standing up with hands on the vertical part of the handle bars
Jumps: Transitions between seated and standing positions while hands remain wide on the horizontal part of the handle bars
Spinning Tips: Riding Form
1. Form focus. Always stay in control and focus on form and smooth transitions.
2. Right resistance. There should always be some resistance on the pedals. Familiarize with all movements at a moderate pace before attempting to increase speed.
3. Stay still. Excessive upper body movements on the bike can be unsafe and should not be used in a Spinning class. A few of the movements to watch out for include push-ups, twists, crunches, shoulder drops and cornering.
4. SOS! The last and most important tip is don’t be afraid to ask for help. All certified Spinning instructors will be able to assist in setting up the Spinner bike properly and to ensure proper form for all riders.
Who’s ready to Spin?! —Erin