As a former cycle instructor and current spin class enthusiast, I am constantly reevaluating my own spin class workouts. I love using indoor cycle classes as a compliment to my running and as off season training for triathlon races. Over the years, I have found that there are a couple of minor tweaks you can make that can help you Maximize your Spin Class Workout.
Maximize Your Spin Class Workouts
My friend, Morgan (Mind Body Director-Sport and Health Clubs) recommends “doing a warm up before class starts.” Just as you would do a dynamic warmup before running or any other sport, warming up your muscles and getting your heart rate up slightly before class, will help you start the class ready to work and take full advantage of class time.
This makes total sense now that I think about it. If you are running in from your car and hopping on the bike just as class is starting, you are then spending the first 10 minutes of class warming up and getting your heart rate into the cardio zone. Spending 5-10 minutes before class either cycling, walking on treadmill or elliptical etc gets your heart rate up and preps you for your workout.
Have an adjustment
New to class? Just feeling like something doesn’t feel right? Ask you instructor (before class starts!) to take a look at your bike settings. Sometimes moving the seat just an inch or so can make all difference in how your knees, back and neck feel. Spin Class is a lower body and cardio exercise so if your back, knees or or neck are tight something may be off in your settings.
Form is everything
Just as you pay attention to form in running, doing the same in spin class can significantly improve your workout and prevent injury.
My friend Krista (owner of Cycle Chi in Vienna, VA) offers this advice:
“When people ask me how to get the most from their cycle experience, I tell them to start with focusing on their posture because correct posture gives you power and helpsprevent injury. Engaging your core, flattening your feet and rolling your shoulders back and down is the beginning of a successful ride. Keep a nice hinge in your hips both in and out of the saddle and once you have the foundation, set your goal and enjoy the ride!!”
Why clip in? Having your shoe attach to the pedal prevents your foot from slipping around while pedaling. In addition, when your shoe is one with the pedal, you are able to achieve a 360 degree fluid motion. You are able to more easily both push and pull offering a more efficient and more powerful ride.
My new spin class obsession? CycleBar in Falls Church, Va. A fabulous new studio that keeps your heart pumping and your legs moving. If you are a local reader check them out.
Hope these few tips help you get the most from your next spinning class. Have any tips for me?