If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably already heard of spinning as a great way to blow off steam while enjoying some down time as well, but that probably doesn’t result in you having already started the classes yet. Seeing the huge crowd discuss their love for the class and understanding the inner makings of this popular new activity are two different things.
Spinning is a cardio exercise performed in time with music while being instructed by a spinning professional. Being a hard pressed, high intensity workout, you can burn calories effectively while keeping your muscles in shape. If you’re one to enjoy cycling, but are unable to do so due to weather constraints, especially during the winter, spinning classes can be a great alternative.
Some benefits that can be attributed to this aerobic workout are:
- Less chance of injury, with the spinning bike being stationary and well adjusted, you can reduce your chances of being injured
- Having varied routines keeps your mind more present and active in comparison to a more repetitive routine that can be observed in other such cardio workouts
- Since your spinning bike comes with a separate machine that tracks your progress, you can improve your gait and strength your muscles more efficiently.
No wonder your friends and co-workers are so excited by the prospect of a spinning class, right? Breaking some common myths on spinning classes, lets reduce your anxiety here. There aren’t only women in a typical spinning class. Most spinning goers will tell you that it’s almost evenly mixed when it comes to gender, and even age, so if you believe you’ll be surrounded by several young kids that’ll simply demotivate you, well, that’s not the case in most of these programs. Most spinning class instructors will try and make sure to include a generally diverse crowd when assigning timings.
With these myths out of the way, general information on a spinning class should be the next thing you would be curious about.
- Most spinning classes last for around 30-75 minutes, with the average session being for around 45 minutes.
- Intensity levels vary throughout this session, with focus shifting in regard to pedal speed, resistance level, and different body positions.
- It focuses on working on your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves core and glutes.
Let’s focus, now, on exactly what to expect when starting on your first spinning class.
1. Your Outfit.
Whether you worry about what you wear to gym, or simply grab onto the simplest and closest clothing article, your experience varies drastically depending on which option you do choose. But, when considering an exercise that pushes you hard, while making you sweat to the core, investing in some Dry Fit clothing articles will help you breathe as well as feel better when working out at a spinning class. As for your shoes, some classes might require cycling shoes, but most will be adjustable towards running shoes as well.
2. Arriving Early and grabbing a seat.
If it’s possible, booking a specific spinning bike online for the class would be a great option. If not, then arriving at least 10 minutes early can let you grab a seat of your choice before the crowd gets there. Despite common practice of finding a seat in the back, in a spinning class it’s wiser to grab on in the front, especially because it’ll be much easier to see the instructor and follow his/her directions throughout the class while seated at the front.
3. Adjust your seat.
A comfortable seat can help you work on the specific muscles that you came here for. A wrong seat adjustment can strain your muscles and cause mild injuries as well. The best seating arrangement can be attributed to the seat being stationed evenly with your hip. Once seated, the handlebars should be evenly placed as well, as to not strain your neck and back, technically at the distance of the length of your forearm.
4. Resistance level
Many individuals tend to overdo or even under-do the resistance level, to push or ease into the workout, respectively. Since the muscles to be utilized while pedaling are situated around your thigh, if your ankle or even your lower back seem to pain, you’re overdoing the workout. At this point, lowering the resistance level till a point where your ankle and lower back feel at ease is the way to go.
5. Monitor your Breathing
Don’t get too carried away, so much so that you forget to breathe effectively. Your muscles especially require the oxygen right then to keep going. Keep taking deep breaths occasionally to maintain the pace.
6. Keep to your own pace
Following the instructions is the way to go, but trying to push yourself past your limits throughout every class can be hazardous for you eventually. So even though your instructor keeps telling you to push harder, if you physically feel you can’t, it’s better to not. Don’t worry, everyone starts off that way.
7. Carry a Towel
Since this is a high intensity workout style, keeping a towel handy, probably on one of the handlebars, is a necessity. You’ll be sweating up a river as you keep going, and slipping off, or dripping through your face will be a hindrance throughout the process.
8. Type of class
Most spinning classes are themed a certain way, whether through music choice or mere lighting. If you’re one to actually care about such things, look into it before you join one. There are some instructors who love playing 80’s music, while there are others who prefer current pop trends. Depending on your tastes, choose one wisely. Research suggests good music in tandem with your workout helps release endorphins, improving your workout. Enjoying the classes becomes much easier with such variations.
9. Keep track of their numbers
Most instructors will keep calling out numbers relating to the positions that you need to be currently practicing in. Keeping track of these, you’ll be able to follow the entire session without any confusion. Roughly speaking, position one refers to a seated position, position two referring to a slight hover over the saddle, and position three refers to a higher hinge forward. The first two positions work on your quads, hamstrings and glutes, while the third one focuses on working your core.
10. Expect Vigorous Workouts
Even when it is as enjoyable and injury-free of an environment, spinning classes can be very tiring. If you want great results, you’ll need to be maximizing your efforts.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to adjust and adapt yourself to the workout regime easily enough and with an instructor pushing you to work hard enough, you’ll be able to make the most out of it.
In conclusion, there’s a reason why spinning classes are as popular as they seem to be in this day and age. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Also, we hope you’re much more prepared to tackle your first day at spinning class now. So, grab your spinning bike, and get ready to pedal.
Do let us know your thoughts and opinions on our article in the comment section below.