If you enjoy cycling but don’t like dodging the traffic or pedalling in the rain, indoor cycling classes, or spin sessions, will be right up your street.
Spin classes are a great way to get fit, no matter what your age, gender or cycling ability, as although you work in a group with an instructor, there’s a resistance dial on the bike which means you can pedal at your own pace.
If you’re keen to take a spin class, but not sure what to expect, here are a few pointers that will ensure a positive experience.
Get there early
You’ll need to set your bike up before a spin class, according to your height. Arrive at your first spin session early so you can choose your bike and get the instructor to show you how to adjust the saddle and handlebars. This ensures you’ll have the correct posture to help prevent you straining any muscles.
Hydration is key
Spin classes are high intensity workout sessions, so expect to get sweaty. To replace lost fluids, bring plenty of water. A towel may also come in handy.
Wear the right clothing
Since you’ll be getting sweaty, wear breathable clothing that won’t stick to your skin. A t-shirt and shorts or cycling pants will do the trick, but the most important thing is to feel comfortable. There’ll be lots of bouncing up and down on your seat, so ladies should don a decent sports bra. Some studios provide shoes, but if they don’t, it could be worth investing in a pair of cycling shoes. These are superior to trainers, as they’ll maximise your ability to pull up and utilise your glutes and hamstrings.
Go at your own pace
Your instructor is there to motivate you, but just because they tell you to turn up the resistance on your bike, doesn’t mean you have to. Always cycle at a pace that feels comfortable, especially as a newbie. If you push yourself too hard, you could end up rocking, resulting in strained back muscles. However, if the pedalling is too easy, you’ll just move around a lot on your saddle, giving you bum ache. The idea is to work your hamstrings, quads, glutes and core, so if you feel any discomfort in other parts of the body, either your technique is incorrect or you’re not cycling at the right resistance level.
More than cycling
You’ll do more than just pedal at a spin session. You’ll lift off the saddle (known as the tap back) to focus on your core, quads and glutes, and you may even use hand weights to build arm muscles. Learning the correct technique is key. Remember to breathe correctly, and avoid over-gripping the handlebars. Spin classes take place to music, but if you’re tempted to dance, spin faster and keep your core firm instead of wiggling your hips.
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