Spinning is getting more and more popular every month it seems, and for good reason. Spinning cycles today are astounding! These three workout tips are for folks about to take their very first spinning class or who are only now getting started.
Tip #1: Put Extreme Focus on Form at First
Spin bikes feel strange at first and there’s lots of adjustments to be made. There’s the seat, the handlebars, the foot straps and the resistance level (usually a knob at the base of the neck). Here’s some things to focus on.
- When your hands aren’t on the handlebars you need to sit up straight and tall. Your chin should be up and you need to breathe from your diaphragm instead of the chest.
- Your legs should have a slight bend in them, not fully extended or at any time locked at the knees. When sitting up your feet are flatter on the pedals, but when digging in they should point a bit towards the ground.
- When your hands are on the handlebars, keep your head up. Resist the urge to drop your neck and stare at the ground or your feet. And, don’t hunch your shoulders either. Keep them relaxed.
Focus on form first and keep focusing on it until your muscle memory kicks in. Only then, after you’ve made good form habitual should you think about tackling upper levels of resistance, tempo, frequency, etc.
Tip #2: Eat Light but Balanced Meals Beforehand
A spin class is no joke. Even for folks that work out or jog regularly. The instructors understand how to manipulate variables and put strain on your muscles/central nervous system. With that said, don’t over-eat or over-hydrate before spinning. This is one of those workout tips that save beginners embarrassment!
- Shakes: Don’t worry about protein, an egg white or a scoop of powder is fine. Focus on healthy robust portions of clean low-glycemic carbs (fruits, veggies, berries) and adequate amounts of fat (peanut butter, oils, nuts).
- Supplements: These are fine as long as you don’t overdo it. Don’t buy into flashy packaging. You should burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories during a 1 hour class, so a 300-400 calorie snack is more than enough. Remember, 1 gram of protein is equivalent to 4 calories once broken down into glucose.
- Meals: Always balanced and because this is an aerobic exercise the focus in on energy – carbs.
It’s that green pasture between too much food in the tummy and too little. Don’t be scared. If you’ve been given the green light by your doctor and are hydrated then just set your eyes on the instructor (helps keep your head up/back straight) and give it your best. In time it will get easier so stick with it.
Tip #3: Make Sure You See the Instructor
If possible try to be one of the early birds that gets to class with enough time to get good positioning. You don’t need to be center front row or anything, just make sure you can see your instructor to a) better mimic their form/movements and b) to really be able to hear/mouth-read their instructions clearly.
Spinning is a thorough and gratifying workout, whether you’re in a class or in your living room.