Spinning classes are one of the most popular classes at Kelsey Kerridge and it is really no surprise – these classes are sweaty, tough and seriously addictive. The benefits of spinning are there for all to see: low impact on the joints, high cardio rate – spinners work at 75-96% of their maximum heart rate, great music to take your mind off the pain and no slippery roads or irate car drivers to negotiate on your bike.
The best exercises are those that are easy to access, so spinning ticks that box too, you just turn up, get on a bike and follow the instructor’s guidelines, right? Actually, if you want to get the very best from your spinning class, it is worth checking that you get the techniques of spinning right, it is surprisingly easy to fall into bad habits that mean you are not getting the most from your class.
Here are some top tips for a great spinning workout
Start as you mean to go on
Turn up for the class in plenty of time to adjust the seat and handle bars. Having the bike set-up incorrectly will mean you are not working to your max and, in worst case scenarios, you could pick up an injury. A too-low saddle height creates a quad dominant work out, too-high handle bars and you’ll have less leg power and too-low handle bars can cause back pain.
Aim to have the handle bars in line with the saddle and the seat positioned so that the legs extend at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but not hyperextend.
Use your core
This is not about holding your breath and bracing your abs, but about having control and strength in your back, stomach and hip girdle so that your upper body remains almost still as you are pedalling. And when you stand up, take a deep breath and use your core to ride from the seat, rather than pulling with your arms.
If your weight is too forward on the bike, you are working the quads and not the hamstrings or gluten as much. Keeping your weight back a bit eases stress in the shoulders, neck and upper body and means you are getting a balanced workout in the legs. You should just be lightly gripping the handlebars and the main power should be coming from the legs, not shoulders.
Feel the burn
Resistance will get you results. It won’t give you enormous thighs, that is a myth, what it will do, is turn on muscles that don’t always get called into action. High resistance can also make some upper body movement easier as well. Turn up the resistance to push your own comfort zone – as with all other exercise, it is the only way to improve.
Don’t just get off the bike and leave the room. Spinning really works the quads, gluten, hips and hamstrings, so you really need to stretch these muscles after a session. Hold each stretch for a few seconds, release it and then repeat the stretch for a few seconds more.
At Kelsey Kerridge, we pride ourselves on running some of the best spinning classes, with some of the best instructors, so sign up and get spinning.