Indoor bikes or stationary bikes is considered one of the best ways to build up your cardio. It can be a light to moderate or a high-intensity workout making it such a versatile exercise machine ideal for beginners and experts. Stationary bikes utilize a weighted flywheel which can be adjusted to deliver the appropriate resistance. This will either increase or decrease the difficulty of this exercise.
A spin class utilizes the stationary bike in a high-intensity workout. But it is more than just simply pedaling for half an hour or so. Let us take a closer look at how spin class works and the benefits that it offers.
Spin Class 101
Spin classes use a stationary bike that forces your leg to be constantly moving. If you wish to stop, you will need to apply pressure to the pedals as they will continue moving for some time before going to a complete halt. This actually adds to its benefits as your legs will constantly be moving throughout the duration of the exercise. No wasted movement, as they say.
Most spin classes can last up to an hour. The shortest ones I’ve seen was 45 minutes long. I have actually participated in a couple of spin classes and I have to admit that you really can’t take this exercise lightly. Half an hour in and I felt that I was at my limit. Pushed through and managed to finish the class and my legs were mush by the time I got home.
Classes will obviously require an instructor and spin classes are no different. In fact, having an instructor actually helped give you that nudge to push harder. The instructor is there to tell you when to ‘put the pedal to the metal’ and when to act like you’re on a relaxing stroll around the countryside. I have to warn you that you should not take this exercise lightly.
Tips for Participating in a Spin Class
Before you head out to join a spin class, there are proper etiquettes that you should be aware of to ensure that you will make the most out of your experience.
- Dress appropriately.
By that, I mean you have to wear comfortable, breathable, and moisture wicking clothes. Make no mistake, this exercise is designed to really work up a sweat and since this will usually last for about an hour it is best that you are wearing something comfortable. As for what type of shoes you should wear, athletic shoes will do or you can get cycling shoes for optimum results.
- Choosing a seat.
This advice is for beginners, I highly suggest you pick a seat that is near the front. It will make it easier for you to follow your trainer’s instructions.
- Adjusting the seats.
Beginners might find this confusing to do but if you feel like your neck or shoulders are straining then it is best to adjust the seats. When it comes to adjusting the seats, you should make sure that it is even with your hips. The handlebars should allow your arms to be fully extended without placing pressure on your upper back and neck. Place your feet on the pedal and put on the straps to secure it in place.
- Learn the terms.
Instructors will regularly call out a number during the spin class, these numbers represent how high your elevation needs to be from the chair. For example, one is sitting and three means you need to pivot your upper body forward like you are a cyclist participating in a race. Your instructor will teach you these numbers before starting the class so make sure you keep them in mind.
- Always go for solid resistance.
As stated earlier, stationary bikes have adjustable resistance knobs that you can dial up or down. If you feel like your legs are getting no resistance from spinning the pedals, increase it a bit. Your goal here is to ensure that there is always some sort of resistance felt throughout the exercise.
- Keep a towel handy.
Having a gym towel beside you will make this exercise a little more comfortable. You will be sweating bucket here so having something to help wipe off the sweat on your brows can help make things more bearable. You should also have a drinking water within reach to avoid dehydration.
- Choose which class suits you best.
Different spin classes will come with different themes. Some will utilize a relaxing and dimly lit atmosphere while others will incorporate an outdoor and natural appeal. Choosing the right one for you will help keep your determination high each session.
Spin class is a highly effective way to lose weight and stay fit. This high-intensity workout routine can be done at home, with the help of an instructional video, or by joining a class. The decision is entirely up to you. However, being in a group does help you push harder than normal and seeing other’s positive results can be a good inspiration to continue this workout routine.