As a former spin class enthusiast, I know that there is nothing like the rush you get after a really good class. The combination of endorphins and adrenaline from apaired with good music and a motivating instructor is hard to top. Not to mention that a spinning class is a great workout that challenges your body in ways that other workouts can not without putting on your joints.
Ifdue to COVID-19 you finally got to cave and claim one For yourself at home, you may be wondering how you can get the most out of your investment. A home center bike is not exactly a cheap purchase, even if it is than . So it makes sense that you want to do what you can to make the investment pay off.
I talked to two spinning professionals, Karen Asp and Briana Owens. Owens is the founder of Spiked Spin, a spin studio in Brooklyn, New York. Karen Asp is a certified fitness trainer, avid Peloton user and former spinning instructor and endurance road cyclist who knows a thing or two about how to make sure your spinning class is effective and fun – whether at home or in the studio.
Continue reading for Asps and Owen’s advice on how to ensure your body and soul get the most out of your spin class.
The benefits of spinning training
“Spin training provides many of the same benefits as other forms of aerobic exercise, including improving mood, increasing brain health and building a fitter’s heart,” says Asp.
But spinning training has some advantages in particular that make many people fall in love with the training and continue to jump on the bike day after day.
Heart with low impact
Many forms of cardio – such as running, jumping rope or doing something else that is powerful – can put a lot of stress on the joints. It can be a problem if you have injuries or other health conditions that require you to avoid high-impact exercise. This is where spinning training can come in to save the day.
“Spin training can provide a temporary break for the body [from impact] without sacrificing intensity. And they are fantastic for all levels of training, whether you are new or advanced, “says Asp.
Adjust the intensity to your level
“Like other forms of aerobic exercise, spin training also offers tremendous cardiovascular benefits, and because you can work in such a large number of intensities – anywhere from low to high intensity – you can significantly improve your fitness,” says Asp. You can adjust your intensity by either decreasing or increasing the resistance, or by going faster or slower. Spin is a good workout for beginners because you can easily adjust the intensity and work at your own pace.
“You can do endurance training, strength training mainly with hills, interval training or a combination of them all. In fact, to maintain my general fitness, I prefer to do most of my interval training on my spinning bike because it is easier on the joints,” says Aspen.
Builds strength, especially in the lower body
Spin training can help you build strength and muscle, especially in your glutes, quads and calves. Your strength will depend on how much you “climb hills” by twisting the resistance and how often you do hills and sprints during training. During your class, an instructor will likely guide you through intervals and give you suggestions on how much resistance to use. The increased resistance drives your muscles to work harder and eventually makes you stronger.
It’s not just about strengthening the lower body. “Indoor cycling has become much more creative in recent years. Instructors now have light weights and even push-ups to ensure that your upper body is not left out of training. In addition, when you ride with the right shape, the core or midsection of your body must be constantly engaged. Great shape ensures a more total physical exercise than just stepping on the legs, says Owens.
How to get the most out of your home spinning classes
Set up your bike properly
When you go to a spinning studio, the instructor is often there to help you set up your bike. The same thing should happen at home – even if you need to contact the bike manufacturer for help or watch a video to make sure your bike is set up for you before using it.
“The setting on the bike is the key. It includes checking that your seat is the right height (not too high or too low), and the seat is far enough forward or the handlebars are set to a level that is comfortable for you (if you are new, I recommend higher altitude to start), “says Asp.
After that, you may be intimidated by adding resistance to your bike at first, but Asp says that riding without resistance is a bad idea. “One of the biggest mistakes I still see in indoor cycling classes is people moving the pedals so fast that they literally jump up and down in the saddle. Faster speed does not mean better training, and to combat it, always make sure there is little “After all, think if you rode your bike outside – if you had no resistance on that bike and just spun your wheels like crazy, you would get somewhere,” she says.
Pay attention to your shape
There are some form corrections that Owens usually makes in class that she says to look for. “Make sure the shoulders are relaxed from the ears, the spine is in a neutral position, and the core is engaged so riders can protect their bodies while getting the most optimal training on the bike,” she says.
Set achievable goals
“For me, I always start with small achievable goals that will keep me motivated to keep going. For example, instead of committing to 1 hour a day, start with a 20-30 minute commitment, three times a week. By focusing on goals that are achievable, it is more likely that you have a positive connection to the training and more likely to stick to the plan and even increase the goals you have set, “says Owens.
If you are struggling with motivation to train at home, Asp recommends 10-minute tricks: “Tell yourself that you should only go for 10 minutes and that if you have a miserable time, you will quit.” Then see how you feel.
Schedule your workouts as you would in a studio class
If you decide to take live streaming classes, you need to stick to a specific start time, as you would in a studio. But if you do classes on demand or pre-recorded and find that you continue to miss classes despite good intentions, try to schedule.
“[Scheduling] is crucial for home athletes, as it is easy to let a zillion other things take you away from your workout. But if you put it on your calendar, you’re more likely to stick with it. I make my schedule for each workout every Sunday night and even note down the specific live classes I want to take on the streaming websites / apps I use, “says Asp.
Take a look at your environment
“If your bike is in a dark corner in a room filled with debris, it’s no wonder you do not want to exercise. Fortunately, most bikes are easy to move, so relocate the bike where the landscape is more motivating,” says Asp.
You do not have to have a dramatic landscape to look at to make a difference – just moving your bike to near a window instead of in a dark corner, or at a door so you get fresh air can make a big difference.
The best streaming apps if you do not have a smart bike
Apps and online streaming courses are great tools for training at home – they give you a structured workout to follow, useful cues, great music (usually) and best of all, an online community to engage with.
“There are so many bike apps that offer live-and-on-demand classes, and even if you’re not physically in a studio with others, you know that others somewhere in the world are training at the same time in the same class if you do. live can be a huge psychological boost, says Asp.
If you do not have a bike like the Peloton that comes with a screen to stream classes on, you still have plenty of options. For example, you can still access Peloton classes on a phone, tablet or computer if you purchase the Peloton app for $ 12.99 per month. When you subscribe, you get access to a variety of online classes including running, yoga and meditation. You can do classes live in real time or access content on demand in your own time.
Here are some other options as well:
CycleBar Go is the popular spinning studio CycleBar’s new digital component. When you subscribe to the app, you can access a library of recorded classes – just like what you would experience in the CycleBar studio.
Studio Sweat offers seven different types of spin classes – from beginners to a TRX-and-spin combo class – so you never get bored of doing the same class over and over again. Although you can buy a bike and a streaming package from Studio Sweat, you do not have to do so to access the classes. You can pay for one-time downloads or for a more regular membership that gives you access to live classes as well.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.