Spinning first came into being almost three decades ago, in the sunny state of California. It quickly became a favorite among the glitterati of Hollywood and gym-goers alike. Nowadays, the activity is as fashionable and popular as it was back then, if not even more so. Therefore, it is safe to say that spinning is one of the largest workout trends in the world.
However, it is more than that. Cycling indoors is quite an intensive exercise routine that is bound to engage every single fiber in your body. Thus, when you want to adopt a spinning class weight loss plan and achieve visible results, knowing the basics is essential. Here is everything that you need to know about it if you are a beginner.
Spinning for Beginners
Spinning means more than just riding a bike indoors. The workout is designed in such a way as to deliver a full body workout focused on the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. This is achieved through the emulation of varying terrain, which involves both climbs and descents, as well as high-intensity intervals to get the heart pumping.
For this reason, it makes for great cardio, while helping you drop pounds and build muscle in the process as well. Classes last for 45 minutes on average, with some gyms opting for just 30, while others pushing for the full hour. With the right engagement of body weight, you can burn up to 700 calories during this relatively short window.
But spinning helps with more than just weight loss. It is a great muscle builder, especially when it comes to the upper and lower legs. Have you ever wanted a cyclist’s toned body? Spinning is the easiest way to achieve that indoors. And because it engages the core as well, your abs will be more defined, and your back will become stronger by the minute.
When you are a beginner, you aren’t expected to make it through the full class if your skill level doesn’t allow it. Half an hour of spinning every other day, or at least two times per week, is more than enough. In this way, you will build muscle endurance in no time at all and be ready to join your colleagues on the bike full time.
What you need to focus on before joining the class is wearing the right apparel. Feeling comfortable is essential to the success of the workout. A tank top and a pair of fitted cycling pants or capris are recommended. Padded shorts aren’t necessary, as you won’t be cycling professionally. Nevertheless, you can wear them if that’s what you prefer.
As for shoes, if you spin in a studio or gym, they will most likely provide you with special footwear that clips into the pedals. What’s left for you to remember is that you need to tie your hair up in such a way so that it doesn’t get in your face or stick to your neck. This type of exercise is one where you will sweat a lot, so it’s best to avoid any unpleasant sensations.
According to Ruth Zukerman, co-founder of the reputable Flywheel spinning studios, three to four times per week is more than enough for visible results to start showing. The workout is a relatively difficult one to get used to, but as soon as you get the hang of it, you will power through intervals like a knife through butter.
The most important thing to remember is maintaining the correct posture. Form is everything when you’re on the bike, because there’s a fine line between complete muscle engagement and unpleasant back pain. For this reason, how you set up your bike is crucial. Ensure that the saddle is at hip level and keep the handlebars at a comfortable distance.
This varies from person to person, so the best way to get a grasp on the situation is by pedaling for a few minutes. If your knees bend the right way and you feel at ease, then you’re on the right track. Fortunately, there will always be trained staff in the gym or studio ready to lend you a helping hand in this process.
The most common mistake to look out for when doing this is positioning the handlebars too close to the saddle. This will lead you to crunch down on the bike, which is detrimental to the entire purpose of the exercise. Instead, try to maintain a healthy back posture so that you work out in a sustainable way.
The Best Routine
As previously mentioned, spinning for 30 minutes two times per week is the most appropriate way to get used to the training style when you are a beginner. Whether you want to build endurance at home or at the gym, it’s essential to pedal in intervals. Ruth Zukerman designed the perfect routine for this.
To perform it properly, you will need to get accustomed to the three essential spinning positions. The first position is the simplest one because it’s when your buttocks are on the seat. By standing up slightly and jogging in an upwards motion, you will be in second position. Finally, third position means stretching the arms to the ends of the handlebars, thus lifting off again.
Start off the routine in first position at moderate speed with light tension. Do this for 4 minutes, then alternate between first and second position in two sets of 60-second intervals. Keep the speed moderate but heighten the tension a little bit. From minute 8 to minute 11, slowly decrease resistance and sit down, but keep your arms in second position.
For the next 60 seconds, jog in second position on high speed, making use of light tension. Then, sit down and cycle at low speed, while increasing resistance until maximum levels are reached. Do this for two minutes, then spend the next three in third position. From minute 17 to minute 26, you will want to repeat what you did since minute 8 up to this point.
Afterward, adopt second position at very high speed and decrease resistance until the light level is reached. Do this for 2 minutes. In the final 2 minutes of the workout, it’s time to cool down in first position. Adopt a moderate speed and keep tension light. You will feel your muscles relax and unwind after a demanding and intensive training session.
Spinning is more than a fad workout. It is a complex exercise routine that engages the body in its entirety, building muscle and burning fat in the process. The best way to go about it is by performing high-intensity interval training. In this way, you will build endurance and achieve the best possible results in the shortest amount of time.
“Luke S. Mitchell is an MS Undergraduate in Sports Journalism and manager of Exercise Bikes Expert. He is interested not only in the mind-body relationship and how motivation shapes our bodies but also in how we draw energy just from one simple yet powerful thought. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.”