Spinning 101: The Basics

Chinese Asian sport group of men and women in fitness club or gym exercising on spinning bikes

Spinning is a specific type of indoor cycling that is instructed by certified Spinning instructors.  It is a cardio workout that is set to music, and normally lasts anywhere from forty to sixty minutes in length.  Spinning can be a very rigorous and effective workout if performed correctly, but like any other fitness activity, spinning’s value largely depends on the participant’s overall safety and comfort.  This means that the individual should understand the basics of spinning, and decide on their own to make it as intense and challenging as they feel comfortable with.

Spinning Basics

Spinning is appropriate for anyone who wants a highly motivating workout that they can control.  It’s a low-impact activity that does not involve complex moves.  A good spinning instructor should give his students general guidelines about how fast to pedal, how hard they should be working and when they should stand, sit or sprint.  Participants can use these guidelines to work at their own pace depending on how they feel and how intense they want their workout to be.

Despite the fact that the participants in a spinning class can feel a sort of pressure to keep up with the instructor and other students, the fact is that spinning in non-competitive by nature.  Individuals should always work at their own pace and increase the intensity of their workout as they see fit.  Newer spinning students should expect to feel fatigue in their leg muscles, but should never stop pedaling entirely as this can lead to passing out or lightheadedness.  It’s far better to simply slow down one’s pedaling and catch their breath.

Spinning is best done in normal workout clothes–as long as these clothes do not include long or baggy pants that may get stuck in pedals or wheels.  Flat-soled shoes are important, and it can be extremely helpful to wear padded cycling shorts that may help to reduce saddle discomfort.  It is also vital to bring a water bottle, and perhaps even a heart rate monitor.  If you show up early, your instructor may be able to take the time to help you set up your bike and give you some tips for keeping your workout comfortable and effective.

It is important to remember that not all workouts or instructors are the same, and while you may not like spinning the first time you try it, persistence may help you lock down a workout time, class, instructor and rhythm you truly enjoy.

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