Spin Class – 18 Things You Need to Know
Spin class. Seems like all the cool kids in the fitness community are doing it these days. Spin bike class looks like an exhilarating, sweat-inducing, calorie-torching form of exercise that’s sure to help you drop unwanted body fat.
But is spin class the be all, end all of exercise? Let’s take a look at twenty things you need to know before joining a spin bike class.
Related – Choosing the Best Cardio Workout for You
Spin Class – What You Need to Know
#1 – Spin Class Torches Calories
Spin class is an excellent way to torch through calories. The average one hour class can burn 400 to 600 calories, or possibly more is you carry around a little extra weight.
#2 – Spin Class is NOT the Best Calorie Burner
Yes, spin class is an amazing way to burn calories. But no, it’s not the best calorie-burning form of exercise. Here are some other amazing choices.
- HIIT Cardio – Burns 900 to 1000 calories per hour
- Kettlebell Training – 800 to 1200 calories per hour
- Kick Boxing – Burns 750 to 900 calories per hour
- Rowing – Burns 600 to 800 calories per hour
- Jumping Rope – Burns 600 to 800 calories per hour
#3 – Spin Class Can Be a Knee Killer
Spinning is an extremely repetitive form of exercise. It is possible to perform 5,000 revolutions in an hour. Research has revealed that about 40% of recreational bikers experience knee pain.  Spinners are susceptible to the same issues.
#4 – Start Slow to Stave Off Injuries
It seems hardcore to hit the gym and kill it, but this isn’t he best way to approach your first few spin classes. Your connective tissue and joints need time to adjust. Adaptation doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure to increase duration and intensity gradually over time. Give your body a chance to adapt to these new specific demands.
#5 – Position Your Booty Correctly
How you sit on a spin bike is very important. To check positioning, place your pedals at the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock position. For the straightened leg, there should be about a 20-25 degree knee bend. When the pedal is at 3 or 9 o’clock, your knee should be right above the ball of your feet.
#6 – A Strong Core is Needed
A strong core helps your knees during spin class. A strong core, along with strong glutes and hips, increase stability. When these muscle groups fatigue, your legs will have a greater tendency to move from side to side and place a greater degree of strain upon the knees.
#7 – Improve Your Flexibility
Improved flexibility and range of motion will only help with performance and knee health. It will allow your knee cap to track properly. Consider both stretching and foam rolling to improve muscle elasticity and reduce the limitations that come from soreness.
#8 – Spinning Targets Most Major Muscles
Spin class won’t just target your lower body. Cris Dobrosielski, Ace spokesperson and owner at Monumental Results, states, “You’re using all of your leg muscles – upper, lower, front, and back.”
#9 – Expect Serious Soreness
Headed into your first spin class? Expect a major degree of muscle soreness. For many, this soreness will hit the nest day. For others, expect the soreness to set in two days after the class, and linger for quite a while.
#10 – Get to Spin Class Early
Don’t rush into spin class at the last minute. You’ll want some time to set up your bike properly. Setting your seat at the right height will help protect your knees. (See tip #5.)
#11 – Some Classes Use Dumbbells
Yes, you read that correctly. Some spin bike classes incorporate upper body resistance training movements using dumbbells. Check with your instructor, and be prepared for an additional challenge.
#12 – Bring a Towel and Plenty of Water
There will be sweat, and a lot of it! Don’t enter the doors of the class unprepared. You’ll want to bring in plenty of water, and a towel to help keep all that eye-stinging sweat at bay.
#13 – Dress Light
You won’t want to show up with thick, bulking, heat-sealing clothing. Do so, and you might melt into a pool of sweat. Make sure to wear breathable clothing, preferably shorts and a tank top. And women, a nice sports bra is a necessity. You don’t want to be thudding about with no support.
#14 – Most of the Class is Female
This is good news for both men and women. For women, you won’t feel like the minority. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded ladies all with similar goals. And for the men, heck, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of lovely, motivated women.
#15 – The Spin Class High
Class will be tough. Scratch that, it will be grueling! But no matter how tired you feel entering the session, you will exit with a spin class high. You will be fatigued, but energized and motivated.
#16 – Know the “Tap Back”
The tap back is a glute killer. You will likely be using this at some point during your spin class. The tap back involves raising your butt out off of the seat, lowering it back down until your almost seated, and lifting that booty back up again.
#17 – Remember to Breathe
Sounds silly, but this is an important tip. It’s easy to get carried away and not maintain a regular breathing pattern. Don’t hold your breath. Keep the oxygen flowing into your lungs by using a controlled breathing pattern.
#18 – Relax Your Grip
No need to death grip the handles. Relax, and loosen the tension. A death grip places tension upon the wrists and shoulders, which actually encourages core instability and looseness. As discussed early, a loose core can contribute to knee instability.
Spin Class by the Numbers
- During a 40 minute spin class, you will cover 15 to 20 miles if peddling at a rate of 80 to 110 revolutions per minute.
- During a 60 minute class, you will cover about 22.5 to 30 miles.
- Drop in rates for the average spin class run between $15 and $25.
- Spin class may be as low as $10 in smaller areas, or at universities.
- Many gyms offer class bundles. The average 10 session bundle runs around $175. The average 20 session package costs about $325.
- A good quality, high performance shoe can run between $100 to $300. You’ll want comfortable spin footwear, so choose wisely.
1) “7 Ways Bad Cycling Habits Hurt Your Knees.” Bicycling, www.bicycling.com/training/injury-prevention/7-ways-youre-hurting-your-knees.