So a couple of weeks ago, I gave you 10 good reasons to get off your butt and onto a spin bike. It’s SUCH a good cardio workout. And loads of fun.
Have you tried it yet?
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned spinner, you can always take it to the next level and get more out of your class. Over the last couple of years, I feel like I’ve learned a lot from all my crazy instructors. And so here you are, my top tips to maximise performance and return during your RPM:
- Try a few different classes. You need to find the right instructor for you; so check timetables, and try a few out to see which one(s) you like the best. This will come down to their teaching style, whether you click with them personally and their choice of music… the music is oh so important, I totally go harder, faster, stronger with the right tunes. Oh, and how loud they play that music. Crank it up, I say.
- Get your bike right. Make sure your bike is set up correctly; get the instructor to help you and then remember where the seat and handlebar positions are for next time… this will help you get the maximum output (and prevent injury). Usually, the saddle should be at about hip height (when you’re standing next to it) so that when you’re sitting on it, there is a slight bend at the knee when your leg is at ‘six o’clock’.
- Invest in the right shoes. If you’re doing more than a couple of spin classes a week (and if your studio/gym bikes have the right pedals) invest in a pair of cleats/spin shoes… I bought a pair earlier this year and they’ve made a huge difference to how my knees and feet feel during and after the class (pain free hurrah). They also help me pedal much faster (so I get a better workout), they’re like a secret weapon of pure power. Plus you feel like such a pro 😉
- Be prepared to hurt! When you first start spinning, that seat is likely to hurt your undercarriage. A lot. I’m wincing just thinking about it. Suck it up and wait it out, you’ll soon be used to it, and it will hurt no more, I promise. Or buy some padded cycling shorts.
- Never ever forget your water or your towel. You’ll need both. Every class.
- Don’t hide at the back. I used to do that, I thought it’d make me inconspicuous. Not any more – I’m front and centre now – I get the full vibe from the instructor (and the full effect of the wall fans which I seriously need – it’s so freaking hot in there). You really feel like you’re ‘in it’ up at the front. Be brave, give it a go.
- Think about your posture. You need to pelvic tilt at the hip, keep your upper body quite still, shoulders relaxed and down away from your ears, elbows in, no bobbing, keep that tooshie in line (no rocking from side to side or ‘stomping’ the pedals). Keep your abs switched on but make sure it’s the legs doing the work. Your knees should track over your middle toes and you should be pushing down with the balls of your feet (for most people, that means not putting your feet all the way into the straps – unless you have really, really big feet). My fave instructor, Kristy, always tells us to imagine we are balancing a glass of champagne on our heads. The good stuff. You definitely don’t want to spill any of that, right? Keep poised.
- Be present. Fully commit to the class… pain is only temporary, it’ll be over before you know it. Once you’ve done a few classes and your confidence has grown, just freakin go for it, get lost in the music, especially during the last couple of tracks.
- Don’t dismount too soon. At the end of the class, if you can, keep turning over those legs for a while on a lower gear, to dissipate that lactic acid build up in your muscles – just pedal for a few minutes. And don’t forget to properly stretch out those calves, quads, hammies and glutes before leaving the room.
- Be a considerate spinner. Wipe down that bike after the class for the next rider. Nobody wants to arrive to a sweaty seat and handlebars, yeuch.
Do these help? Let me know in the comments section below. And happy spinning, everyone x