Most people think of spin classes with dread—fearful of an intense instructor sporting a microphone yelling in their ear to go faster, harder and turn up that tension knob. But, bike spinning can actually be a pretty great form of exercise, particularly for those looking for a great calorie burning exercise on a rainy day. Time and money don’t always allow for your favorite boutique spin class—here are some tips to take your ride home, at your desired intensity—no yelling required.
Download a Bike Spinning App
If you need some guidance but aren’t planning on joining a spin class, look at apps like and Peloton, which bring the spin class experience directly to your home or the basic stationary bike at the local Y. While you have to pay, the bike spinning apps cost considerably less than the expensive classes of today and bring plenty of Katy Perry jams and play by play instructions to the table. The initial app downloads are free and usually provide a short trial.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something free, try turning toward YouTube for free tutorials by seasoned spin instructors.
Get the Right Gear
You might do just fine in your dumpy old college T-shirt and basketball shorts, but if you really want to optimize your ride, you’ll want to get the right gear for the job. From an at-home spinning bike to clip-in shoes, investing in the experience will both inspire you to actually follow through with a new workout routine, as well as ensure you’re comfortable once you’ve gotten saddled up.
Clip-in shoes, for example, help secure your feet to the pedals, so they don’t move around, enabling greater efficiency and protection from injury. Additionally, wearing a sports bra that fits will help make sure you aren’t bouncing around on the bike and fitted pants or shorts will enable greater mobility during your workout sesh. Oh, and you’ll also want a towel and some water–spin workouts will make you work up a major sweat.
Set The Bike Up Correctly
Making sure your handlebars and seats are set up properly is essential at home as well as in a spin class setting. Adjust the seats so they come up to your hip bone level when standing next to the bike. Handlebars should be close enough to the saddle so you can comfortably reach for them without straining or stretching–this will be more of a personal preference. As far as handlebar height is concerned, this depends on the workout. Handlebars positioned at a lower height offer a better ab workout, while those positioned a bit higher will have a more upright posture
And, Of Course, Your Form
Your spinning form is key in getting the workout you want. If you’re just starting out, look at videos or use one of the apps mentioned above, because it’s important to get your hips aligned properly. When you’re in the saddle, knees should have a slight bend and your belly button should be pushing back toward the spine. When you’re out of the saddle in position three, you’ll want to keep the upper body loose and glutes tight and close to the seat.
Finally, you won’t want to skimp on the resistance. Contrary to popular myth, a super high resistance won’t give you massive legs. Embrace the challenge and burn more calories by turning the resistance knob to the right.
Jenny is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about finance, health, and wellness. She also enjoys reading and long walks on the beach. Thanks so much for sharing your insight on self-care.
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