Spinning is one of the most effective (and fun) workouts you can do! Not only does it strengthen your heart, but it also tones your legs, glutes, and calves.
But what’s it all about? Spinning classes are very popular at most gyms, and usually consist of 12 to 20 participants. The instructor usually takes the whole class on a “ride” that incorporates sprints, hill climbs, intervals and circuits. In general, classes last between 45 minutes to an hour and are set to music.
Not Your Typical Stationary Bike
One thing that sets spinning apart from regular stationary cycling is the actual bikes themselves. Spinning bikes are unique in that they are equipped with a weighted flywheel in the front that gains speed as you pedal. The seats and handlebars are also adjustable, which gives the feel of riding a real bike. What is more, you can adjust the tension, making pedaling easier or harder.
Spinning is most ideal for people who aren’t big fans of traditional exercise classes. Why? Because it’s customized and straightforward. There are no complicated moves to follow, and you can stay within a comfortable zone for your fitness level since you control the tension. Plus everyone finishes together, and gets a great workout in the process. Most people burn roughly 500 calories on average per spinning session.
- Not convinced? Here are even more reasons to love spinning:
- Good spin classes never get boring. Why? Between enthusiastic instructors, upbeat music, and the constant change in lighting, you’ll always feel engaged.
- Spinning classes are for everyone. Are you a beginner? Or intermediate? Or advanced? It doesn’t matter — because you choose the tension, you’re in charge of your exercise. Spinning classes tend to focus on metabolic intervals, light resistance to heavy resistance, so your legs are challenged, but never feel too fatigued.
- Spinning offers a full body workout. While spinning is great for your legs, many spin classes incorporate resistance bands or sports-inspired movements to give your body a full workout.
- Spinning defines your legs. Contrary to popular belief, spinning actually makes your legs leaner instead of bulkier. Plus it strengthens them and helps to get rid of cellulite.
- You’ll feel euphoric. After a spinning class, you’ll feel energized and happy. Plus your metabolism will be revved up for hours afterwards, meaning you’ll burn even more calories.
Never Spinned Before?
If you’re attending your first spinning class, here are some helpful tips to help you get started on the right foot:
- Buy a cushion for your seat. If you’re not used to riding a bike, the bike seat might feel hard and uncomfortable. However, this initial feeling usually goes away as your gluteal muscles become firmer. But, until then, you can either buy a cushion that slips over your bike seat or you can wear some padded bike shorts.
- Drink water. Because spinning works up a huge sweat, it’s important to always have some water by your side. A sports bottle with a pull top is ideal, since it allows you to take sips while your ride. Plus you’ll want to have a towel handy for all that sweat.
- Pace yourself. Spinning is great for people with joint problems or issues with weight-bearing exercise. However, classes are oftentimes high energy and vigorous, so if you’re new to exercise, remember to go at your own pace.
- Click with your instructor. As with all exercise classes, instructors vary widely. Some instructors are more visually-oriented while others focus on intervals. But if you find yourself not caring for the style of one class, be sure to give another instructor a try rather than calling quits on spinning altogether.
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