10 Spin Class Mistakes You Need To Stop Making
Yep, everyone knows when you're not turning the gears up.
As a self-confessed spin addict I know it’s easy to get carried away when you’re in your element. I know it’s easy to get lost in the music. I know it’s easy to make mistakes without even realising. And, as a spin instructor, I’ve seen it all. The good, the bad, the pointless, the ineffective and the outright dangerous. Here are 10 common spin class mistakes you need to stop making.
Before you get started, warm up with these simple moves:
1. You’re not set up properly
Your bike set up should be your number one priority. For a safe and effective workout arrive early to make sure your bike is set up correctly. If it’s your first time ask a member of staff to help you. The height of your seat should be at hip level (your knee should bend slightly when your leg is fully extended), the handlebars should be roughly a forearm’s distance from the seat, and the handlebar height should be in line with the saddle.
2. You’re cycling with no resistance
Not only are you wasting time but it’s also dangerous. It doesn't matter if you’re meant to be ‘super sprinting’ to the finish line. Little to no resistance is just NOT an option. It’s both unsafe and ineffective. Protect your joints and get the most out of your workout. Turn it up!
3. You're doing your own thing
If you’ve paid to do the class then decide you're going to commit to the class. Put your trust in the instructor. Believe they know what’s best for you. Be respectful to those around you. Follow what the instructor is saying or stay at home.
4. You’re holding on for dear life
Could you be holding onto those handle bars any tighter? There’s a reason why leaning on the handle bars makes a spin class easier… because you’re doing less work! If you’re looking to get the most out of your spin class ensure your grip is nice and light, engage your core by pulling in your abdominals and imagining you’re trying on your tightest jeans. A strong core will support your entire workout and will give you more bang for your buck.
5. You’re pushing but not pulling
If you want to build strong, powerful legs, make sure you're not just pushing down on your pedal but that you're also pulling up. This means that not only will you be working your quads (the front of your legs) but you'll be engaging your hamstrings (the back of your legs) which means a far more effective and balanced workout for your body.
6. You’re bouncing up and down
I hate to break it to you, but you’re not in a pop video. Keep your back straight. Your core engaged. And your shoulders down. Nothing should be moving but your legs.
7. You’re straining your neck
Sometimes, it’s hard not to get carried away. YOUR song has just come on. You’re in your zone. You’re peddling away, feeling fit, feeling strong, feeling indestructible. But make sure it’s not at the expense of your body. Avoid unnecessary post-class niggles by keeping your head up, your shoulders back and your chest lifted.
8. You’re not cooling down
We get it, you’re busy! You have to dash off back to work or you're late for brunch with your friends. But not cooling down properly can have a negative impact on your recovery, your progress, and your next class. Not to mention it’s really annoying when you disrupt the atmosphere by getting off your bike and opening the door. If you have time to take a class, you have time to cool down and stretch.
9. You’re not drinking enough water
Let’s face it, it’s not going to be pretty. You’re going to get sweaty. Make sure you're drinking enough water before, during, and after your class to avoid dehydration and a post-spin headache.
10. You’re doing too many classes
As much as we love spin, too much of anything isn't good for your health. And your favourite spin class is just the same. HIIT training, spin classes, or any intense workout that’s designed to really push your body to its limit shouldn't be done five times a week. Your body needs to rest, to recover and it needs to remain injury-free. Mix it up.
Words by Ban Hass