Spin is the bike class that can burn from 400-600 calories depending on the intensity of the instructor and the amount you push. It relies on a combination of fast-paced cycling and strategic lighter rest intervals to get you recovered for the next burst. Helpful tips:
- Right seat height - To determine the right seat height, place your feet in the toe cages and rotate the pedals until one leg reaches the bottom of the pedal stroke. That leg should have a slight 25 to 35 degree bend in the knee.
- Know Your Resistance - Using too much resistance will feel like riding through concrete, and it won’t result in legs of steel. Instead, you’ll begin to rock and recruit weaker muscles in your lower back, as opposed to the glutes, quads, hamstrings and core that you should be maximizing. If you feel like every pedal stroke is a conscious effort that travels into your ankles and your lower back, then turn down the resistance dial. At the other end of the scale, if your spinning is super quick and feels almost out of control, you’ll find your lower back wiggling as you pedal, and your bum shifting in the saddle. This will do you no good, and can result in some mega saddle discomfort, so dial it up!
- The "tap back" activates your glutes and really uses your quads and core muscles. It can be tempting, especially when you’re tired, to use your arms as a bit of a ‘hinge’ during this movement. This will stress your shoulders, and not your glutes, as it should. If you find yourself ‘tapping back’, consciously think about using your midsection, and not your arms, for the best effects.
- How to Pedal -
Imagine the movement as a clock face, we’ll describe the cycle for one leg:
Phase one takes place from 12 o’clock to 5 o’clock. Here you are pushing down, using your hamstrings to extend your foot downwards. Allow your heel to drop as you go past 12 o’clock.
From 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock, you prepare to pull back up. Engage your calf muscles, and slightly point your toe downwards, as though scraping mud off your shoe.
From 7 o’clock to 9 o’clock, your other leg is on the downstroke. Letting the pulling leg go limp means it needs to work harder – so, think about keeping it moving – don’t switch all your focus to the pushing leg.
From 9 o’clock, through to 12 o’clock, you’re pulling up – imagine pulling your knee towards the handlebars, as you complete the full circle.