16 Sat

Spinning 101

Spinning 101

Written By: Karen Tom, MPT, CSCS

I took my first spinning class about 10 years ago (yes, I’m old). I remember it vividly: I was the only student in the class and the instructor played music that was just drums for 60 minutes. Although the music wasn’t my favorite, I was addicted. Spinning is one of the best, most efficient cardiovascular workouts you can get. It may be intimidating but it’s actually one of the most forgiving and flexible classes at the gym.

Here are some starting points to be considered:

1. Set up is CRUCIAL. If you are not set up correctly, you are risking injury! Please, please, if you are spinning for the first time (or even if you’ve been doing it for a while and are not sure) get the instructor to set you up. Just come a few minutes early. Here are some basic guidelines, but you will have to make some adjustments: seat height is at about belly button height. When your feet are in the pedals at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, your kneecap should be over the ball of your foot at the 3 o’clock position. Your knees should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. You can adjust the seat forward and backward too. Handlebars should be high enough so that your lower back is not arched.

2. How to Stop. The flywheel on the bike weighs about 35 pounds. If you stop pedaling, the wheel will not stop with you. Stop the wheel by pushing down on the tension knob (some bikes have a red lever) . That’s the brake.

3. Keep Control. Make sure you always have tension on your wheel. If you are pedaling out of control, you are at risk for injury. It’s more important to ride in control than to be cycling fast. Don’t let your bike ride you!

4. Challenge yourself. You can increase your effort by increasing the tension on your wheel or by picking up your speed.

5. No bouncing in the saddle. Make sure your core is engaged. Look straight ahead or slightly down, relax your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Never lock your elbows or lean on the handlebars. They’re just there for balance, not support.

6. Take care of your Body. Don’t forget to bring a towel and water.

7. Be Respectful. Wipe your bike down after class.

8. ALWAYS ask the instructor for help if you need it. That’s what we’re there for!

If you’d like more tips on safe cycling, please contact our office at 973-270-7417!


If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices our located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

Image courtesy of duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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