Next time you sit your booty on the saddle, remember a few tips from your favorite CRAZY spin instructors.
1. SIT IN THE FRONT ROW – Sitting in the front row means you made a commitment to yourself before class even started. You have put yourself in the direct path of the instructor, which makes it harder to slack off than sitting in the back of the class. You don’t have to be the perfect rider to sit in the front row; you just have to make the decision to sit there and work YOUR hardest.
2.FIND THE RIGHT SEAT HEIGHT – The seat of your saddle definitely adds to the efficiency of your spin ride. If your seat is too low you won’t be able to extend your legs fully, which takes away from the power you can be pushing with each pedal stroke. Vice versa, if the saddle is to high your hips have to rock back and forth to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. This ends up slowing our pace down and could lead to groin injuries. The perfect seat height is found by standing next to the bike, placing your hand on the top of your hipbone and adjusting the saddle to that height. If you’re in doubt, ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR!!
3. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR CORE – Proper riding form forces you to activate your core. Just because your abdominal muscles aren’t touching the pedals doesn’t mean they aren’t being used. The core plays a huge role and needs to be braced and activated to help you reach your best ride. Lengthen your spine, roll your shoulders down and away from your ears and visualize tightening your core into your spine.
4. TRY NOT TO SWAY SIDE TO SIDE – Swaying from one side to another during your ride challenges your balance which makes you grip even harder on the handle bars, putting unneeded stress on your hands and shoulders. Good music in a ride can be catchy and make you want to dance. Instead of swaying back and forth, use that beat to drive your pedals and focus on keeping your hips on the seat.
5. WORK THE UPSTROKE – When you stomp on the down stroke but neglect the upstroke it stresses the quad muscles but doesn’t engage the other muscles needed in your ride. Drop your heels and focus on the up phase. This will engage the hamstrings and balance the work of the lower body. If you think of a clock face, your push is from 12 o’clock to 5 o’clock, skip over 6 o’clock, then pull up with the hamstrings from 7 o’clock back to 12.
6. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND VISUALIZE – When you are struggling during a ride, let the beat of the music find some escape for you. When you close your eyes you can bring yourself into the ride visually. Focus on the flat or hill that you are creating with your resistance. See the climb in the distance down that road. Breaking down the work in front you of helps to keep you engaged during the whole road instead of burning out and loosing focus too quickly. Take it one pedal stroke at a time.
7. USE RESISTANCE FOR SPRINTS AND FLATS – Not having enough resistance can be just as dangerous to the body as having too much. If you are sprinting without any weight under your feet, you have nothing to push into which means the flywheel is most likely taking control of your feet. The resistance may slow you down slightly but it is not a competition to see who can get the highest RPM’s. Any cadence much over 115-120 RPM’s can lead to injury. Whether your legs hit the brake, or you are spinning so fast your feet unclip from the pedal. You need enough resistance to build up the cardio strength! ADD IT IN!!
8. BREATHEEEE – What a simple thought, but some spinners hold their breath during pushes or harder work periods. This makes the work harder than it needs to be. By breathing through a sprint or a fast flat your body can move more efficiently. Your body needs that oxygen to fuel the muscles during your workout. Make it a focus on your next ride, just breathe!
Hopefully these tips help you hit your full potential in each of your next classes. They may seem simple, but by tapping into these ideas you will reduce your risk of injury, help you focus during class, and help you reach that awesomely sweaty and strong workout!