Class Basics: Spinning

Spinning is a cycling inspired cardio workout set to music and led by an instructor.

During a spinning class, the instructor will guide you through a simulated road cycling routine. He or she may tell you to increase the tension on your pedals, but ultimately you determine how little or how much to increase. It is important to remember that you are always in control, that you determine the amount of effort it takes to pedal. Listen to your body, and just get into the music and have fun.

Typical Class Routine

1. Bike set up

Before class begins, you will adjust the bike’s seat height. Adjusting the bike properly is important to both your comfort on the bike and the effectiveness of your workout. The instructor can help you determine the correct settings for your body.

2. Warm up

You will begin on the bike by spinning with low resistance for a few minutes. During this time, the instructor will ask you to position the tension of the pedals to just where you start to feel pressure. This is called the base or recovery position. You will return to this position for rest throughout the workout.

3. Bike Challenge

This is the core of the group exercise class, and it will vary considerably based on the instructor. He or she will guide you through a series of increases and decreases in pedal resistance and speed to make you feel like you’re riding your bike outside.

4. Cool down

You will end the workout with stretching to help your body recover.

What are Common Spinning Movements?

Spinning consists of 3 hand positions and 5 movement positions.

  • Position 1: Hands placed in the center of the handles. This is used for warm ups, cool downs, or recovery from a fast interval.

  • Position 2: Hands are just inside the upward curve of the handlebars.

  • Position 3: Hands are on the top of the handles. This is typically used for a standing climb.

Spinning Movement Positions

  • Seated Flat: The most basic movement in the Spinning program, this position simulates riding on a flat road. It develops pedal stroke technique, and builds strength and stamina.

  • Seated Climb: This stance simulates riding up a slight incline and challenges the lower body muscles, including the gluteals and hamstrings.

  • Standing Flat: This position is an upright standing run performed with light or moderate resistance. This move targets the core muscle groups to improve leg speed and endurance.

  • Standing Climb: This position mimics riding up a steep incline. This move targets the leg muscles and builds strength and definition.

  • Jumps: Jumps are performed by transition in and out of the saddle with controlled movements. This develops overall strength, timing, and balance.

Proper Spinning Form

Like all exercises, spinning is only effective when you perform it with proper form and technique. To practice proper spinning form:

  • Keep your back straight

  • Use a pelvic tilt to increase leg speed

  • Move your knees in a straight line close together

  • Pedal in circles with flat feet rather than pointing your toes to the ground

  • Rest when you need to, regardless of what other students are doing

What to Wear to Spinning

Always wear tight-fitting clothes never baggy clothing that can get caught in the pedals. While not imperative, moisture-wicking clothes, padded cycling shorts, and cycling shoes are ideal for a comfortable workout.

Spinning Classes Near Me

Ready to give a spinning class a try?