Common Spinning Mistakes
We have high expectations from our spinning classes. With promises of torching between 400 and 600 calories an hour, you’d expect to look like a leaner version of yourself after a month. And when changes don’t happen, it can be pretty frustrating.
When you don't see the results you want, the first question on your mind is why? Well it turns out there are a few basic reasons why you aren't seeing results. Turns out, it’s easy to make mistakes in spin class, and these mistakes could lead to less progress. So what are these common spinning mistakes?
#1: You Haven't Set Up Your Bike Properly
If your bike isn’t adjusted for you, you probably won’t be able to get the most out of your cycling class. This could affect the total amount of calories you burn. If you don't set your bike up properly, you won’t be able to keep up with the class, you won’t be able to challenge yourself enough or, worse, you could injure yourself. Here's how you should set up your bike:
- The seat should be at the same height of the hipbone. This creates a slight bend in the knee, approximately 12 degrees, when the bum is on the seat and the leg is fully extended. Check both legs. If a bike seat is too high, you will not be able to use your leg muscles correctly to push out of the saddle. And if your seat is too low, your knees may become strained in the seated position, particularly during a heavy climb. Both of these mistakes can cause injury.
- The distance between the handlebars and the seat should be about the length of your forearm. Another good way to check this is to sit on the bike and make sure that your knee does not go ahead of your foot when you pedal. You can adjust this by moving either the handlebars, the seat or both.
#2: Incorrect Posture
Now that your bike is adjusted, ask yourself how you feel on the bike. Are you comfortable? Is the movement smooth as you push the pedals? If you said no to any of those questions, check out this riding posture checklist and adjust your form and burn more calories.
- Are your sit bones (which you feel in your bum when you sit down) planted evenly and balanced on the saddle (spin talk for bike seat)? When you’re standing on the pedals, is your body hovering over the middle of the bike?
- Are your flat feet on the pedals?
- Do you have a slight bend in your elbows and a light grip on the handlebars?
- Is your core engaged? If someone were to come and poke you in the side, would you keep your balance on the bike?
#3: You Aren't Challenging Yourself Enough
When it comes to spinning, it's up to you how intense your workout will be. While it may not be intentional, it's very possible you aren't pushing yourself hard enough. It's easy to
get comfortable in a routine instead of challenging yourself.
So how can you tell when you're pushing yourself hard enough? Well generally, a good sweat, a raised heart rate, and breathlessness are a good sign. So if it's starting to feel a bit too easy, turn the knob until you feel it in your legs. As a general rule, if your power average does not seem to be improving over say 10 or more rides, you probably are not using enough power.
#4: Spinning is All Your Doing
Eat. Sleep. Spin. Repeat. But you are still not seeing the results you want from spin, think about what you’re doing outside of spin class. Many fitness experts say that exercise cannot make up for an unbalanced diet. Like any high intensity workout, performance is enhanced by a healthy diet, enough sleep, a positive attitude and lots of practice. There is a very high learning curve for the new rider and it can be exciting to see fast results after just a few weeks of sweating it out on the bike.
It's pretty easy to make mistakes when it comes to spinning, but it's also easy to correct them. So if you find that you aren't getting the results you want, try making little adjustments here and there. A little research goes a long way!